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Claudia Nagel appointed full professor at the VU Amsterdam

Claudia Nagel appointed as full professor at the VU with a chair on change and identity in PPP

Organization scientist Claudia Nagel has been appointed full professor by the Faculty Board of Social Sciences with effect from November 1st 2020.

Nagel is a leading expert in strategy and change processes.Since March 2016, she has been appointed Visiting Professor within Hull University Business School in the United Kingdom.In addition to her academic appointments, Nagel runs her own consultancy, Nagel & Company Leadership Consulting. Department head Issy Drori:"The unique combination of high-quality scientific expertise with extensive practical experience in the financial sector makes Claudia Nagel a unique personality. With her arrival, knowledge development toward public-private partnerships will receive an important impulse, both for science and for decision-makers and leaders in administrative practice."

Criminal money

The chair is the core of a new research program called "Public Private Partnership in the Financial sector" that focuses on public and private relationships in the financial sector. In particular, the research program will focus on the issue of public-private partnerships around criminal money, financial resources used for terrorist purposes and money laundering practices.

Special collaboration

The research program is an initiative of the Department of Organization Studies and is led by Professors Marcel Veenswijk and Issy Drori. “We will investigate how public and private parties work together on this issue. Not only banks contribute to this, but also the police and the Ministry of Justice. That is a complex issue, because in practice parties can also be each other's opponent. Consider the investigation that is now being conducted by the FIOD into ABN Amro. ING was previously discredited about money laundering practices. We see it as a promising fact that these parties, despite their conflicting interests, are working together in this research and sit at the table together to look for connecting factors for better collaboration, ”says Veenswijk.

Nagel's appointment is for five years and as is based on an open recruitment procedure. It is partly funded by the Ministry of Finance (FIOD), the Ministry of Justice and Security and ABN AMRO. Two fully funded PhD projects are also linked to the program.
Dr. Claudia Nagel says: “I am proud and happy to have been appointed full professor at this renowned University and this unique new research program. I am looking forward to working with the faculty and partners to meet the challenge of strengthening our understanding and knowledge of this socially very important and extremely relevant subject”.



COVID19 – To get from fear to hope you need to build trust – take up your responsibility

Whenever you open a newspaper these days you mostly find voices of pessimism. The economic downturn is the end of our economy, the end of democracy and maybe even of civilization per se. Also lobby-groups of all kind of professions talk about the support their clientele need to survive (don’t get me wrong, I am not against economic support, it is definitely needed) – the total collapse of the world we know is getting closer and closer and no light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. (see my first essay on leadership and containment) The only light for most of the people comes with the actual reducing of the lock down. And even this light is darkened by the (realistic) worry that the opening up comes to soon and too fast.

By pessimism I rather mean a state of then a character or personality trait in contrast to optimism. This kind of pessimism seems to serve all of us well in the current crisis.

First is a good protection - against further disappointment and despair. Since you are prepared for the worse you feel safer whilst reducing your expectations to lowest possible level. You are preparing for the loss of income, your job, your money, luck – maybe now you are preparing for the loss of individual and societal freedom and even democracy. Only then you get the feeling of being in control – because you are preparing yourself. In this way pessimism also protects you against the underlying fear and the connected helplessness and powerlessness.

Please find here the full text: COVID 19 - How to get from fear to hope


Not only leaders need to recollect their human qualities

COVID19 is not only a still rather unknown virus, it is also a threat to humankind in general. Only enormous precautions, an almost complete standstill of public and economic social life, seem to be the choice of the actual moment to contain the virus and its infections. Until so far this virus entered the human world through a Whuan animal market – so wildlife and animals are as nature in itself not to be managed as easily as thought. A little virus, also part of nature, takes over and governs the rulers of the biggest countries. Hence, we can see the virus as a contingent rupture which might entail a new notion of our relationship with nature and earth. The virus and its effects demonstrate the frailty and fragility of humankind which can be easily and completely disrupted. (Of course, this virus or other viral diseases are one of many disruptions, others with also large effects could be Vulcanic explosions or meteorites coming from the Universe - included in the concept of nature). It seems that the virus is telling us and teaching us that we, the human race, are not the ruler of nature. In that sense the virus can be attributed a symbolic function. Neither our technologies, global networking and globalization, are helping us, rather the contrary. And in addition, our moral capacity is deeply questioned on different levels. I propose that we can understand the effect of this (and other)virus as an expression of the 4thblow to human narcissism: we are not the ruler of nature.

