Leading People for Growth and Well-Being

Presentation of research group

Leading People for Growth and Well-Being is one of Hanken's Areas of Strength. This area was evaluated as category A (research of the highest international standard) by an international external evaluation panel in 2018. The researchers of this area focus on people management and entrepreneurship, and have a shared interest in well-being at work as a route to better performance on the individual, team, and organizational level. The core competencies of the group are related to how leadership and human resource (HR) practices affect different forms of well-being, and how well-being in turn affects the performance of employees and entrepreneurs. In particular, the members of the group focus on psychological well-being (e.g. stress, engagement, and passion) and social well-being (e.g. good relationships and an inclusive work climate) as mechanisms to better performance and growth.


Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Employee well-being, attitudes, stress and (employee/organizational) performance

  • High-performance work practices and effects on well-being

  • Leadership, leadership development and well-being

  • Talent management and employee reactions

  • Financial benefits of employee well-being

  • Creating meaningful careers and work practices

  • Passion and compassion

  • Identification, social categories (gender, ethnicity) and processes of inclusion/exclusion

  • Workplace bullying, harassment, and discrimination


Faculty members doing research on well-being


Denise Salin, Professor, Head of Subject (Management and Organization)

Denise's work centers mostly around the dark side of organizational behaviour. Her research interests include antecedents and outcomes of workplace bullying, organizational (in)justice, and mistreatment. She has also done work on gender and leadership and bullying as a gendered phenomenon. Ongoing research also centers around how high performance work practices affect employee well-being and social relationships.

Denise is currently responsible for the Academy of Finland projects: "Preventing Workplace Bullying and Mitigating its Consequences: The Role of Human Resource Practices". The project examines the role of different HR practices and their relationship to bullying and its prevention. Her former Academy of Finland-project "Global Perspectives on Workplace bullying: Implications for Human Resource Management" involved, among other things, leading a 14-country project exploring HR managers’ perceptions of what bullying is and how it can be prevented.


Joakim Wincent, Professor, Head of Subject (Entrepreneurship)

Joakim Wincent is a Professor in Entrepreneurship and Management. His current research focus largely on  entrepreneurs and innovation processes in new and existing organizations. Joakim is interested in the psychological challenges of entrepreneurs and how to improve their individual conditions, but also the general challenges with developing high potential and highly innovative start-ups. He is identifying factors that promote entrepreneurship in new and existing organizations and future challenges for companies that aim to be innovation leaders during the next ten-year period. Methodological interest in research is directed to develop new measurements such as calculations of the amount and value of entrepreneurial opportunities in different sectors and industries. In addition, Joakim has conducted highly cited research on entrepreneurial work passion and entrepreneurial work stressors.

Joakim leads and participates in several multidisciplinary research projects with international basis and international participants. His research  (150+ peer-review journal papers) is published in leading management journals such as Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies and Organizational Research Methods, but also in leading entrepreneurship journals such as Journal of Business Venturing and Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice.


Mats Ehrnrooth, Professor

Mats' research focuses on HRM (Human Resource Management), leadership and organizational behavior. He has worked extensively in the broad area of international management with a focus on international HRM. However, Mats' primary area of interest and expertise remains in HRM theory and organizational behavior, where a big part of his work-in-progress also lies. An important part of this research focuses on work-related stress and employee well-being. In addition, but very much related to this, recently Mats has increasingly delved into the area of the joint and unique importance of leadership and HRM for various employee-level outcomes such as stress, exhaustion, engagement, feelings of strength and relatedness. He also works on both cross-cultural and indigenous research with a specific focus on Russia.

Mats has recently been Principal investigator of the Hanken-based research part of a consortium project (together with Aalto Business School and Vaasa University) financed by the Academy of Finland: Influence without authority: Examining the agency and actions of Human Resource professionals. He is also very much engaged with the research-output phase of a project financed by the Wallenberg foundation: Beyond single explanations in management studies. Mats is also involved in several collaborative projects with partner organizations on the topic of people analytics, an exciting new area where practitioner interests and academic interests truly can meet.


Jennie Sumelius, Associate professor

Jennie’s research interests lie in the fields of International Management and Human Resource Management with a specific focus on people issues in multinational corporations (IHRM). Her current work includes a focus on employee perceptions of talent management, dual organizational identification, and the role, influence, and authority of the HR function. Jennie currently leads a large-scale Academy of Finland funded research projects on the digitalization of people management, more specifically how HRM is influenced by technological developments that change the nature of white collar work. Jennie is also affiliated with the Stockholm School of Economics and has held visiting positions at Uppsala University, University of Melbourne and University of New South Wales.


