Faculty Profile

Suzanne van Gils

Lecturer - Department of Communication and Culture


Suzanne van Gils, PhD, is a lecturer in management communication and ethics. Her research interests focus on (im)moral behavior in organizations, identity processes, and leader-employee interactions. Recent projects focus among others on the use of respect as a way for managers to engage employees. Moreover, Suzanne serves as co-promotor on the PhD project of M. Untung Manara on corruption at Maastricht University.

Suzanne's teaching focuses on communication for leadership, ethics, and business communication in general

Before joining BI in 2019, Suzanne has worked as an assistant professor at Maastricht University, and as a post-doctoral research fellow at Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Suzanne's work has been published in journals such as Human Relations, Leadership Quarterly, and Journal of Business ethics. An overview of recent publications can be found on Suzanne's Researchgate profile or on Google scholar.


Árnadóttir, Augusta; Kok, Gerjo, van Gils, Suzanne & Ten Hoor, Gill (2019)

Waste separation: a study among university students in the Netherlands.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(1), s. 93- 103. Doi: 10.3390/ijerph16010093 - Full text in research archive

Recycling waste is important to reduce the production of greenhouse gasses. The aim of this project was to understand determinants of cafeteria waste separation behavior among university students. First, the determinants of waste separation behavior among university students (n = 121) were explored using an online questionnaire. In study 2 (pre-/post-test design), the effect of a small intervention (based on study 1) on actual waste sorting behavior was observed. Finally, a semi-qualitative study in 59 students was conducted as process evaluation of the intervention. The following results were revealed: (1) Students have limited knowledge about waste separation, have a high intention to separate waste, are positive about waste separation in general, and believe that they can separate waste correctly. (2) Just over half of the waste is correctly recycled. An intervention with extra information had no significant effect on improving recycling behavior. (3) Students evaluated the intervention positively. Some students suggested that more information should be available where the actual decision making takes place. Ultimately, this paper concludes that although students have a positive attitude and are willing to behave pro-environmentally, there is a gap between intention and actual behavior. These results may also apply to other organizations and members of those organizations. New interventions are needed to trigger students to make correct waste separation decisions where the actual decision making takes place

van Gils, Suzanne & Horton, Kate (2019)

How can ethical brands respond to service failures? Understanding how moral identity motivates compensation preferences through self-consistency and social approval

Journal of Business Research, 95, s. 455- 463. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.07.042

We examine how the two dimensions of moral identity - internalization and symbolization - impact on customers' relationships with ethical brands, as well as their satisfaction with different types of (private versus public) compensation and apologies following service failures. We propose and find in a field study of customers of a green social enterprise (N = 159) and in an online scenario study (N = 214) that high moral identity internalization is associated with higher satisfaction with private apologies, but not with public apologies and compensation, while high moral identity symbolization is associated with higher satisfaction with public compensation and apologies, but not with private apologies and compensation. Study 2 extends these findings by confirming that self-consistency mediates the relationships between moral identity internalization and private apologies and compensation, while social approval mediates the relationships between moral identity symbolization and public apologies and compensation. Unexpectedly self-consistency also mediated the effect of symbolization on public compensation. Implications of these findings are discussed.

van Gils, Suzanne; Van Quaquebeke, Niels, Borkowski, Jan & van Knippenberg, Daan (2018)

Respectful leadership: Reducing performance challenges posed by leader role incongruence and gender dissimilarity

Human Relations, 71(12), s. 1590- 1610. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726718754992

van Gils, Suzanne; Hogg, Michael, Van Quaquebeke, Niels & van Knippenberg, Daan (2017)

When organizational identification elicits moral decision making: A matter of the right climate.

Journal of Business Ethics, 142, s. 155- 168. Doi: doi: 10.1007/s10551-015-2784-0

Glaeser, Daniel; van Gils, Suzanne & Van Quaquebeke, Niels (2017)

Pay-for-Performance and Interpersonal Deviance: Competitiveness as the Match That Lights the Fire

Journal of Personnel Psychology, 16, s. 78- 91. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1027/1866-5888/a000181

Righetti, Francesca; Luchies, Laura, van Gils, Suzanne, Slotter, Erica, Witcher, Betty & Kumashiro, Madoka (2015)

The Prosocial Versus Proself Power Holder

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(6) Doi: doi.org/10.1177/0146167215579054

Giessner, Steffen R.; Van Quaquebeke, Niels, van Gils, Suzanne, van Knippenberg, Daan & Kollee, Janine (2015)

In the moral eye of the beholder: The interactive effects of leader and follower moral identity on ethical leadership and leader-member exchange

Frontiers in Psychology, 6 Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01126

van Gils, Suzanne; Van Quaquebeke, Niels, van Knippenberg, Daan, van Dijke, Marius & De Cremer, David (2015)

Ethical leadership and follower organizational deviance: The moderating role of follower moral attentiveness

Leadership Quarterly, 26(2), s. 190- 203. Doi: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2014.08.005

van Gils, Suzanne; Van Quaquebeke, Niels & van Knippenberg, Daan (2010)

The X-Factor: On the Relevance of Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories for Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Agreement.

European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 19, s. 333- 363. Doi: 10.1080/13594320902978458

van Gils, Suzanne & Buhmann, Alexander (2019)

Leadership communication can improve work: The effects of ethical value communica-tion on meaningful work, employee identification, and levels of stress

[Academic lecture]. EUPRERA Annual Congress.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2012 Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University PhD
2007 Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam Master of Science
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2013 - 2018 Maastricht University Assistant professor
2012 - 2013 Kühne Logistics University Post-doctoral research fellow