Implementation of Shared Leadership in Organizations and Sports Teams
KU Leuven Physical Activity, Sports & Health Research Group


The Department of Movement Sciences is looking for an enthusiastic, motivated doctoral candidate with special interest in leadership within sport teams.



Throughout history, leadership has been seen as an important determinant of team effectiveness. In the last decade, the traditional emphasis on vertical leadership (i.e., where the leader is positioned hierarchically above the team) has been questioned by the idea that leadership can be shared, such that leadership not only emanates from the formal leader, but also from team members. Unfortunately, to date, the evidence on how to translate these theoretical principles on shared leadership into practice is sparse.


In the present project, we aim to provide an answer on three important questions when implementing shared leadership: (1) Which leadership roles should be fulfilled in organizations and sports teams?; (2) How can we identify the best leaders within the team on each of these roles?; and (3) How can we further develop the leadership potential of the appointed leaders? To answer these questions, we will bring together our experience in the sports setting on the implementation of a shared leadership approach with the acquired knowledge in the organizational context on leadership development. Building upon the results, this PhD project aims to conduct several studies to further optimize and commercialize two existing products, namely (1) the Shared Leadership Mapping (i.e., to map the leadership structure in the team and identify the key leaders) and (2) the 5RS Shared Leadership Program (i.e., to further develop the leadership potential in the team).




  • You are fluent in Dutch and in English.
  • You obtained a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology or in a related discipline.
  • You achieved excellent results during your study program (at least with distinction).
  • You have a strong interest in the study of leadership within teams in both the organizational and the sports context.
  • You have the ability to motivate people to participate in your studies, and you have good organizational skills to plan and organize your studies.
  • You have experience and/or are very keen in the guidance and coaching of groups.
  • You have advanced skills in statistical techniques and analyses.
  • You are capable of taking initiative, working independently, and respecting deadlines.
  • You are a team player who takes up his/her responsibility.
  • You have excellent oral and written communication skills, both in Dutch and in English.



Job description


  • To perform scientific research in preparation of a PhD thesis (see project): organization of the studies, recruitment and follow-up of participants, statistical analysis of the data, writing scientific papers
  • To assist/guide Master thesis students within the research topic
  • To provide teaching assistance within the Department of Movement Sciences (around 40 hours/year)



We offer the PhD candidate a full-time employment for 2 years, with a possibility of an extra 2-year term. Successful completion of the PhD program will result in a doctoral degree in Biomedical Sciences. 


You will work in a stimulating and challenging environment with the opportunity to combine research with team coaching in the field.
Start date can be discussed (between May 2019 and October 2020). Also students in their last master year can apply.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Katrien Fransen, tel.: +32 16 37 64 45, mail: or Prof. dr. Filip Boen, tel.: +32 16 32 91 79, mail: 


In order to apply, you will have to upload a motivation letter and a CV (including your grades).


You can apply for this job no later than April 22, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy


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