Applied Neuroleadership Models in Project and Change Management

A Toolbox for Project Managers

Master's Thesis, 2017

172 Pages, Grade: 1,3



List of Abbreviations

List of Figures

List of Tables

1 Introduction

2 Introduction of Neuroleadership
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Neuroscience
2.3 Definition of Neuroleadership
2.4 The Human Brain in context with Neuroleadership
2.5 Relevant Insights

3 Neuroleadership Approaches
3.1 Introduction
3.2 David Rock´s SCARF Model
3.3 Neuroleadership According to Elger
3.4 ACTIVE Model According to Peters & Ghadiri
3.5 Hüther´s Supportive Leadership
3.6 Seven Patterns of Success by Purps-Pardigol
3.7 Evaluation of the Neuroleadership Approaches

4 Project and Change Management
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Project Management
4.3 Agile Project Management
4.4 Change Management

5 Toolbox for Project Manager
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Tool 1 – Affect Balance
5.3 Tool 2 – Laughter Yoga
5.4 Tool 3 – SCARF Model
5.5 Tool 4 – Mindfulness Interventions
5.6 Tool 5 – Praise Cards
5.7 Tool 6 – Storytelling
5.8 Implementation of the Toolbox within Scrum

6 Research Design
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Key Questions
6.3 Empirical Social Research
6.4 Specification of the Interview Method
6.5 Data Analysis

7 Evaluation of the Expert Interviews
7.1 Experts’ Experience in Change Processes
7.2 Success Factors in Change Projects
7.3 Evaluation of the Neuroleadership Toolbox
7.4 Success Factors of Tool Implementation
7.5 Evaluation of the Tool Compatibility within Scrum

8 Conclusion and Outlook

List of Literature

List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

List of Figures

Figure 1: Three-layer Model of the Brain

Figure 2: The Limbic System

Figure 3: Mutual Influence of the Basic Needs

Figure 4: Example of a Consistency Profile

Figure 5: Scrum Flow

Figure 6: Implementation of the Toolbox within Scrum Flow

List of Tables

Table 1: Disciplines of Neuroscience

Table 2: Tasks and Responsibilities of the different Brain Regions

Table 3: The Seven Base Principle of Neuroleadership

Table 4: Influence of the PERFECT Scheme on the Basic Needs

Table 5: Summary of the Neuroleadership Approaches

Table 6: Classical Project Manager Roles in Scrum

Table 7: Summary of the Neuroleadership Toolbox

Table 8: Qualifications and Experiences of the Interviewed Experts

Table 9: Conduct of Interviews

Table 10: Quality Criteria of Empirical Research

Table 11: Classification of the Experts’ Experience in Change Project

Table 12: Success Factors in Change Processes

Table 13: Suitability and Implementation Effort of the SCARF Model

Table 14: Suitability and Implementation Effort of the Affect Balance

Table 15: Suitability and Implementation Effort of Laughter Yoga

Table 16: Suitability and Implementation Effort of Mindfulness Interventions

Table 17: Suitability and Implementation Effort of Praise Cards

Table 18: Suitability and Implementation Effort of Storytelling

Table 19: Comparison of Tools

Table 20: Cluster and Frequency of Success Factors of Tool Implementation

1 Introduction

„The only thing that is constant is change…“.[1] Corporations are constantly forced to make permanent changes due to dynamic transformations in the political, technological, social, economic and ecological environment. The sequence of disruptive developments on world markets are decreasing in length.[2] In addition, the uncertainty caused by the ongoing global financial and economic crisis and the political instability intensifies the situation.[3] The ability to adapt and implement changes quickly, flexible and sustainably will be main competence, to secure the survival of companies on a long-term basis. Moreover, the most organizations have accepted that they need to manage changes. Therefore, it does not matter if it is strategic initiative, e.g. acquisition of a company, implementation of a new technology, or the implementation of a new office-software version for the whole company.

In order to control and accompany the process of change, special management techniques are required, which are summarized under the term change management.[4] Thereby, the focus should be on the employee, without them change is not possible. In practice, the accompaniment of changes is often handled wrong and the individuals needs and interests of the employees are not taken into consideration. This is also confirmed by studies, because between sixty and seventy percent of all change projects fail in companies.[5] The applied change management approaches, models and theories are numerous, diverse and matured, but only one third of change projects are successful.[6] Most of these approaches date back to the 90’s or far earlier. Therefore, the question arises, whether these approaches are up-to-date in comparison with the latest scientific findings. Furthermore, the assumption arises that the ability of managers to put the approaches into practice are poor. In this context, it was neglected to strengthen the managers’ ability to lead changes in the past.

This dilemma can be countered by neuroscience or neuroleadership. The neurosciences, with their findings, are applied wherever it is necessary to better understand themselves and other people. The findings of the neurosciences have led to a substantial understanding of human brain’s functioning in the last twenty years.[7] Leaders, who know how the brain works and are aware of the neurobiological basic needs of their employees, thus can better accompany their teams during changes or projects. The theoretical part is only one component of a successful change. The other component is the application of the right tools to manage profound changes and the human factor. To counteract this lack of application, a toolbox has composed to support the project managers to effectively implement the change and thus, manages the project team more brain-friendly.

The present scientific work examines the existing neuroleadership approaches to a possible applicability from a business perspective. Therefore, the objective of this thesis is to determine whether the developed toolbox, based on the neuroscientific findings, can help the project managers to deliver a sustainable change, while considering the basic human needs. Subsequently, options for actions for a successful introduction of the tools are to be derived, which can be considered in practice.

At the beginning of this thesis, the theoretical contexts between neuroscience and neuroleadership are explained in chapter two. Followed by an overview of the functioning of the human brain in the context of neuroleadership and the most important findings of brain science in relation to change processes are analysed. The different concepts of neuroleadership are presented and compared in chapter three. In the following chapter, the terms project and change management are defined, and take a closer look at the widely used agile project management method Scrum. Chapter five the toolbox for project managers and the individual tools with their effects on the human body and brain are outlined. Subsequently, the research design, the process of the expert interviews together with the procedure of the evaluation of the obtained data material will be presented. Furthermore, in chapter six, one’s own approach is critically reflected. In the seventh chapter, the results obtained from the interviews are discussed. In addition, practical implications are presented. The thesis ends with an outlook.

2 Introduction of Neuroleadership

2.1 Introduction

In order to define the term neuroleadership and to assign to a scientific discipline, the fundamental understanding of Neuroscience and neuroeconomics must be taken into consideration together. For this, the neuroeconomics is illustrated in a narrower as well as broader sense and in the following determined, how an exact classification of neuroleadership into business administration can be made. In addition, the term neuroleadership is discussed and the most important brain structures and relevant findings regarding change and leadership are presented.

