I am a Junior Professor of Management and Diversity. After completing my undergraduate and graduate studies in Psychology at the Universities of Halle-Wittenberg and Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany as well as the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, I completed my PhD in Science (Doktor der Wissenschaften) at ETH Zurich, Department of Management, Technology, and Economics. I then received the Early PostDoc Mobility Award for highly distinguished junior researchers from the Swiss National Research Foundation and conducted post-doctoral research at the Department of Management and Organizations, Stern School of Business at New York University, USA.
Broadly speaking, my research focuses on the impact of hierarchies in organizations and their consequences for employee attitudes and behavior. Both management research and practice suggest that employees are often hesitant to speak up to their superiors with ideas, suggestions, and work-related concerns (also called employee voice behavior) and that this can negatively impact team and organizational decision-making. In my work, I try to understand when employees are likely (and feel safe) to speak up (e.g., through inclusive leadership) and how this impacts their teams and organizations, their social standing in the eyes of others, as well as their own self-concept, well-being and health. A special focus of my research is to understand the dynamics of voice and silence in healthcare teams that are characterized by high degrees of professional diversity and (along with that) power differences, and where remaining silent with critical input can have severe implications for patient safety.
In my research, I use a multi-method approach, combining behavioral observations both from the field and the lab, using high-fidelity simulations to study behavior and communication in extreme situations, as well as longitudinal surveys to obtain self-report data. Moreover, I use a multi-level approach to understand the interactions between individual behavior and the specific team and organizational context.
My work has been published in leading psychological, management, and healthcare journals such as the Journal of Organizational Behavior, The Leadership Quarterly, British Journal of Management, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Small Group Research, BMJ Quality and Safety, and Work, Aging, and Retirement.