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  • Human Ressource and Family Business Management

    Prof. Dr. Kai Bormann

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Universität Bielefeld

Human Ressource and Family Business Management

10 Jun 2022

Our paper "What Makes Nonfamily Employees Act as Good Stewards? Emotions and the Moderating Roles of Stewardship Culture and Gender Roles in Family Firms" is nominated for the Best Article Award 2022 of Family Business Review.


Prof. Bormann and his team offer courses in the fields of human resource management, organizational behavior and family business management at undergraduate, graduate, and PhD levels.

The objective is to allow students to develop the necessary analytical and theoretical know-how to understand the forces that determine attitudes, behaviors, and decisions of actors in organizations. As a deep comprehension of evidence-based knowledge is impossible without a sound statistical understanding, research methods and empirical student projects are part of most courses.

The teaching portfolio includes the following courses and seminars (which can be subject to change).

Bachelor Level


  • Grundlagen der Unternehmungsführung (31-M6 BWL I)
  • Praktische Übungen (31-M28) zu wechselnden Thematiken innerhalb der Bereiche HR und Family Business Management

Master Level

Seminars (31-MM18):

  • Führung von Familienunternehmen
  • Personalentwicklung: Lerntransfer in Unternehmen



Prof. Dr. Kai Bormann

Prof. Dr. Kai Bormann

Phone: +49 521 106 - 6879
Office: UHG V8-138

» Details

Luisa Liedtke

Luisa Liedtke

Research Assistant

Phone: +49 521 106-5100 (Secretariat)
Office: UHG V8-118

» Details

Nicole Schüler

Nicole Schüler


Phone: +49 521 106-5100
Fax: +49 521 106-15-5100
Office: U9 - 144/148 (über das Sekretariat) 
Office hours: (only by arrangement)

» Details


The research areas of Prof. Bormann and his team include leadership, work-health, behavioral ethics, emotions in the workplace and succession in family businesses.

Two ongoing research streams illustrate the chairs overarching approach:

(1) The second side of the coin of leadership styles

There is strong evidence on the beneficial outcomes of positive leadership styles just as there is mounting evidence on the detrimental outcomes of negative leadership. Still, ethical lapses at all organizational levels appear as prevalent as ever and destructive leadership remains a fixture in today’s business world. How can this be? One explanation could be that on top of the beneficial side of positive forms of leadership there is a concurrent second side of the coin where such leadership styles simultaneously entail (unintended) negative consequences. In a current study, we examine potential pro-organizational responses of victims of abuse, how they evolve and when they are particularly salient. In another study, we focus on the interplay between ethical leadership needed and received to understand potential diminishing returns of ethical leadership.

(2) The microfoundations of family firm phenomena

In family firm research as well as the management field in general, there is a growing consent that our understanding of management implications may be enriched through the investigation of the intra- and interpersonal microfoundations that underlie organizational level relationships. In our work, we adapt HR- and OB-related concepts and theories to explain reciprocal organization-, team-, and individual-level outcomes and relationships. In a current study, we develop and test a trickle-down model of abusive supervision in family- versus non-family firms. Interestingly, we find that the detrimental consequences of higher level abuse are weaker in family firms due to the increased fear of competitive threats that are present in such organizations. Consistent with the ‘two sides of a coin’ idea, a disadvantage (i.e., higher fear of threat) becomes the source of a distinct advantage (i.e., less harm caused by higher level abusive supervision). Similarly, an organization’s past and traditions may not necessarily impede efforts to master present organizational change. In an ongoing study, we introduce an individual-level measure of organizational history perceptions and show how imprints from the past may be instrumental for employees – especially those who rank high in nostalgia – to master daily change.



The iFUn - Institute for Family Businesses East Westphalia-Lippe at Bielefeld University - is an institute founded in 2014 as part of the endowed chair "Leadership of Family Businesses" to promote the transfer between science, teaching and regional business. This institution of the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics (and since the beginning of 2019 also of the Faculty of Law) thereby works across faculties and interdisciplinary.

For more information, please click here.



Please contact Nicole Schüler.


Chair address

Bielefeld University
Faculty of Faculty of Business Administration and Economics
Chair of Human Resource and Family Business Management
Postfach 10 01 31
33501 Bielefeld, Germany


Delivery address

Universität Bielefeld
Faculty of Faculty of Business Administration and Economics
Chair of Human Resource and Family Business Management
Universitätsstraße 25
D-33615 Bielefeld

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