2.2 Neuroscience

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system and includes the structure, functions as well as activities of the nervous system. The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and nerves of the body.[8] Furthermore, neuroscience has not an explicit direction or research question and, thus, different research groups build the basis of the studies.[9] The basic research focuses on central questions like “How do we learn?”, “What is awareness?” or “How do we make decisions?”. Defining a common objective is very difficult: “The goal of neuroscience is to understand how nervous systems function.” [10] Squire, L. R., et al., state: “… neuroscience… analyse the nervous system to understand the biological basis of behaviour.” [11] Therefore, neuroscience is an interdisciplinary and broad science.[12] The importance of this scientific study is also evident, because of the fifty thousand researcher in that field and around one hundred thousand new articles are published every year.[13] In addition, neuroscience is currently one of the most demanded areas of science.[14] Despite the variety of researcher and new findings, it is only a tiny fraction of the brain decoded due to the complexity of the human brain.[15] In recent years, various findings about the structure and function of the brain contributed by the brain research made room for fields of research. These numerous disciplines are summarized under the term “neuroscience”. Table 1 shows the different disciplines of neuroscience.

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Table 1: Disciplines of Neuroscience

Source: Adapted from Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 24.

A further differentiation between the individual disciplines is not necessary for the analyses of this thesis. According to Rock, the field of social, cognitive and affective neuroscience provides fundamental insights of the human brain, which can be used in everyday life when people collaborate together.[16] Social neuroscience is the interdisciplinary field, which explores neural, hormonal, cellular and genetic mechanisms and it helps to study the human behaviour and biology.[17] Simplified, the social neuroscientists analyse the human interaction, they define how humans relate to each other and to themselves on a biological foundation. Cognitive neuroscience addresses the understanding of neural mechanisms which are responsible for mental processes.[18] Cognitive neuroscience combines psychology and neuroscience, overlapping with the disciplines physiological psychology, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. In detail, modern cognitive neuroscience combines the classical cognitive psychology, which deals with (self-) awareness, memory and the mind, including other general topics of psychology such as motivation and emotion.[19] Meanwhile, such general fields of psychology are subject of the neuroscientific research. One example is the affective neuroscience, the study of neural mechanisms of emotion.[20] This field deals with questions like “What influence have emotions on memory”, “How do humans control emotions?” or “Can memory be influenced through meditation?”.

2.3 Definition of Neuroleadership

In 2006, David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz published the article “The Neuroscience of Leadership”, in which they defined the term “neuroleadership”, in the USA”.[21] In their view, neuroscientific knowledge might be helpful to convey new perspectives and ways of thinking to leaders. Therefore, leaders should obtain a better understanding of their employees’ behaviour and thereby implement and optimize change processes by using the latest neuroscientific findings.[22] Elger interprets: “Neuroleadership is the link between neuroscientific knowledge and the field of leadership with the objective to lead employees’ more brain friendly and achieve better results.” [23] “Neuroleadership in its simplest form is the application of methods and knowledge from neuroscience and how we understand the human brain works in given business contexts.” [24] Simplified, leaders can understand how their employees are acting, reacting and interacting in business context. The combination of the leaders gained and applied knowledge by using suitable tools and techniques can provide a brain friendly environment, where employees are mindful among each other, get invited to be creative or looking forward to work in this team. Neuroleadership is described as an interdisciplinary field of research, due to the link between the neurobiological view and the economic perspective.[25] According to Rock and Ringleb, cognitive neuroscience, integrative neuroscience, neurobiology, neurophysiology, social cognitive and affective neuroscience have the most influential effects on neuroleadership.[26] The research objective of this field is to enhance leadership effectiveness while taking into consideration the physiology of the mind and the brain.[27]

With regard to organizational leadership, the neuroscientific findings are relevant and demonstrate that many leaders have a false assessment of human behaviour in a working environment.[28] Managers who are interested in neuroscience and neuroleadership have the opportunity to use this experience to guide their employees.[29] The field of neuroleadership is a young dynamic research area and, therefore, it is not a closed theory.[30] Neuroscience has the chance to change the perspective on human thinking and acting.[31]

2.4 The Human Brain in context with Neuroleadership

2.4.1 The Brain Structure

This sub-chapter focuses on the human brain, which is the centre of the observation, and its structure. The brain processes the incoming information and is responsible for the sensory perceptions of the world. Furthermore, the brain stores information and is the place, where mental performance take place and consciousness is influenced.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Three-layer Model of the Brain

Source: Adapted from Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership 2012, p. 22.

Nowadays, the coarse anatomy and about sixty percent of the fine structure of the brain are largely known. Nevertheless, only one third of the processes are understood, which means that it is difficult to understand how the brain works in detail.[32] Furthermore, there exists no general and clear allocation of the individual elements of the brain segments, because the various areas merge, overlap and cannot be allocated clearly to certain functions.[33] Another indicator of complexity is the fact that scientists are not able to cure diseases like depression, schizophrenia or Morbus Parkinson. In conclusion, the brain is a complex organ but the three-layer model of MacLean helps to reduce this complexity (cf. Figure 1). MacLean differentiates between the following layers:[34]

- The brain stem
· The limbic system
· The cerebral cortex

These three areas and their processes are going to be explained in detail in the following subchapters and draw attention to the structures that are relevant in the further context of neuroleadership.

2.4.2 The Brain Stem

In the human brain, the brain stem includes the spinal cord, cerebellum, and parts of the hindbrain, the midbrain and the diencephalon (“interbrain”). The brain stem, also called reptilian brain, is the oldest part of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for incoming information, elementary reflexes and homeostasis. Examples of homeostasis include breathing, blood oxygen content or regulation of the body temperature. In conclusion, all unconscious handling processes.[35] The important instance is the thalamus, also called “the gate to the consciousness”, which acts like a receiving and filter station for all incoming information from the body and sensory organs. The thalamus works almost autonomous and decides which impulse or sensory stimulus comes into consciousness.[36] Depending on the importance, the information will be transferred to the amygdala (emotional processing) or to the hippocampus (memory building).[37]

2.4.3 The Limbic System

Mac Lean shaped the term “limbic system” in 1952.[38] The term describes a theoretical concept that relates to the interaction between different parts of the brain but is often misunderstood as an anatomic structure. It does not exist a general accepted definition, the limbic system is associated with the emergence of emotions or seen as the emotional centre.[39] According to Ghadiri, A., et al. the most important structures in the limbic system are the hippocampus, the amygdala, the cingulate cortex and nucleus accumbens (cf. highlighted structures at Figure 2).[40]

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: The Limbic System

Source: Adapted from a.u., WJB 2014, p. 30.

