Prof. Steffen Giessner

Steffen Giessner

Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Change
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam


Steffen R. Giessner is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Change at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

He holds an MSc in Psychology from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, and a PhD in Psychology from the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. His research is located at the intersection of organizational psychology and management. His primary research topics are employee support during organizational merger, follower’s perceptions of leadership, antecedents of leader behavior, and non-verbal communication of power. He has authored and co-authored papers in the areas of organizational behavior, management, and psychology. His research received media coverage in outlets like the New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business Manager and Wall Street Journal. His most recent book on Leading with Presence addresses how one can develop the non-verbal aspect of leadership impact.


Professional experience

Full Professor

Erasmus University Rotterdam
RSM - Rotterdam School of Management
Department of Organisation and Personnel Management


Key Publications

  • S.R. Giessner, D.A. Stam, R. Kerschreiter, D. Verboon & I. Salama (2020). Goal-setting reloaded: The influence of minimal and maximal goal standards on task satisfaction and goal striving after performance feedback. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 161, 228-241. doi: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2020.08.004

Professional Publications (12)

Scholarly Publications (51)

Semi Scientific Publications

Doctoral Thesis


Editorial positions (6)

  • The Leadership Quarterly

    Editorial Board

  • Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

    Editorial Board

  • Organizational Psychology Review

    Editorial Board

  • Journal of Personnel Psychology

    Editorial Board

  • Frontiers in Psychology

    Editorial Board

  • Journal of Applied Psychology

    Editorial Board

Organization Memberships


Media items

  • How To Have Effective Zoom Meetings—And Make Them Less Boring

    Online meetings have become a necessary evil. While some people don’t seem to mind working from home on a purely virtual basis, many of us certainly miss the face-to-face interactions and are keen for working life to get back to…

  • New book: Leading with presence for impactful leadership

    When communicating – online and in person – three elements can be used to express a message: verbal content, body language, and the voice. When these elements are not congruent, people often believe the body language and the…

  • Flexible work arrangements = Appealing work arrangements?

    While it may be one question whether flexible work arrangements (i.e., work conditions enabling work from home and providing flexible office spaces) have positive or negative effects on innovation and productivity, another one is…


    PhD candidate Susan Reh has won the Best Poster Award at the Early Career Summer School of the European Association for Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) in Birmingham, UK. Reh investigates these research questions…


    The doctoral research of Dominique Board was titled "Understanding Tran Active Memory Systems in Virtual Teams: The role of integration and differentiation, task dependencies and routines" and Steffen Giessner is mentioned to have…

Discovery items

Leadership: why many heads are better than one

multiple leaders in sports team management

Responsible leadership: creating shared value

Leading with purpose means balancing financial, social and environmental development and incorporating every stakeholder.

RSM Discovery magazine 38 – out now!

Issue 38: under the editorship of the Erasmus Centre for Leadership is devoted to exploring just some of the many facets of leadership.

Tips: Loneliness and working from home during the COVID-19 crisis

No man/woman is an island. It is normal to feel lonely while working from home. Use these four tips to prevent loneliness.

Power to the people: the fine line between hands-on and hands-off leadership

Employees have different ideas about empowering leadership. Listen to them, says Prof. Steffen Giessner.

RSM Discovery Debate: Ethical Leadership

Is it possible to be an ethical leader in today’s shareholder-focused economy?


Theories on Change, on Differences and on Behaviour

  • Study year: 2020/2021, 2019/2020
  • Code: BM02OCC
  • ECTS: 6 Level: Master

HRM Master Thesis

  • Study year: 2020/2021
  • Code: BMMTHRM
  • ECTS: 16 Level: Master

HRM-OCC Master Thesis

  • Study year: 2020/2021
  • ECTS: 16 Level: Master

OCC Master Thesis

  • Study year: 2020/2021
  • Code: BMMTOCC
  • ECTS: 16 Level: Master

Past courses

Behaviour in organisations

  • Study year: 2019/2020, 2018/2019, 2015/2016
  • Code: BKB010

IM Research clinic

  • Study year: 2019/2020, 2018/2019
  • Code: BM-IMRC
  • Level: Master

Organisational Behaviour

  • Study year: 2019/2020, 2018/2019, 2017/2018, 2016/2017, 2015/2016, 2014/2015
  • Code: BAP071

Behavioural Foundations

  • Study year: 2018/2019, 2017/2018, 2016/2017, 2015/2016
  • Code: BERMFC001
  • ECTS: 3 Level: Master

Human resource management

  • Study year: 2017/2018
  • Code: BM13MIM
  • ECTS: 2 Level: Master

High performance leadership, a psychological perspective

  • Study year: 2016/2017, 2015/2016
  • Code: BMME043
  • ECTS: 6 Level: Master

High performance leadership, a psychological perspective

  • Study year: 2014/2015, 2013/2014
  • Code: RSMME041
  • ECTS: 6 Level: Master

Network & leadership

  • Study year: 2013/2014, 2012/2013, 2011/2012
  • Code: BKCHEB06
  • ECTS: 10 Level: Master

Organizational Behaviour

  • Study year: 2013/2014, 2012/2013, 2011/2012
  • Code: BAP71
  • ECTS: 6 Level: Bachelor 1, Bachelor 1

High performance leadership and motivation, a psychological perspective

  • Study year: 2012/2013, 2011/2012
  • Code: BKMME87
  • ECTS: 10 Level: Master

HRM honours class: develop yourself and others as leaders

  • Study year: 2011/2012
  • Code: BKMME163
  • ECTS: 10 Level: Master

Research challenges in HRM and organisational behaviour

  • Study year: 2011/2012
  • Code: BKM06HR
  • ECTS: 5 Level: Master


  • Fellowship - ERIM postdoc programme (2004)