I studied mathematics and theoretical physics before starting a PhD in organizational psychology at the Rotterdam School of Management and Kuehne Logistics University in 2011. In 2015, I paused my career in academia to lead a think tank of a leadership academy and boutique consultancy in Berlin. After focusing more and more on coaching and consulting, I decided in 2020 that I want to re-integrate what I learned with current academic research and finish my PhD. Since then, I work part-time as an independent leadership coach and moved to Taiwan, where I now live.

My broad research interest is in how we can organise in ways that are better for people, organizations, societies, and the planet in the digital age, and which role individual agency and leadership play in this process.

The focus of my research thesis is on dual leadership, settings where leadership is distributed between two people. I think co-leadership is important as two people can not only bring together diverse and complementary skills and backgrounds, but also show that there are at least two perspectives to many situations – and that these can coexist and be bridged through personal relationships.

What I like especially about dual leadership settings is that they overcome our romance with individual leaders and consider the importance of strong partnerships when we take responsibility at work or want to initiate broader change. They also offer a very specific arena to link detailed dynamics of individual psychology and behavior with broader systemic issues like social roles, relationship networks, misalignment of goals, and the overlay of different levels of analysis such as the individual and the collective. Dual leadership thus allows to link psychological questions with approaches from sociology and systems theory, requiring advanced statistical models like mathematical simulations.

In my research approach, while starting from a psychological point of view, I hence embrace an interdisciplinary approach and combine broad paradigmatic thinking with clear empirical work and practical applicability.

Recent Publications

Troester, C., Parker, A., van Knippenberg, D., & Sahlmueller, B. (2018). The Coevolution of Social Networks and Thoughts of Quitting. Academy of Management Journal.

Sahlmueller, B., Van Quaquebeke, N., Giessner, S. R., & van Knippenberg, D. (2022). Dual Leadership in the Matrix: Effects of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) and Dual-Leader Exchange (DLX) on Role Conflict and Dual Leadership Effectiveness. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.