The amygdala functions as the central evaluation and fear system.[41] In terms of emotion and fear processing, this brain structure is the best explored one.[42] Information from all sensory systems, e.g. thalamus, are processed and stored. In case of alleged danger through negative aversive stimuli, e.g. stress, the amygdala reacts with an appropriate physiological response.[43] In the past, the amygdala protected the human in life-threatening situations. Today, alleged danger is likely caused by change projects or reorganisation. Activated once, the amygdala ensures that stress hormones are released and, therefore the access to the higher neuronal networks, which are in the prefrontal cortex (cf. figure 2), is reduced.[44]

The hippocampus, which is the “gateway to memory” is responsible for several important brain functions.[45] On one hand, it is responsible for the learning and long-term memory processes, and on the other, for adult neurogenesis.[46] The new production of brain cells (neurons) is called neurogenesis.[47]. This part of the brain prepares and evaluates new incoming information, which means that the sensory perceptions is linked with emotions before information is transferred to the cerebral cortex.[48] The hippocampus thus is not the primary storage area itself but coordinates the information storage in the neuronal structures and is able to retrieve the stored information when required.

Moreover, the nucleus accumbens plays a crucial role in the mesolimbic system, the reward system of the brain, which involves different parts of the brain.[49] The nucleus accumbens is responsible for the perceived reward and simultaneously for the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine (happiness hormone), oxytocin (bonding and trust hormone) and endorphin.[50] The hormones are released by positive experienced activities and stimulations, e.g. feeling of belonging, social recognition, sex, drugs or even a delicious meal. Furthermore, the nucleus accumbens is involved in emotional learning processes, such as learning of new and procedural behavioural pattern.[51] Procedural knowledge is related to action processes, e.g. bike riding, skiing. Humans know how to ride a bicycle without thinking or knowing the exact motor skills, which are necessary for this activity.[52] The cingulate cortex is considered as an integral part of the limbic system and the cerebrum, and it is located over the top of the limbic system (see Figure 2). Its functions are receiving information from the thalamus and hippocampus (limbic system) and constantly observing the environment.[53] In addition, the cingulate cortex compares the information with the desired expectations and goals and, thus it mainly responds specifically to uncertainty, conflicts, pain and violation of expectations.[54] Moreover, it is continuously assesses the expectant effects (reward or punishment) of stimuli.[55]

2.4.4 The Cerebral Cortex

The cerebral cortex is the outer layer in MacLean’s model and is the youngest part of the brain. This part of the brain differentiates humans from animals. The cerebral cortex is only a few millimetres thick and is separated in four brain areas:[56]

- The occipital cortex is responsible for the visual processing.
- The temporal lobes, at this region humans process language, abstraction and metaphor.
- The parietal cortex, this area is responsible for sensory inputs and coordination.
- The prefrontal cortex provides higher and executive functions which controls and consciously processes emotional regulation. Higher functions are understood as mental abilities, which humans still have or subsequently strengthen, e.g. anticipatory action, empathy, creative thinking, distinguish between important and trivial or the abstract knowledge of causation about experiences.[57] In conclusion, the prefrontal cortex is the core element of the human decision system and problem solving.[58]

On the basis, the cerebral cortex links together the limbic system and the brain stem (meta system). The basic and simplify functioning of the brain is seen as follows: The cerebral cortex (visual stimuli) triggers neuronal control circuits, which cause emotional processing in the limbic system. These emotions activate certain (survival) reactions in the brain stem, such as attack, escape or solidify.[59] Alternatively, vice versa survival instincts will affect the emotional processing (amygdala) and, therefore, they influence the decision-making ability in the human cerebral cortex. Furthermore, the prefrontal cortex is serial work, which means that it is only able to process one thing during the same time. If a human want to do several things at the one time (multitasking), the prefrontal cortex consumes significantly more energy, which results in a limited access of the decision-making and problem-solving resources.[60] Neuroleadership, particularly focuses on the prefrontal cortex, since it is the part of the brain in which controlled and conscious processes take place.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 2: Tasks and Responsibilities of the different Brain Regions

Source: Own illustration.

Table 2 summarizes the tasks and processes of the different brain regions. Nevertheless, a complete separable allocation is not possible because of interdependencies between the various brain regions.

2.5 Relevant Insights

2.5.1 Introduction

In the recent years, the neuroscience achieved numerous breakthroughs. These insights may help to understand why are change processes so difficult to manage and which incentives and practices are counterproductive. Hereinafter, the research results with a focus on change and neuroleadership are discussed.

2.5.2 Change is Pain

The technological advances in neuroscience give more information why change is so difficult.[61] According to Rock, there are two reasons for those difficulties. The first reason is based on the nature of human memory. As discussed in the previous chapter, new information is processed at the hippocampus (gateway to memory) and thalamus (gateway to consciousness). This executive function is called working memory. The working memory involves holding information and mentally working with it.[62] As already mentioned, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for executive functions but is an energy-consuming part of the brain. Besides that, the basal ganglia is responsible for repetitive and habitual processes.[63] The neuronal circuits of long-standing habits are formed and held there. The basal ganglia are in the midbrain, around the thalamus.[64] The basal ganglia functions without consciousness and fatigues less than the working memory because of routine activities. Therefore, it is important that job activities become a habitual and do not use the processing resources of the prefrontal cortex.[65] In conclusion, the basal ganglia is responsible for well-routinized work and the prefrontal cortex takes over if humans face stressful experiences, e.g. organizational changes. Within the change, employees are usually confronted with the change of daily habits, which requires a lot of effort (energy) because it activates the prefrontal cortex. Humans experience this process as uncomfortable.

The second reason change is experienced as discomfort relates to the basic brain function of the cingulate cortex.[66]The human brain is constantly predicting, which information is coming next and plans an appropriate reaction.” [67] Often expectations differ from the reality; these perceived differences are what neuroscientists call “errors”.[68] If the human brain detects such a mismatch, the orbital frontal cortex (OFC), a part of the prefrontal cortex, causes an error signal. These strong signals use a lot of energy and draw metabolic energy away from the prefrontal region, which results in limited access to higher intellectual functions. Transforming the findings to change processes implies that strong error messages send out if employees trying to change a routine behaviour. The employee pays attention to the error and cannot concentrate on the actual work. The capacity for higher thought is decreased, which causes a feeling of discomfort since it is tiring. The error detection is also used as an explanation why humans become more emotional and impulsive in such situations. In conclusion, trying to change human behaviour sends out powerful messages that something is wrong, which implies stress and discomfort.

