Prof. Naomi Ellemers, PhD

  • Professor of Social Psychology of Organisations

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 3706
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Instituut Psychologie, Sociale en Organisatiepsychologie
Office Address: Pieter de la Court gebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2A29
Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2727
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Instituut Psychologie, Sociale en Organisatiepsychologie
Office Address: Pieter de la Court gebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

Personal Homepage:​psychology/​organisation/​so/​staff/​ellemers.html

Naomi Ellemers studied at the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where she obtained her first degree in Social Psychology in 1987. She obtained her PhD from the same university in 1991, on a thesis entitled "Identity management strategies". From 1991 to 1998 she was employed as Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Psychology at the Free University of Amsterdam. As of 1999 she has been Full Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. Her research on group processes and intergroup relations addresses a range of topics including the effects of status differences between groups, diversity in teams and organizations, career development of women and minorities, and motivation and commitment in work teams.

Curriculum Vitae

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Research Interests

In my research on group processes and relations between groups, I examine the way people’s feelings, thoughts and actions are affected by the groups to which they belong. Whereas in many cases people work together in groups because they depend on each other to achieve desired outcomes, I am interested in the non-material reasons for people to think of themselves and behave in terms of group memberships. In line with Social Identity Theory I therefore address the circumstances that lead people to identify as members of social groups (instead of seeing themselves as separate individuals). I also examine how the degree of social identification affects the way they perceive and feel about themselves and others, and how they behave towards those who belong to the same group, or towards members of other groups. This approach helps me to understand a range of problems in social and organizational psychology. For instance, why people are motivated to work together in teams, how they will perform on different types of tasks, and when they are most likely to be creative and open to change.

Teaching and Consultation

I teach or have taught courses in Social and Organizational Psychology, Group Dynamics, Inter-group Relations, Gender and Diversity in Psychology, Cultural Differences, Psychology of Personnel and Organizations, Cognition and Emotion, and Psychological Research Methods, at BA, MA, and PhD levels. I have developed and teach professional workshops in career development for women in science, targeting PhD students, Assistant Professors and Associate Professors, that are informed by the results of my research. I also provide consultation and advice about human resource policies to a range of public and private organizations.

Awards and honours

  • NWO Spinoza award 2010, for outstanding, pioneering and inspiring scientific work.
  • KNAW Merian Award, 2010, for women in science
  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research, 2009 – the publication "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so: Informational support and cognitive appraisal of the work-family interface" was selected as one of the twenty best articles of 2009, from 2000 articles on work-family research examined.
  • Kurt Lewin Award, 2008, European Association of Social Psychology, for significant and sustained contributions to the science of social psychology
  • Honorary International Fellow, 2002, American Psychological Society  
  • Elected member, 1998, Society for Experimental Social Psychology (USA)  
  • Sanders Award, 1991, Psychology students, VU Amsterdam, for excellence in teaching 
  • Jaspars Award, 1990, European Association of Experimental Social Psychology, for early scientific achievement


Haslam, S. A., Van Knippenberg, D., Platow, M. J., & Ellemers, N. (2003). (Eds.) Social identity at work: Developing theory for organizational practice. New York: Psychology Press.

Ellemers, N., R. Spears, & B. Doosje (Eds.). (1999). Social Identity. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Spears, R., Oakes, P.J., Ellemers, N., & Haslam, S.A. (Eds.). (1997). The social psychology of stereotyping and group life. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Ellemers, N., & De Gilder, D. (2012). Je werkt anders dan je denkt. Business Contact (in Dutch)

Belle Derks, Daan Scheepers & Naomi Ellemers (Eds.). (2013) Neuroscience of Prejudice and Intergroup Relations. London, UK: Psychology Press.

