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Department of Business Administration Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership

Welcome to the Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership



Our profile

What is the difference between effective and ineffective leadership? What motivates people to expend effort at work? How can people work together in ways that facilitate task accomplishment and high performance? What is the skill set employees need in the 21st century?

These and other questions are at the heart of what we do most days at the Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership: We ask ourselves big questions, inspired by challenges that leaders and organizations face, and we set out to answer these questions through rigorous research.

The Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership is part of the Department of Business Administration within the Faculty of Business, Economics, and Information Technology. In our research, we focus on the social dynamics between leaders and followers and on the role of emotions and motivation in organizational life. We employ primarily quantitative methods and conduct carefully controlled experiments as well as field and archival studies in organizations; we also use big data and related approaches in people analytics. We publish our findings in widely read top-tier academic journals, such as the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. We also share our findings beyond academia in practitioner-oriented journals such as Harvard Business Review. Our research is frequently covered in the media around the world, for example, by the BBC, CNN, The Economist, The Financial Times, Le Monde, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and Die Zeit. Through our research and the communication of our findings in traditional and social media, we seek to inspire public debate on issues that are – or should be – at the top of the agenda for leaders and organizations.

Our research informs our teaching. We give our students at the Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral Level a broad overview of people issues within organizations, through our courses, for example, on Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, and Leadership. We also help leaders and those who aspire to be leaders, to become more effective, for example, through our Executive Programs. In our research, teaching, and consulting, we have worked with companies from around the world, among them Ambrosetti, British Telecom, Google, Jaguar Land Rover, L'Oreal, Microsoft, Nordea, Save the Children, Trivago, The World Bank, and startup incubators such as Plug & Play in Silicon Valley and The Venture Cafe Foundation in Boston.

The Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership thus provides a highly research-oriented environment in which people meet and work together to answer big questions, inspired by challenges that leaders and corporations currently and in the future face. We give aspiring researchers an opportunity to grow their academic careers in a collaborative setting with a global outlook, and we foster a startup spirit that allows all members of the Chair to shape and contribute to the Chair’s goal of developing a leading platform for rigorous research, inspirational teaching, effective outreach, and organizational and societal impact.

If you ask yourself questions about people in organizations, if you would like to learn more about leadership, if you wish to join our team, or if you want to engage in a dialogue about how our research can help elucidate organizational problems or advance your business, we would love to hear from you.

A focus on the future of work and the future of leadership

The world of work is changing rapidly due to, for example, the availability of big data, the arrival of artificial intelligence and the increasing presence of robots, and yet these changes and their consequences for individuals, organizations, and society are poorly understood. Recent analyses of “the future of work” from prominent businesses (e.g., McKinsey, Deloitte) and non-profit organizations (e.g., OECD, World Economic Forum - WEF) make it clear that all actors are currently unprepared. Even worse, as the OECD observed, “without rapid action, many people, particularly the low skilled, will be left behind in the fast-changing world of work.” Similarly, a WEF report asserted that “it is imperative that governments, business, academic institutions, and individuals consider how to proactively shape a new, positive future of work – one that we want rather than one created through inertia.” 

Given the pervasiveness and magnitude of these changes, we have formed a research center to identify the patterns inherent in upcoming developments concerning work and to draw on extant organizational behavior and psychological research in order to conceptualize, propose and test action steps that individuals, leaders of organizations, and policymakers can take to seize the opportunities that are afforded by change, rather than simply cope with its consequences.

Learn more about the center

Weiterführende Informationen


University of Zurich
Department of Business Administration 
Prof. Dr. Jochen Menges
Plattenstrasse 14
CH-8032 Zürich

Office: PLR - J112