2.5.3 Neuroplasticity

The neuronal structures in the human brain consist of neurons (brain cells) and synapses.[69] Synapses are the connection between the neurons. In the past decades, the prevailing opinion was that nerve tracts of an adult brain are unchangeable and rigid.[70] This was the reason to believe that lifelong learning is restricted. Not until the neurologist, Peter Ericsson proved the counterevidence that the adult brain can produce new brain cells (neurons) and this opinion changed.[71] This process is defined as adult neurogenesis and is a crucial part of brain plasticity.[72] Due to stimulating impulses through new ways of acting, thinking and feeling neurons and synapses built new connections. These connections strengthen by constant repetition over time. This effect will be reinforced by new created brain cells (neurogenesis) in the hippocampus, which can build new synaptic connections.[73] The psychologist Donald Hebb proposed the theory: “What fires together, wires together.” [74] Hebb’s cell assembly theory illustrates if neurons of different brain areas are regularly stimulated together, they build stronger neuronal networks until they turn into circuit patterns over time.[75] This ability of the brain to change networks is called neuroplasticity by scientists.[76] Beyond that, this mechanism underlies learning.[77] In contrast, the fact that circuit patterns can atrophy or vanish if they are not regularly stimulated is problematic.[78] This principle is known as “use it or lose it”. Hüther points out that it is very beneficial to face new challenges for employees and thus prevents to be stuck in routine work.[79] Summarised the human is capable of learning into higher age and is able to change behaviour patterns.

2.5.4 Mirror Neurons

Mirror neurons were first discovered in experiments on monkeys by the researchers Rizzolatti et al. in 1995.[80] These mirror neurons are nerve cells, which react in a simplified manner to visual stimuli and enable the human being to recognize the feelings and needs of the fellow human beings. This means that a great part of the ability of experience other’s emotions or to be empathic is based on mirror neurons. This enables leaders to understand the intentions and actions of others better and makes it possible that a person is able to respond accordingly to the given situation.[81] Peters and Ghadiri are of the opinion that if the viewer is familiar with the given situation, the reflection and experience is stronger.[82] From a neurobiological perspective, this means that through the consideration of another person, neural networks are activated that allows to reflect and experience the emotions of the other person in themselves. After the discovery of the mirror neurons in the monkey brains, these nerve cells were also found in humans.[83] The mirror neurons are located in several areas in the brain, mainly in the limbic system, the Broca and Wernicke areas, which belong to the language centre of the brain.[84] To sum it up, the mirror neurons are linked with brain regions that are responsible for listening and seeing, which have a decisive influence on human perception.

Therefore, in relation to change processes, it is from importance that the leader exemplifies the agreed behavioural goals and the desired changes, which he or she agreed on with the employees. If consequently lived, the employees will understand the intensions and actions of their superiors better due to the mirror neurons. It means that leaders cannot demand a certain act or behaviour from their employees, which the leaders do not present themselves. For this reason, a spirited and nervous manager has to pay particular attention to keep their own stress level down, because their emotions or nervousness extremely influences others.[85] If the supervisor radiates inner unrest, the neurons of the employees will trigger a feeling of restlessness, which is the why this type of manager will struggle to demand a calm and prudent behaviour from his or her employees. In summary, mirror neurons allow leaders to reflect the behaviour and emotions of their employees and vice versa.

2.5.5 Behaviourism Doesn´t Work

In the past, many companies and managers used different psychological methods to obtain a more effective and efficient Change Management. They made use of behaviouristic theories, like the carrot and stick approach.[86] In the modern usage, the carrot and the stick is an idiom which refers to the idea that a desired behaviour or change can be achieved on incentives (carrot) and threats (stick).[87] Beyond that, this approach is still in usage in many companies; even if there is plenty of evidence that change initiatives based on incentives and threats are strikingly ineffective and from temporary duration.[88] Incentives, which are often declared as extrinsic motivators, are problematic because they do not create lasting commitment to any action or value. In addition, humans usually fall back into their old patterns if the reward decreases, which is another reason why incentives only occasionally succeed in the long-term.[89]

Kohn published an article with the headline “why incentive plans cannot work” in 1993.[90] In his opinion rewards are from temporary duration, because it appears as if problems are solved. In addition, he states that humans do not pay attention on the psychological theory underlying the incentives and, therefore, believe motivational issues traced by the incentive system can be solved with little effort.[91] In his article, Kohn summarizes the true costs of an incentive program in a six-point framework:[92]

1. Pay is not a motivator – Kohn argues that there is no scientific evidence that the people who are paid more will do a better work or even work more. Furthermore, it is plausible that underpaid employees might be demotivated and irritated but it does not automatically mean that more money satisfies, increases motivation or results in better work.
2. Rewards punish – Managers manipulate their employees by making the incentive depending on certain changes or behaviours. This approach comes along with the perception of being controlled, which is likely to have punitive character over time.[93] Apart from that, if an employee misses out a reward that one had expected to receive, the effect will be equivalent to being punished.
3. Rewards rupture relationships – In general, pushing employees into competition for rewards makes things worse, because they will see each other as obstacles to their own success. Incentive driven organizations are likely to increase the conflict potential between supervisors and employees because the incentive-driven employees will act as if everything is under control in order to receive the reward.
4. Rewards ignore reasons – Kohn points out that managers must understand the root of the problem to solve it, because every situation requires a certain response. Thus, incentives are the wrong instrument to initiate a meaningful change and they do not address possible underlying problems .
5. Rewards discourage risk-taking – Employees will more likely manipulate their productivity or performance rating and mainly focus on the rewarded outcome. Additionally, employees who work for reward tend to minimize challenge and therefore are risk-averse. Thus, rewards are a barrier for creativity and innovation.
6. Rewards undermine interest – The message delivered by the reward addresses a future behaviour and implies what employees have to do. Again, it evokes the feeling of being controlled. Deci and Ryan argue: “The more we experience being controlled, the more we will tend to lose interest in what we are doing.” [94]

“’Do this and you`ll get that,’ in other words, focuses attention on the ‘that’ (reward) instead of the ‘this’ (change).” [95] Leaders, who rely on incentive programs fail to understand the psychological needs of their employees. Likewise, rewards fail because they imply behavioural manipulation and restrict the level of autonomy. Moreover, managers who use incentives and threats, create a working environment in which people feel controlled and cannot spark the employees` potentials. Thus, leaders need more sustainable and creative ways to reward their employees. This might be greater flexibility in their working hours, allowing more time to network during work hours, challenge them with new tasks (autonomy) or give them the opportunity for learning new skills, e.g. practicing mindfulness.

