Leadership, Teams, and Social Robots@Work

This field of research is dedicated to new approaches to employee and team leadership. On the one hand, we investigate in this area how managers can support companies in concrete situations and, for example, contribute to increasing the customer orientation or innovative ability of companies. In addition, we also deal with constellations in which managers largely "take a back seat", i.e., enable their employees to "lead themselves" (empowering leadership). While traditional leadership concepts are often based on instructions, target agreements and control, new leadership concepts such as Empowering Leadership follow the idea that the guided employees control their own behavior. Within the framework of such leadership models, employees set their own goals and determine measures for achieving them. Such leadership brings with it a new and different understanding of the roles of manager and employee. The manager withdraws into the role of the coach and only intervenes when necessary. Thus, the guided person is increasingly the focus of attention and the manager has the task of increasing the self-leadership competence of the employees. The effectiveness of success is examined both in terms of individual success factors and the success of the company.

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Leadership & Management of Teams

Sample Research Questions

  • How can managers inspire employees to bring their own ideas into the company?
  • How can managers support companies in increasing the customer orientation of employees?
  • What opportunities and risks can be associated with more personal responsibility of employees, specifically with self-management?
  • How can empowering leadership be conceptualized and what leadership tasks does it involve?
  • What framework conditions must a manager create to support employees in their self-management?
  • What should employees bring with them to be able to lead themselves, i.e., largely uninfluenced by a manager?
  • Under what conditions is self-management by employees more effective and under what conditions less effective than conventional leadership by a superior?

Sample Publications

  • Stock, Ruth/Groß, Matthias/Xin, Katherine (2019), Will Self-Love Take a Fall? Effects of Top Executives’ Positive Self-regard on Firm Innovativeness, Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM), 36, 1, 41-65.
  • Lukoschek, Carmen/Gerlach, Gisela/Stock, Ruth/Xin, Katherine (2018), Leading to Sustainable Organizational Unit Performance: Antecedents and Outcomes of Executives' Dual Innovation Leadership, Journal of Business Research (JBR), 91, 266-276.
  • Stock, Ruth (2014), How Should Customers Be Integrated for Effective Interorganizational NPD Teams? An Input–Process–Output Perspective, Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM), 31, 3, 535-551.
  • Stock, Ruth/Totzauer, Florian/Zacharias, Nicolas (2014), A Closer Look at Cross-functional R&D Cooperation for Innovativeness: Innovation-oriented Leadership and Human Resource Practices as Driving Forces, Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM), 31, 5, 924-938.
  • Stock, Ruth/Özbek-Potthoff, Gülden (2014), Implicit Leadership in an Intercultural Context: Theory Extension and Empirical Investigation, International Journal of Human Resource Management (IJHRM), 25, 12, 1651-1668..
  • Stock, Ruth/Genisyürek, Nadine (2012), A Taxonomy of Expatriate Leaders’ Cross-cultural Uncertainty: Insights into the Leader–Employee Dyad, International Journal of Human Resource Management (IJHRM), 23, 15, 3258-3286.
  • Stock, Ruth (2006), Interorganizational Teams as Boundary Spanners between Supplier and Customer Companies, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (JAMS), 31, 4, 558-599.
  • Stock, Ruth/Hoyer, Wayne (2002), Leadership Style as Driver of Salespeople’s Customer Orientation, Journal of Market-Focused Management (JMFM), 5, 4, 353-374.

Social Robots@Work

Social robots as robots that are designed to primarily interact with humans have started entering our workplace to work alongside as capable members of human-robot teams. Already today, humans partner with robots in order to accomplish work tasks in a variety of areas, such as military teams, urban search and rescue teams, and space teams. People have a tendency to treat such robots that they work closely with as if they were living, social beings, and attribute to them emotions, intentions, and personalities. Robot designers have been leveraging this, developing social robots that interact with people naturally, using advanced human communication skills such as speech, gestures, and even eye gaze. Unlike the mechanical, factory robots of the past, these social robots become a unique member of our organizations and teams. Compared to conventional human-human teams, mixed human-robot teams (HRTs) consist of humans and robots as team members. According to a recent study from 2018, 82% of business leaders believe that human-robot teams (HRT) will be reality in about five years (Dell Technologies 2018).

Our research in this field is interdisciplinary in nature in that it integrates insights from psychology, marketing research, and research on human-robot interaction. We focus on the responsible design and application of robots. This includes the basic notion a human user-centric design and placement of social robots.

Sample Research Questions

  • Which roles can social robots take over in work teams?
  • How efficient are mixed HRTs compared to human-human teams?
  • How can companies implement mixed HRTs?

Sample Publications

  • Wolf, Franziska/Stock-Homburg, Ruth (2020), Human-Robot Teams: A review, The 12th International Conference on Social Robotics.
  • Schneider, Katharina/Stock, Ruth/Lichtenberg, Frank K. (2019), The Impact of Digitization on Vocational Education – Measuring the Efficacy of Social Robots in Employee Coaching, International Conference on Information Systems 2019, München, Germany.
  • Stock, Ruth/Merkle, Moritz/Eidens, Dietmar/Hannig, Martin/Heineck, Paul/Nguyen, Mai Anh/Völker, Johannes (2019), When Robots Enter Our Workplace: Understanding Employee Trust in Assistive Robots International Conference on Information Systems 2019, München, Germany.

This research area is financially supported by a number of projects: