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Honorary doctorate for leadership expert Manfred Kets de Vries

30 August 2022
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam awards an honorary doctorate to psychoanalyst and economist Manfred Kets de Vries. Kets de Vries will receive the honorary doctorate for his pioneering scientific insights in the field of leadership. The honorary doctorate will be awarded during the opening of the academic year on 5 September.

Manfred Kets de Vries, Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change at the international, prestigious management institute INSEAD near Paris, became well known for his research into leadership styles. Kets de Vries developed a unique view on the role of leadership from an economic, management and psychoanalytic perspective and is internationally regarded as the most acclaimed Dutch management thinker. “We are particularly inspired by the fact that Manfred Kets de Vries defines leadership as an endogenous quality. In doing so, he places the responsibility for the growth of personal leadership in the hands of the individual. He has helped generations of leaders live up to that responsibility, improving the way organizations serve society and humanity,” said Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Gregor Halff.

Kets de Vries developed his interest in leadership at a young age. During the Second World War, his grandparents took thirteen people in hiding into their home. After the war, much was said about this difficult period and the images of the war made a heavy impression on him. Young Manfred began to wonder why people do this to each other. His investigative attitude grew into groundbreaking scientific research. He has since coached countless leaders worldwide and has written several books on leadership, including Leaders, Fools and Impostors and Sex & Money, Happiness and Death.

Amsterdam Leadership Lab
At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam there are several prominent education and research programs in the field of leadership. For example, the multidisciplinary Amsterdam Leadership Lab was established to collect scientific knowledge about the dynamic process of leadership and management in teams and organizations. Among other things, the Amsterdam Leadership Lab looks at the social, personal and evolutionary roots of leadership to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics between leaders and followers and to apply those insights in practice, for example in the form of leadership tests. Meet the experts within the Amsterdam Leadership Lab here.

Honorary supervisors are Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, Work and Organizational Psychology Mark van Vugt, Professor of Organizational Behavior Svetlana Khapova and Associate Professor of Organization & Processes of Organizing in Society Sierk Ybema.

Opening Academic Year
Are you interested in attending the presentation of the honorary doctorate during the opening of the academic year at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam? Then you can register here.