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Dancing through the defense

Doctoral Student Lioba Gierke took the stage at her Disputation

Only a few weeks after the last Ph.D. defense, the Chair of Leadership celebrated another successful disputation on September 11th. In a presentation entitled "Essays on leadership as impacted by micro- and macro-factors" Lioba Gierke presented her research with flying colors.

In her work funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG; German Research Foundation), Lioba explored behavioral dynamics in manager-employee interactions during daily meetings. In addition to collecting data based on commonly used short pulse-check questionnaires to evaluate these meetings, she coded the interaction partners’ verbal and non-verbal behaviors actually occurring during the recorded meetings. This complex analytical approach allowed her to map and examine the development of interaction dynamics over time.

For example, in a paper together with her supervisor Fabiola Gerpottas well as the collaborators Jakob Stollberger and Lena Rofall, Lioba found support for the importance of peak joy expressionsat the beginning but not towards the end of a meeting, especially for female managers. In another paper, together with Fabiola Gerpott, Florian Klonek, and Niels Van Quaquebeke, she identified five patterns of who verbally took or granted leadership during a meeting. She labeled these five patterns by using the metaphor of five different dancing styles. Interestingly, the pattern “the Waltz” – in which one person claims a lot of leadership while the other one follows – is just one (and not the most effective) pattern of how manager-employee interactions can be characterized over the course of a meeting.

After the successful presentation and discussion of her findings, Lioba was celebrated by her colleagues, the Dissertation Committee, her family, and many friends.

Dear Lioba, the Chair of Leadership congratulates you on this achievement and wishes you all the best for your future – the stage is yours!

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