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Attractive for the economy –
Which leadership competencies distinguish former soldiers?

The study at a glance

In our study, we research the leadership skills of reservists. We would like to survey reservists and their employees. You and your employees will each answer an online questionnaire (approx. 15 minutes). You can register for the study with one or more employees. The study is conducted in German.

Why this study?

After their service, many soldiers move into companies –
What leadership skills do they have?

In today’s digital world of work, you have to react quickly and think proactively in order to lead your company to its goal. Especially in challenging times, initiative and a willingness to take on responsibility are often crucial.1 Soldiers have already internalized these (leadership) competencies in the Bundeswehr through leadership principles such as mission-command2 and can also carry them into the business world after their service. In an online study, we would therefore like to research how the (leadership) competencies of reservists are perceived in the business world and how reservists can further promote important competencies in their companies.

In the study, you as a reservist and your employees will answer an online questionnaire (approx. 15 minutes). In total, we are aiming for a sample size of 200 dyads (consisting of a reservist and a employee). Reservists and employees will NOT be able to see each other's responses.

This study is conducted in German.

Notes on data protection: The protection of your data is an important concern for us at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. All data is treated confidentially. You can find detailed information here.

References for the facts mentioned in the text:
1 Parker, S. K., & Bindl, U. K. (Eds.). (2016). Proactivity at work: Making things happen in organizations. Taylor & Francis.
2 Bundeswehr Bereichsvorschrift Truppenführung C1-160/0-1001. Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (2017).

Who can participate?

Are you a reservist working as a business executive? –
We are looking for you!

We would like to draw on the experience of reservists at the interface between the Bundeswehr and business and specifically survey reservists who work have leadership responsibility business.

In addition, we would like to interview reservist’s employees. As such, we are looking for supervisor-employee teams to participate in the study. You can participate with one or more of your employees.

How does the study work?
Participation in just three simple steps

You register for the study together with your employee. You can register here.

Executive (reservist): After registering for the study, you will receive a link to an online questionnaire (approx. 15 minutes) by e-mail. Your employee(s) will not be able to view your responses.


Employee: After registering for the study, you will receive a link to an online questionnaire (approx. 15 minutes) by e-mail. Your supervisor will not be able to view your answers.

After completion of the study, all participants receive a brief summary of the study results by e-mail. Supervisors will also receive an invitation to a leadership workshop at WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management to discuss the results of the study. The results will not allow any conclusions to be drawn about individuals or teams.

What do I get out of it?

We appreciate your help –
The benefits of participation.
  1. Invitation to a Leadership Workshop at WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, the #1 business school in Germany. You will have the opportunity to discuss your experiences directly with us and receive new impulses on the topic of leadership.
  2. A compact summary of the study results and thus first-hand knowledge
  3. The pleasure of contributing to the exchange between business and the Bundeswehr

How to participate?

You would like to participate?
Sign up to receive all information!

In order for us to send you the links to the questionnaires, we need your e-mail address as well as the e-mail addresses of your employees with whom you would like to register for the study. You can register here. Alternatively, you are welcome to send an e-mail to louisa.bloedorn(at)whu.edu.

You would like to participate in the study, but you will have to convince your manager or an employee? In this flyer all information is summarized once again.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us any time!

Do you have any questions? Contact us!

The study is being conducted by Professor Dr. Miriam Müthel and Louisa Blödorn. Both have already worked closely with the Bundeswehr in the past. In March 2018, Professor Müthel was invited by Dr. Ursula von der Leyen as a speaker for the workshop "Trust, Leadership and Consequence". Furthermore, in 2018, Professor Müthel and Louisa Blödorn conducted a study on proactive behavior in cooperation with the Center of Inner Leadership of the Bundeswehr.

We also work closely with the Competence Center Reservist Affairs of the Bundeswehr.


Professor Miriam Müthel
Professor Miriam Müthel
Project lead WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Louisa Blödorn
Louisa Blödorn
Doctoral student WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
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