In summary, several important consequences regarding neuroscientific findings can be drawn from this subchapter. It is important to understand what causes a change process in the brain and in the body, and why previous approaches (the carrot and the stick) are doomed to failure. Furthermore, the ability of the human brain to build up new habitual patterns (neuroplasticity) and adapt to the changing environments was examined. In addition, the discovery of mirror neurons has taken on a great importance for neuroleadership.

In this chapter, the term neuroscience with its interdisciplinary research fields and the emergence of neuroleadership were discussed. Neuroleadership itself is a young and promising discipline. In the course of brain research, the cognitive, social and affective neurosciences provide a basis for a better understanding of the human brain. Furthermore, an overview about the brain segments and different functions were given. The technological progress and the application of imaging techniques made new insights possible and brought up well-founded insights. The relevant findings regarding change were presented, e.g. deriving that incentives and threats are not suitable instruments in change processes.

3 Neuroleadership Approaches

3.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the different approaches in neurosciences that have been put forward over the years. The different approaches aim to use the ideas of neuroscience and make them useful in business administration. This contains the creation of a brain-friendly working environment and recommendations of the brain science to guidance manager and leaders. The different approaches are explained hereinafter.

3.2 David Rock´s SCARF Model

3.2.1 The Foundation of the SCARF Model

David Rock developed the SCARF model.[96] Reinhardt, et al. interpreted the model as appropriate specification of the term neuroleadership, which was decisively shaped by David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz.[97] Two themes underlie the SCARF model, which can be emerging from social neuroscience:

- The principle of minimizing threat and maximizing reward affects a human's social behaviour.[98]
- A human's brain uses the same networks to maximize reward and minimize threat in social domains as for primary survival needs.[99] Therefore,

The SCARF model includes five domains, “status”, “certainty”, “autonomy”, “relatedness” and “fairness”, which activate either the primary reward or the primary threat circuitry of the brain. The fulfilment of the five basic domains are to be of the fore, thereby the employees can concentrate on their actual work. The model applies as tool to get a better understanding of fundamental social needs that drive human behaviour. In detail, rising the awareness, which core social domains can cause threat responses and contrarily, activate a reward response while collaborating with and influencing others. In common sense, project managers apply this model to obtain a better knowledge of the behaviour of their project team members. Moreover, the manager is in the position to ensure that the employees’ fundamental needs are fulfilled. The principle of minimizing threat and maximizing reward resembles the concept, which is known in the literature as the approach-avoid response.[100] If the human brain is stimulated, the brain will either tag the stimulus as “good” or as “bad”. The approach response (reward) is activated if a person experiences positive emotions or rewards. In contrast to the avoid approach (threat), the person encounters negative emotions or punishment. A key role in the limbic system is attributed to the amygdala, which signals if something should be avoided or approached.[101] Studies show that the approach-avoid response is a reflexive activity, which occurs non-consciously, automatically and immediately.[102] Why is this so important? The effects of approaching versus avoiding are shown in the study of Friedman and Förster.[103] Their study presents the effects of the approach-avoid response, namely that they influence one's cognitive performance, in particular one`s perception and problem-solving competence. Transforming these effects to the working environment, it becomes clear that someone who has merely the feeling of being threatened by his/her boss tends to make more mistakes. In addition, the person's ability to solve complex problems is hence restricted. On the other hand, interest, happiness and joy are approach emotions. A human being in this state has an increased dopamine level, which is important for interest and learning. The research of Fredrickson reveals that people who experience positive emotions are able to identify more possible options when trying to solve problems.[104] Fredrickson and Joiner were able to prove this hypothesis that positive emotions produce a so-called upward spiral, which causes an emotional well-being.[105]

3.2.2 Status

By the domain, "status" is meant the interpersonal relationship rather than a hierarchical status in a company. Humans are indeed aware of and sensitive about their social status. One difficulty is that it is surprisingly easy to threaten someone’s status. Only the perception of a potential reduction in status can already cause a strong threat response. In professional or any other social environment, the status is threatened by different occurrences. They occur every day when given advice, paternalism, criticism or wrong feedback. Especially critical are performance reviews. The urgency to avoid status threats is illustrated by Eisenberger et al. They show that a reduction in status activates the same regions of the brain as physical pain.[106] The goal is to avoid the pain that is caused by the reduction of the status.[107]

The question is how organizations can and leaders avoid their employees’ feeling of status reduction. Rock’s suggestion for leaders who are willing to change their employees’ behaviour is that they should allow their workers to give themselves feedback on their own performance. Reinhardt et al. refer to the possibility of increased status through self-reflection.[108] Another sustainable way is to create frameworks, where people feel they are learning and improving and at the same time, someone is paying attention to their improvement. This stimulates the brain; its reward centres and generates a wider status effect on employees.[109] It is an important insight and foreseeable that humans react differently on advices. Some employees are open to feedback and see this as a possibility for their own development as others activate their defence mechanisms. Definitely, the wrong way is using status as a reward, especially via promotion.[110] Furthermore, scientific studies show that change aspirations based on incentives or threats (the carrot and the stick) do not succeed on long-term perspective.[111]

3.2.3 Certainty

The human brain is permanently trying to predict the near future.[112] In a daily business context, this would be the prediction of internal or external processes, the next meeting, your boss' expectations or simply a change process. This means the domain “certainty” relates to the human need of predicting future development.

How does it work? The brain uses stored memories. It compares and evaluates previous experiences, the neuronal pattern, with the new situation.[113] Consequently, the brain prefers familiar patterns, because they are not complex and as evaluated as safe.[114] If some patterns are not memorized, or simply new, the prediction is violated, which causes uncertainty. Furthermore, the emerging uncertainty triggers an error response in the orbital frontal cortex (OFC). In such a situation, the negative effect is that an employee will drop the actual work and pay attention to the error.[115] Rock concludes that in the worst case one's decision-making and problem-solving ability becomes limited.[116] The good thing about expectations is that meeting them generates a reward response and the dopamine level increases.[117]

Reducing the threat from uncertainty is possible through breakdown of complex projects into small steps. Furthermore, the perception of an increased level of clarity can be reached by building business plans, strategies, and milestones or by drawing the future organization´s structure.[118] Increasing the reward from certainty includes setting clear objectives at the start of any discussion. In terms of uncertainty, facing an organizational restructure, announcing a date, when more information will be available, might help to increase awareness of certainty. At last, it should be considered that people are different in the need of certainty. Consequently, people whom that have a higher self-esteem respond with less stress in uncertain situations than those with a low self-esteem.[119]

