Faculty Profile

Irina Nikolova

Associate Professor - Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour


Irina Nikolova, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at BI Norwegian Business School. She holds a PhD in psychology from Open University of the Netherlands, and has been involved in research and teaching in the Netherlands, UK and Belgium. Her research focuses on organizational change, including digitalized workplaces and employee adaptation, leadership (e.g. engaging leadership, leader-member exchange), organizational climate (e.g. learning climate, job insecurity climate) and smart cities. Her work has been accepted for publication in journals such as Journal of Vocational Behavior, Human Relations, Work and Stress, European Management Journal and Journal of Personnel Psychology. She is a course responsible and lecturer in the master of science and bachelor programs at BI.


Nikolova, Irina; Caniëls, Marjolein & Curşeu, Petru Lucian (2021)

COVID-19 rumination scale (C-19RS): Initial psychometric evidence in a sample of Dutch employees

International Journal of Health Planning and Management Doi: 10.1002/hpm.3165

Nikolova, Irina; Caniëls, Marjolein, Schaufeli, Wilmar B. & Semeijn, Judith Hilde (2021)

Disengaging Leadership Scale (DLS): Evidence of Initial Validity

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) Doi: 10.3390/ijerph18062824 - Full text in research archive

Van den Brand, Wilfred; Stynen, Dave, Wognum, Ida & Nikolova, Irina (2021)

Bevorderen van innovatief werkgedrag door transformationeel leiderschap: de mediërende rol van psychologische veiligheid en teamleren

Gedrag & Organisatie

Van Hootegem, Anahi; Nikolova, Irina, Van Ruysseveldt, Joris, Van Dam, Karen & De Witte, Hans (2021)

Hit by a double whammy? Trajectories of perceived quantitative and qualitative job insecurity in relation to work-related learning aspects.

European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology Doi: 10.1080/1359432X.2021.1891890

Nikolova, Irina & De Jong, Jeroen (2020)

Keeping up with the pace of change: a recipient-centered perspective on change and its outcomes

Griep, Yannick & Hansen, Samantha D. (red.). Handbook on the Temporal Dynamics of Organizational Behavior

We discuss organizational change (OC) events from the recipient’s perspective, and stipulate that these events account for a range of different learning and well-being outcomes. We offer a typology of change derived from two facets of employee change experiences: frequency and impact. We propose that each change event can trigger different learning and stress-related outcomes, and offer a theoretical rationale explaining why we deem it likely that each change event will be associated with specific outcomes. We further theorize that time will play a significant role in how change affects employees, and suggest that the duration of the exposure to change (in addition to the change frequency and impact) will largely account for employee change experiences and change-related outcomes. In addition, we discuss how the sequence of occurrence of change events and the prior change experiences (i.e., the recipient’s evaluation of the prior change experience as rather positive or negative) may determine how current change events will be approached. We conclude the chapter by elaborating on the challenges that lie ahead, and propose avenues for future research based on the theoretical propositions made in this contribution. You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Curşeu, Petru Lucian; Semeijn, Judith Hilde & Nikolova, Irina (2020)

Career challenges in smart cities: A sociotechnical systems view on sustainable careers

Human Relations Doi: 10.1177/0018726720949925

Smart cities are a modern reality in an increasingly digitized and fast changing world; and, as multidimensional, multilayered and interconnected career ecosystems they bring a number of challenges for the development of sustainable careers. What are the systemic roots of these challenges, and how can we deal with them to support the emergence of sustainable careers? We draw on a sociotechnical approach, supplemented by a dynamic person–environment fit perspective, to describe two systemic challenges tied to the development of sustainable careers in smart cities, namely: (1) an unbalanced fit, in that the highly digitized context fits best with highly educated and information and communications technology (ICT) literate citizens working in knowledge intensive organizations; and (2) a volatility of fit, associated with the complex and fast-changing smart urban context. Based on the sociotechnical analysis, we put forth three suggestions for addressing these challenges and creating a sustainable career ecosystem focused on: (1) the continuous development of ICT literacy, knowledge, talents and skills; (2) citizen participation and career communities; and (3) network-centric organizing of sustainable careers that could alleviate some of the challenges associated with the parallel development of sustainable careers and smart cities.

Vanderstukken, Arne; Nikolova, Irina & Ramioul, Monique (2019)

Technical literacy, communication literacy and skill development in virtual teams: Validating a scale and finding facilitating conditions

Presses Universitaires de Namur.

Nikolova, Irina; Schaufeli, Wilmar B. & Notelaers, Guy (2019)

Engaging leader – Engaged employees? A cross-lagged study on employee engagement

European Management Journal Doi: 10.1016/j.emj.2019.02.004

Nikolova, Irina; Van Dam, Karen, Van Ruysseveldt, Joris & De Witte, Hans (2019)

Feeling Weary? Feeling Insecure? Are Workplace Changes all Bad News?

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) Doi: 10.3390/ijerph16101842www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph

Nikolova, Irina; Van der Heijden, Beatrice, Låstad, Lena & Notelaers, Guy (2018)

The ‘Silent Assassin’ in your organization: Can job insecurity climate erode the beneficial effects of a high-quality leader-member exchange?

Personnel Review Doi: 10.1108/PR-09-2017-0266

Doorn, Yvonne; Van Ruysseveldt, Joris, Van Dam, Karen & Nikolova, Irina (2016)

Understanding well‐being and learning of Nigerian nurses: a job demand control support model approach

Journal of Nursing Management

Nikolova, Irina; Van Ruysseveldt, Joris, Van Dam, Karen & De Witte, Hans (2016)

Learning climate and workplace learning: Does work restructuring make a difference?

Journal of Personnel Psychology

Nikolova, Irina; Van Ruysseveldt, Joris, De Witte, Hans & Van Dam, Karen (2014)

Learning Climate Scale: Construction, reliability and initial validity evidence

Journal of Vocational Behavior

Nikolova, Irina; Van Ruysseveldt, Joris, De Witte, Hans & Syroit, Jef (2014)

Work-based learning: Development and validation of a scale measuring the learning potential of the workplace (LPW)

Journal of Vocational Behavior

Van Dam, Karen; Nikolova, Irina & Van Ruysseveldt, Joris (2013)

Het belang van ‘leader-member exchange’ (LMX) en situationele doeloriëntatie als voorspellers van job crafting.

Gedrag & Organisatie

Nikolova, Irina; Van Ruysseveldt, Joris, De Witte, Hans & Syroit, Jef (2013)

Well-being in times of task restructuring: The buffering potential of workplace learning

Work & Stress

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2015 Open University of The Netherlands PhD
2011 Tilburg University MSc in Leadership and Psychology
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2020 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Associate Professor
2017 - 2020 Open University of The Netherlands, Faculty of Management Assistant Professor
2017 - 2017 KU Leuven, Faculty of Psychology & Educational Sciences Researcher
2016 - 2017 Norwich Business School Assistant Professor
2015 - 2015 Research Institute for Work and Society, KU Leuven Researcher & consultant