Violetta Khoreva, Assistant Professor

Since 2013, Violetta acts as an Assistant Professor in Management and Organization at Hanken. Her principal research interests lie in the fields of international human resource management and organizational behavior. Her research has been published in journals such as Corporate Governance: An International Review, Career Development International, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Personnel Review, Employee Relations and others.

At the moment Violetta examines the role of talent management in light of the gig economy; the trade-offs between HPWS, employee well-being and performance; and the role HR in the digitized economy. She works closely with her colleagues from California Lutheran University, Munster University and the UNSW Business School. She also holds a Business Development Manager position at Hanken & SSE Executive Education.


Juhana Peltonen, Assistant Professor

Juhana investigates the broad question of “where do growing companies come from” by using large-scale datasets to peel into the person-level phenomena and their firm-level outcomes. His research interests include for example the impact of transitions in and out of self-employment on the risk of divorce, the relationship of organizational diversity on firm-level outcomes like innovation, and the effects of job market distress on the later probability of becoming an entrepreneur. His methodological toolbox includes a broad range of econometric approaches for causal inference and machine learning for prediction. Juhana has a background in software engineering and management consulting


Katja Einola, Postdoc fellow

Katja’s research interests are closely related to her previous career in international program, project and resource management in a multinational company. Presently, she studies drivers for team success and participant satisfaction in expert organizations, as well as team dynamics and leadership from a relational perspective. How and why do teams become (or not) a team and how and why do leader-follower relations unfold the way they do?

Her other interests are related to research methodology, philosophy and higher education. She holds a research stipend from Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser (Sweden). Katja has held a visiting position at Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology and is currently affiliated with Lund University.


Sofia John, Affiliated Researcher

Sofia's research interests are in the field of international human resource management and international business. Her work takes a micro-level perspective as she is particularly interested in the experiences and perceptions of the individual. Sofia's most recent research has touched on issues relating to diversity, organizational identification, and performance appraisals in the MNC context


Catarina Ahlvik, Affiliated Researcher

Catarina’s research falls within the frames of positive organizational scholarship and human sustainability in organizations. Within this, her primary focus is on mindfulness and compassion in the workplace. Mindfulness and compassion has received extensive attention during the past years in the fields of psychology, medicine and neuroscience and research has found numerous beneficial outcomes at the individual level. Catarina draws on this research and explores the effects of these practices on team and organizational level outcomes in an organizational context.


Doctoral students

Nana Appia-Dwomoh

Nana started her PhD studies at Hanken in August 2019. Her background is in Human Resource Management and Management and Organisation. She is interested in how worker values, motives and individual differences impact on HRM practices and subsequently influence employee well being and performance. 


Natalia Fey

Natalia’s primary area of the research is at the intersection of organizational behaviour and international human resource management. Her PhD work focuses on multicultural leadership development in multinational organizations in different cultural contexts. More precisely, she studies the developmental processes and the developmental trajectories of multicultural leaders in organizations in an increasingly global VUCA-business environment.

Natalia is fascinated by the potential of coaching in organizations, and she studies the role of coaching and other developmental methods in enhancing multicultural leadership capacities in modern organizations. She is aiming to contextualize coaching and other developmental methods for particular developmental trajectories of multicultural leaders. She is applying mixed methods and reflexive methodology in her work.


Mikaela Krohn

Mikaela is interested in how new media in internal communication affects followership. She is focusing on top management videoblogging from an employee perspective. More specifically how the employees in large organizations receive "leadership" through this new internal communications medium.

Stefan Santokhie

Stefan has a background in applied psychology and started his doctoral studies at Hanken in 2019. He is interested in how high performance work practices and goal setting affect employee well-being.


Inkeri Tanhua

Inkeri’s research focuses on occupational gender segregation in Finland. Inkeri’s study analyses how students’ interest in different subjects has developed, and how this nuances what we know about the causes of occupational gender segregation. In addition to gender, the analysis focuses on the role that language skills and migration background play in occupational choices. This double focus on both gender and migration background further nuances the theory creation on the causes of occupational gender segregation. Before starting her PhD, Inkeri worked as a Gender Equality and Diversity Specialist and thus has extensive experience of practical equality work in organizations.