3.2.4 Autonomy

Autonomy is the sensation of control, suggestibility or having choices that we humans have over situations and circumstances. Furthermore, the reward response triggered if an increase in the perception of autonomy is felt. The sense of autonomy enables wellbeing and stronger cognitive functions.[120] In contrast, if one experiences a lack of autonomy it causes a strong threat response. The lack of autonomy might be caused by strict rules and guidelines, an authoritarian “command and control” style, or inflexible rules.[121] Furthermore, a lack of autonomy is dangerous; because employees leave companies due to the reason, that they desire greater autonomy, even at the cost of less income.[122] Reducing the threat of autonomy is possible through an increase in the domains status, certainty and relatedness, while working in a team.[123] Self-directed learning, organizing the own workflow, individual decision-making consultation and managing the own working hours can trigger a reward response. Besides this subtle approach of perceiving autonomy, it is important that autonomy is embedded in the processes of an organization.[124] In this regard, the organization must provide a safe environment by promoting autonomy and creativity.

3.2.5 Relatedness

The domain relatedness can be described as the feeling of belonging to a social group or a social relationship. The opposite is known as feeling lonely, which can generate a threat response.[125] If humans meet someone unknown, it is more likely for the brain to generate a threat response. In order to avoid the threat response, by create a feeling of closeness, through a simple handshake, a personal introduction or even a discussion about a common topic can create closeness.[126] With an increased level of trust, people build stronger collaboration and are more likely to share information.[127] Neuroscientist Cacioppo sees the need for safe human contact as relevant as the need for food.[128] The neurotransmitter oxytocin is released if humans increase the safe connection, which is linked with affiliative behaviour.[129] [130] Affiliative behaviour is the tendency, independently of any other feeling towards people, to seek for social interaction.[131] In this respect, it is relevant that employees do not see each other as competitors or even foes. The negative consequence is an impact on brain function[132] and a significant drop of empathy.[133] Organizations can reduce threats from a lack of relatedness by providing a better environment for social time for their employees. This includes team-building events, social-networking sites (via Intranet) or even providing a place to meet and share informal information.[134] Increasing the reward response from relatedness can be enabled by working in small project team and by mentoring and coaching programs.[135] The key is the promotion of trust and bonding.

3.2.6 Fairness

The domain “fairness” states the idea of decency and justness. It is the fair and honest attitude towards other humans. Furthermore, employees prefer to be treated equally in an organization or project team.[136] Leader should be cautious because their employees easily sense any kind of unfairness and this generates a strong emotional threat response. One example from work life is the perception that colleagues are privileged. If one experiences this emotional reaction of being treated unfairly, the negative perception can be reduced by experiencing that unfair behaviour is punished.[137] Singer, et al. compare the reward effect as intrinsic motivation or inner satisfaction.[138]

How can an organization mitigate the threat from unfairness? One approach is to increase the level of transparency in the organization. Other possibilities are strong involvement and open communication in any kind of business processes. On the opposite, manager can increase the reward from fairness by setting clear rules and equal requirements. Interestingly enough, a team or organization that identifies their own rules of behaviour experiences more fairness.[139] In addition, setting up clear expectations promotes more fairness. Perceived equity and fairness improves employee morale.[140]

3.3 Neuroleadership According to Elger

3.3.1 Introduction

The approach according to Elger is based on the four essential brain systems, which are considered as crucial in the scope of n euroleadership:[141]

- The reward system. Here the limbic system plays a key role and is responsible for generating emotions and memory. The activation of the reward system as central system is necessary in order to be motivated and to create a feeling of well-being.
- The emotional system is not related to an emotional centre, because different emotions appear in different brain regions. Emotions are biological functions of the nerve system. Emotion and cognition work separately, but relate and interact with each other. The central purpose of emotions is the organization and motivation of behaviour.
- The memory system ensures that memories are permanently processed and reappraised. Furthermore, the main task is to enable abilities, which humans can use in the future. The system decides subjectively what is important or irrelevant.
- The decision system is manipulated by the reward, emotional and memory system.[142] When it comes to the decision-making process, the contrast of choices is important. For example, the variety and diversity of expensive, high-priced or cheap goods. The decision system is necessary for strategic thinking, to draw up concepts and visions.

Elger’s scientific approach is to research the interaction of the four systems and apply the findings to the everyday life. Based on this knowledge he developed the seven base principles of neuroleadership. The following Table 3 shows the summarized seven base principles according to Elger.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 3: The Seven Base Principle of Neuroleadership

Source: Own illustration.

3.3.2 The Reward System

The reward system is responsible for decision making, memorize of new information, motivation and future orientation. The reward system generates an extremely strong feeling of well-being including comfort, happiness and satisfaction. Interestingly, despite the permanent stimulation, the pleasure being rewarded never gets habitual. Elger mentions factors that influence the working atmosphere and, therefore, the reward system;

- harmonic relationships between co-workers and organizations;
- cooperation, no competition;
- quality of instructed tasks and provided resources;
- income inequality;
- involvement in the workplace design.[143]

3.3.3 Fairness and Feedback

The second base principle are “fairness” and “feedback”. For humans, striving for fairness and win-win situations is fundamental. According to Elger, this is because our brain is social organ. An interesting point is that if a person perceives unfairness and gives up something just to punish the counterpart, it would activate the own reward system.[144] Furthermore, receiving positive feedback stimulates the reward system and minimizes the feeling of unfairness.

3.3.4 Influence through Information

The brain permanently evaluates and searches for confirmation in any situations. In that condition, prior information by colleagues, e.g. about a leader and his/her leadership skills, influences this evaluation positively and negatively. Positive information about a leader, e.g. he/she is fair and caring person, can enable the reward system of the employees.[145] In general, any information can massively influence expectations and therefore behaviour. Once a manager has a bad reputation it is hard to get rid of this negativity.

3.3.5 Each Brain is unique

Each brain is unique because it has its own neural structure and those connections are influenced by everyone’s personal experiences. Additionally, every brain uses its own specific resources, findings and abilities to address problems, which also explains why it is hard for it to find possible common solutions.[146] This complexity requires openness and understanding of leaders towards their employees. Successful leaders know this ability of knowing what their employees need, feel and how they think.