Please find here the full paper:COVID 19 - The 4th narcissistic blow to humankind


Leaders need to deal with paradoxes in times of COVID


Two possible outcomes of the pandemic are discussed in public – the negative idea of complete destruction and the developing of something new and better. The results of the pandemic seem to oscillate between the two opposing developments of either the apocalypse comes over us or a newborn and thus better phoenix comes out of the ashes. Interestingly both images are Christian symbols once connected with the Bible, however they have left that context and entered ordinary language. They represent on one side night and destruction and on the other side sun and resurrection - the world will go under or the world will completely renew itself. We can call this a paradoxicalor a dialectical moment in time.

Before we start to look at how to deal with paradoxical problems, I would like to share my observations about the two opposing perspectives.

Please find the full paper here: COVID 19 A dialectical moment in time - Embracing paradox


Leadership in times of COVID19

When working in a leadership role you have a very clear task – you give guidance, set a frame, distribute work and monitor results. You work with and for human beings, you motivate, encourage and develop them, give them respect and appreciation – in short you take care of the people you work with.

In addition, each leader carries social responsibility  for the organization. For your coworkers, leaders like you represent an important human social authority. Thus - during this difficult time - entrepreneurs, CEOs and all other leaders have to make a significant contribution to social stabilization. This is crucial since pandemics on a physical level lead to pandemics on a psychosocial level


First, I would like to suggest what to do and in the next step I will explain, why this is so important.

Containment is key for leaders in the actual mode of crisis. Containment provides people with the feeling of "I’m taken care of" – this is especially critical when no one knows what to do next and what the outcome of the pandemic will be. In psychology, containment refers to the interplay with another individual that helps a person to process and endure existential fears. Now, we all are exposed to these fears and have to deal with them.


Please find the full paper here: COVID 19 - Leadership and Containment



Top managers need emotional complexity in strategy processes

In my most recent paper on behavioural strategy* I have argued that one core competency of managers dealing with strategic decisions is to be able to consciously deal with paradoxes and ambiguities as well as the capacity to hold the tension between apparently conflicting choices. Latest research proves the need for this competency on an emotional level – emotional complexity is the key competency for leaders of strategic change in complex situations.



Angst und Empathie

Im Rahmen des Symposiums "Der Patient als Mittel(Punkt)?" hält Frau Dr. Claudia Nagel einen Vortrag zu "Angst und Empathie - woher kommen sie und wie funktionieren sie psychologisch?" Die Veranstaltung beginnt um 9.00 Uhr, findet im Sheraton Hotel Offenbach/Büsingpalais statt und ist der Rahmen für den Abschied von Prof. Dr. Peter T. Ulrich, Chefarzt der Neurochirurgischen Klinik und Ambulanz am Sand Klinikum Offenbach. 


Ernennung zum Visiting Scholar an der VU Amsterdam

Im Januar 2017 wurde Dr. Claudia Nagel als Visiting Scholar an die Vrije Universität Amsterdam eingeladen. Gemeinsam mit dem Department Head für Organisationswissenschaften wird sie in ihrem Bereich Beavioral Strategy forschen.


Behavioral Strategy bei KnowledgeBrief, London

Auf Einladung von KnowledgeBrief stellte Dr. Claudia Nagel im August 2016 den Ansatz von Behavioral Strategy in London einer größeren Anzahl von interessierten Unternehmen und Unternehmern vor.