Job description


  • Entry level
  • No Education
  • Salary to negotiate
  • Utrecht


The Amsterdam Business Schoolhas a vacancy for a PhD candidate: Leadership in an Age of Inequality.

This PhD project will explore the effects of income inequality on leadership emergence and selection. Despite increasing levels of inequality, there is little work on the effects of income inequality in the workplace, with the majority of work focusing on how salary disparities might drive the performance and motivation of employees. The current project aims to assess the impact of inequality on the strategies that individuals use to attain leadership positions, the moral compunction of leaders, and the consequences of these for employees and organisations.

We define immoral leadership as leadership behaviors that prioritise self-interest over the interests of followers. Immoral leadership is a problem of enormous scope. Group leaders who pretend to be interested in the welfare of their group, but are primarily motivated to enrich themselves, cause unnecessary conflict, and are a drain on organisations and society at large. However, when and why leaders show more or less moral behavior remains insufficiently clear. The proposed research will provide a framework for understanding the origins of this problem of immoral leadership, and will also pursue methods for addressing it.

In short, the goals of the proposed research are to investigate the:

- circumstances under which inequality does and does not lead to immoral leadership;
- sychological processes that enable unqualified aspirants to attain leadership positions;
- individual differences that push people toward moral or immoral leadership styles, and how they interact with inequality of outcome;
- leadership selection strategies that minimise the likelihood that unqualified aspirants will attain leadership positions. Data will be gathered from both the lab and the field. Laboratory experiments will provide the opportunity to test for the hypothesized main effects and mediating mechanisms within an environment that provides tight control over the examined variables. Field data will allow us to explore the hypothesized effects within more ecologically valid contexts.

  • ms project