3.3.6 Facts are tied to Emotions

As already mentioned the brain permanently processes incoming pieces of information and labels them with emotions.[147] This process works unconsciously and shapes human behaviour crucially. Elger concludes that there are no facts or processes labelled without emotions but vice versa emotions can also create effects.[148] Like the placebo effect, high priced medicines are measured as more effective than low price products.[149]

3.3.7 Experience defines our Behaviour

Humans with positive wide-ranging experience, often behave calmer and with a reduce stress level if they face unknown situations. Additionally, their creativity and problem-solving ability is not blocked. In addition, experience does not mean routine, but can be seen as a given flexibility in different environments.[150] Moreover, experience is closely tied with emotions, which explains why employees with less experience tend to show stronger emotions. Thereby humans with more experience usually have a better control of their emotions.

3.3.8 Situational Dynamics

The brain prefers situational behaviour over planned behaviour because based on emotional evaluation, which is a permanent process.[151] This explains why people behave individually in certain situations. Therefore, uncontrolled dynamics rises when employees get to emotional and should be avoided. As the outcome is unpredictable, it might be the best option for managers to plan situations as precisely as possible. In conclusion, leaders must be aware of the emotional effects and potential dynamics of certain situations.[152]

3.4 ACTIVE Model According to Peters & Ghadiri

3.4.1 Foundation of the ACTIVE Model

The “ACTIVE model” according to Peters and Ghadiri is a structured concept, which transfers neuroscientific research findings onto leadership. This concept is designed for leaders and should help them implement the neuroscientific findings in their organization. In more detail, it their approach shows how exactly changes should be realized. Moreover, with this concept, instruments of organisational and personnel development can be evaluated with regard to neuroscience.[153] Furthermore, the task of the concept is to protect the four basic needs, which form the employee’s consistency. The four basic needs have its source in the consistency theory of Grawe.[154] Therefore, it is essential to understand Grawe’s theory and the basic needs for a better understanding of the ACTIVE model.[155]

3.4.2 The Consistency Theory

This theory, introduced by Grawe combines the psychological view on the human motivation and underpin them with neuroscientific findings. The basic assumption of the model is that all the simultaneous, expiring neuronal and psychological processes are corresponding and consistent. Grawe calls this condition consistency.[156] Simply put, the neuronal processes are in harmony with the perceived experience in the humans’ environment. In this context, this condition is seen as congruence. Furthermore, he states that every human has four basic needs; they need to be satisfied in order to create harmony. The foundation arises from his own neuroscientific research and Epstein’s “Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory”.[157] The four basic needs are:

- Attachment: To build a relationship to a reference person and perceive it as positive.
- Orientation and control: The freedom of influencing your own environment and detract of external control.
- Self-esteem protection and development: Individual necessity of building a self-image and improving your personal development.
- Pleasure maximisation and pain avoidance: The strive for pleasurable conditions.[158]

The four needs are interconnected and the fulfilment of one need has an impact on the others (cf. Figure 3). Against this background, the permanent non-satisfaction of these needs causes damages of the psychological health and well-being.[159] The non-fulfilment of basic needs is known as incongruence.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3: Mutual Influence of the Basic Needs

Source: Adapted from Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership 2012, p. 72.

According to the theory, a human feel well-being, when the activated four basic needs correspond together at the same time and activation is caused by motivational objectives.[160] Motivational schemata are formed through interaction with the surrounded environment. In other words, they are the individual motives that drives every human and they are seen as our action patterns. Thereby, the distinction between approach and avoidance schemata is made. On the one hand, an employee actively manages and develops his/her basic needs (approach schemata). On the other, in that context avoidance describes the situation in which the employee protects his/her basic needs against damages instead of fulfilling them (avoid schemata).[161] Employees, who are reserved and introverted, are more often effected. Grawe’s consistency theory can help to understand the complexity of the human basic needs. If a leader knows the basic needs along with the motivational schemata of employees, change can be performed.[162]

3.4.3 The Five Steps of the ACTIVE Model

In the following five steps, the ACTIVE model presents how leaders can implement neuroscientific findings in accordance with leadership:[163]

1. Analysis: Query about the employee’s perception regarding his/her basic needs by means of consistency questionnaire and consistency interviews. The subject matter of the survey is the current state and the preferred state of satisfaction of the basic needs.
2. Consistency profile: Visualization of the profile. Showing the results of the current state and of the preferred state. Figure 4 shows the consistency profile of a fictional questionnaire.
3. Transformation: The third step includes the transformation of the consistency profile with the employee’s motivational schemata (behaviour) of the employee into different types. Thereby, the leader needs to analyse the individual behaviour, either through:

- Observation by the leader or;
- Self-evaluation of employees or;
- Personality test.

After evaluation, the leader should be able to group the employee into either the “GO-type” (approach scheme) or “No-type” (avoidance scheme).[164]

4. Inconsistency avoidance: The leader chooses between various instruments and concepts of organizational and personal development. The goal is to promote and support the employee by approaching his/her basic needs and hence avoid inconsistency. Ghadiri, et al. mention some of these tools and instruments:

- Mentoring
- Reward rituals (e.g. awarding the “employee of the month”)
- Home office
- Job sharing
- Training
- International exchange.[165]

5. Verification: The last step involves the definition of goals by mutual agreement between leader and employee. The agreement includes which instruments or models contribute to the consistency of the employee. Furthermore, the leader receives personal feedback by the employee if the analysis has been accurate. Of particular importance is the consistent measurement, which shows whether the performance and improvement of these processes have been fulfilled.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 4: Example of a Consistency Profile

Source: Adapted from Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, p. 120.

3.4.4 PERFECT Scheme

The PERFECT scheme is the supplement to the operational and technical approach of the ACTIVE model. The focus herein lies on the interpersonal relationship between leader and employee. Its goal is as well the successful fulfilment of the four basic needs. The way of the leader’s interaction and behaviour has a strong influence on how employees behave and whether they are able to fulfil their basic needs. Consequently, Ghadiri, et al. proposed the PERFECT model as guideline for neuroleadership.[166] The guideline includes the following requirements for leaders:[167]

- Potential: The modern neuroleader support and promote the individual’s potential. Potential development is closely tied to the four basic needs, but especially to the need for self-esteem and its protection and development. Ghadiri, et al., recommend, therefore, professional long-term training, attendance at workshops and coaching as appropriate tools for an optimal development.[168]

- Encourage: Leaders must encourage their employees to meet challenges actively and foster the joy of experimentation. Assistance helps in unforeseeable events. The need for orientation and control will be satisfied through sufficient attention from the leader.

- Response: The requirement concerns the consistent and regular feedback by the leader. Feedback serves the purpose of orientation and control. Furthermore, the given feedback usually causes a positive working relationship between leader and employee. This leads to a positive impact of the employee`s attachment and self-esteem.

- Freedom: The leader is responsible for enabling the employee to take responsibility in certain working processes. Through guidelines and jointly defined goals, the employee is able to complete the task independently, which satisfies his/her need of autonomy. The autonomous potential development raises the self-esteem and the need for orientation and control.