Selected Publications


  • Ellemers, N., & Barreto, M. (2015). Modern discrimination: how perpetrators and targets interactively perpetuate social disadvantage. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 3, 142-146.
  • Ellemers, N. (2014). Women at work: How Organizational features impact career development. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol 1 nr 1, 46-54.
  • Ellemers, N., Pagliaro, S., & Barreto, M. (2013). Morality and behavioural regulation in groups: A social identity approach. European Review of Social Psychology 2014, 24, 160-193.
  • Ellemers, N., Sleebos, E., Stam, D. & De Gilder, D. (2013). Feeling Included and Valued: How Perceived Respect Affects Positive Team Identity and Willingness to Invest in the Team. British Journal of Management, 24, 21-37.
  • Ellemers, N., Van den Bos, K. (2012). Morality in Groups: On the Social-Regulatory Functions of Right and Wrong. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6/12, 878-889.
  • Ellemers, N. (2012). The Group Self. Science, 336, 848-852.
  • Ellemers, N., Rink, F.A., Derks, B. & Ryan, M.K. (2012). Women in high places: When and why promoting women into top positions can harm them individually or as a group (and how to prevent this). Research in Organizational Behavior, 32, 163-187.
  • Ellemers, N., & Haslam, S.A. (2012). Social Identity theory. In: P. van Lange, A. Kruglanski, & T. Higgins (Eds.). Handbook of theories of social psychology, (pp. 379-398). London: Sage.
  • Ellemers, N., & Rink, F. (2011). From current state to desired future: How compositional changes affect dissent and innovation in work groups. In: Jetten, J., & Hornsey, M.J. (Eds.): Rebel in groups: Dissent, deviance, difference en defiance (pp. 54-72). Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Ellemers, N., Kingma, L., Van de Burgt, J., & Barreto, M. (2010). Corporate Social Responsibility as a source of organizational morality, employee commitment and satisfaction. Journal of Organizational Moral Psychology, 1, 1-28.
  • Ellemers, N. (2010). Group boundaries. In: J.M. Levine, & M.A. Hogg (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (pp. 313-315). London: Sage.
  • Ellemers, N. (2010). Social Identity Theory. In: J.M. Levine, & M.A. Hogg (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (pp. 797-801) . London: Sage.
  • Ellemers, N., & Van Laar, C. (2010). Individual mobility: In: J.F. Dovidio, M. Hewstone, P. Glick, & V. Esses (Eds.). Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination (pp. 561-576). London: Sage.
  • Ellemers, N., Scheepers, D., & Popa, A.M. (2010). Something to gain or something to lose? Affirmative action and regulatory focus emotions. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 13 (2), 201-213.
  • Ellemers, N., & Barreto, M. (2009). Collective Action in Modern Times: How Modern Expressions of Prejudice Prevent Collective Action. Journal of Social issues, 65, 4, 749-768.
  • Ellemers, N., & Boezeman, E. (2009). Empowering the volunteer organization: What volunteer organizations can do to attract, motivate and retain volunteer workers. In: Sturmer, S., & Snyder, M. (Eds.). Psychology of helping: new directions in intergroup prosocial behavior (pp. 245-266). Oxford:  Blackwell.
  • Ellemers, N. & Barreto, M. (2008). Maintaining the Illusion of Meritocracy: How Men and Women Interactively Sustain Gender Inequality at Work. In Stephanie Demoulin, Jacques-Philippe Leyens, & John F. Dovidio (Eds.), Intergroup Misunderstandings. Impact of Divergent Social Realities (pp. 191-208). Psychology Press.
  • Ellemers, N., Pagliaro, S., Barreto, M., & Leach, C.W. (2008). Is it better to be moral than smart? The effects of morality and competence norms on the decision to work at group status improvement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1397-1410.
  • Ellemers, N., De Gilder, D., & Haslam, S.A. (2004). Motivating individuals and groups at work: A social identity perspective on leadership and group performance. Academy of Management Review, 29, 459-478.
  • Ellemers, N., Spears, R., & Doosje, B. (2002). Self and social identity. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 161-186.
  • Ellemers, N., Spears, R., & Doosje, B. (Eds.). (1999). Social identity: Context, commitment, content. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN: 0-631-20690-6 95 citations
  • Ellemers, N., Kortekaas, P., & Ouwerkerk, J. (1999). Self-categorization, commitment to the group and social self-esteem as related but distinct aspects of social identity. European Journal of Social Psychology, 29, 371-389.
  • Ellemers, N., De Gilder, D., & Van den Heuvel, H. (1998). Career-oriented versus team-oriented commitment and behavior at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 717-730.
  • Ellemers, N., Spears, R., & Doosje, B. (1997). Sticking together or falling apart: Group identification as a psychological determinant of group commitment versus individual mobility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 123-140.
  • Ellemers, N. (1993) The influence of socio-structural variables on identity enhancement strategies. European Review of Social Psychology, 4, 27-57.

PhD supervision

  1. Manuela Barreto, 2000, VU Amsterdam, Identity and strategy in pro-group behavior
  2. Jaap Ouwerkerk, 2000, VU Amsterdam, Comparison based reactions to group performance outcomes
  3. Esther van Leeuwen, 2001, Leiden University, Preserving identity when groups combine
  4. Wendy van Rijswijk, 2001, VU Amsterdam Context and perceiver factors in the stereotyping of multiple category group
  5. Ed Sleebos, 2005, Leiden University, Consequences of perceived intra-group respect
  6. Floor Rink, 2005, Leiden University cum laude; APA dissertation award; ASPO dissertation award, Diversity and small group decision making
  7. Tomas Stahl, 2006, Leiden University, Determinants of fairness versus favorability based reactions to decisions
  8. Belle Derks, 2007, Leiden University APA dissertation award, Social identity threat and performance motivation
  9. Elianne van Steenbergen, 2007, Leiden University Conflict and facilitation in work-family roles
  10. Sezgin Cihangir, 2008, Leiden University The dark side of subtle discrimination
  11. Krispijn Faddegon, 2009, Leiden University Regulatory focus in group contexts
  12. Edwin Boezeman, 2009, Leiden University Managing the volunteer organization: Strategies to recruit, content, and retain volunteers.
  13. Katherine Stroebe, 2009, Leiden University Is this about me? Responding to subtle discrimination – beyond an individual versus group perspective
  14. Bart Terwel, 2009, Leiden University, Origins and consequences of public trust: Toward an understanding of public acceptance of carbon dioxide capture and storage
  15. Emma ter Mors, 2009, Leiden University, Dealing with information about complex issues: The role of stakeholder identity
  16. Dennis Bleeker, 2010, Leiden University, Representing or defecting? The pursuit of individual upward mobility in low status groups. 

Social & Organisational Psychology unit

For more information, please visit the Social and Organisational Psychology unit's website

Last Modified: 05-05-2015