- Emotions: Emotional leadership includes an authentic, present and reliable demeanour of the leader. Equally important is showing sympathy for the employee’s emotions. The leader needs the skill to inspire employees and convey new visions. The fulfilment promotes the basic need of pleasure maximisation as well as attachment.


[1] Lauer, T., Change Management, 2014, p. 3, own translation.

[2] Cf. Kotter, J. P., Leading change, 2012, p. 20.

[3] Cf. Lauer, T., Change Management, 2014, p. 3

[4] Cf. Ibid., p. 3.

[5] Cf. Aiken, C./Keller, S., The irrational side of change management, 2009, Nohria, N./Beer, M., Cracking the Code of Change, 2000, O.v., Towers Watson Survey Finds, 2013,

[6] Cf. John Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change; Lewin`s Change Management Model; McKinsey 7 S Model; ADKAR model; Kübler-Ross Five Stage Model.

[7] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 20.

[8] Cf. Bear, M. F., et al., Neurowissenschaften, 2009, p. 5.

[9] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 23.

[10] Bear, M. F., et al., Neurowissenschaften, 2009, p. 2, own translation.

[11] Squire, L. R., et al., Fundamental Neuroscience 2013, p. 3.

[12] Cf. Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 19; Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 25.

[13] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 24.

[14] Cf. Squrie, L. R., et al., Fundamental Neuroscience, 2013. p. 3.

[15] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 23; Draht, K., Neuroleadership, 2015, p. 15; Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 27; Schilke, O./Reimann, M., JfB 2007, p. 248. Schilke and Reimann define the brain as a “black box”.

[16] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 1.

[17] Cf. Decety, J./Cacioppo, J. T., Social Neuroscience, 2011, p. 3; Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 1.

[18] Cf. Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 25; Bear, M. F., et al., Neurowissenschaften, 2009, p. 632.

[19] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 10.

[20] Cf. Armony, J./Vuilleumier, P., Human Affective Neuroscience, 2013, p. 5.

[21] Cf. Rock, D./Schwartz, J., strategy+business 2006, pp. 1-10.

[22] Cf. Ibid., p. 3.

[23] Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 15.

[24] Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, p. 6.

[25] Cf. Ringleb, A. H./Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 1; Reinhardt, R./Roosen, G., Ansätze Neuroleadership, 2014, p. 25.

[26] Cf. Ringleb, A. H./Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 2.

[27] Cf. Ibid., p. 1.

[28] Cf. Rock, D./Schwartz, J., strategy+business 2006, p. 3. Cf. Chapter 2.5.5 Behaviourism Doesn´t Work.

[29] Cf. Rock, D./Schwartz, J., strategy+business 2006, p. 3.

[30] Cf. Reinhardt, R./Roosen, G., Ansätze Neuroleadership, 2014, p. 25.

[31] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 15.

[32] Cf. Ibid., p. 38.

[33] Cf. Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership 2012, p. 22.

[34] Cf. MacLean, P. D., The Triune Brain in Evolution, 1990, p. 15-17.

[35] Cf. Draht, K., Neuroleadership, 2015, p. 28.

[36] Cf. Ibid., p. 28.

[37] Cf. Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership 2012, p. 23.

[38] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 90; Breuer, J. P./Frot, P., Das emotionale Unternehmen, 2012, p. 55.

[39] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 90; Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership 2012, p. 23.

[40] Cf. Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership 2012, pp. 23-24.

[41] Cf. LeDoux, J. E., ARN 2000, p. 161; Hölzel, B. K., et al., SCAN 2010, p. 13.

[42] Cf. Reinhardt, R., Neuroanatomische Grundlagen, 2014, p. 42; Aggleton, J. P./Young, A. W., The Enigma of the Amygdala, 1999, p. 121.

[43] Cf. LeDoux, J. E., ARN 2000, p. 173. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 10; Reinhardt, R., Neuroanatomische Grundlagen, 2014, p. 42; Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership 2012, p. 23.

[44] Cf. Purps-Pardigol, S., Führen mit Hirn, 2015, p. 42; Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 10.

[45] Cf. Kempermann, G., Adult Neurogenesis, 2006, p. 168.

[46] Cf. Meibert, P., Achtsamkeitsbasierte Therapie und Stressreduktion MBCT/MBSR, 2016, p. 107.

[47] Cf. Bischofberger, J./Schmidt-Hieber, C., Neuroforum 2006, p. 212; Purps-Pardigol, S., Führen mit Hirn, 2015, p. 203.

[48] Cf. Ibid. p. 168; Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 42.

[49] Cf. Salimpoor, V. N., et al., NN 2011, p. 259; Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 90.

[50] Cf. Draht, K., Neuroleadership, 2015, p. 32; Cf. Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 29.

[51] Cf. Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 29; Cf. Reinhardt, R., Neuroanatomische Grundlagen, 2014, p. 46.

[52] Cf. Pollock, J. L./Cruz, J., Contemporary Theories of Knowledge, 1999, p. 127; Storch, M./Tschacher, W., Embodied Communication, 2016, p. 36; Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 122.

[53] Cf. Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 25.

[54] Cf. Ibid., p. 25.

[55] Cf. Reinhardt, R., Neuroanatomische Grundlagen, 2014, p. 45.

[56] Cf. Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 25.

[57] Cf. Reinhardt, R., Neuroanatomische Grundlagen, 2014, p. 44; Cf. Purps-Pardigol, S., Führen mit Hirn, 2015, p. 148.

[58] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 131; Purps-Pardigol, S., Führen mit Hirn, 2015, p. 83.

[59] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 131, Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 25.

[60] Cf. Rock, D./Schwartz, J., strategy+business 2006, p. 3; Purps-Pardigol, S., Führen mit Hirn, 2015, p. 94.

[61] Cf. The technological methods of neuroscience are introduced in chapter 3.5.

[62] Cf. Diamond, A., ARP 2013, p. 141.

[63] Cf. Stocco, A., et al., PR 2010, p. 542.

[64] Cf. Ibid., p. 545.

[65] Cf. Rock, D./Schwartz, J., strategy+business 2006, p. 4.

[66] Cf. Chapter 2.4.3 The limbic system.

[67] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 45.

[68] Cf. Rock, D./Schwartz, J., strategy+business 2006, p. 4; Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 18.

[69] Cf. Draht, K., Neuroleadership, 2015, p. 20.

[70] Cf. Bischofberger, J./Schmidt-Hieber, C., Neuroforum 2006, p. 212; Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 40.

[71] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 41.

[72] Cf. Ibid., 2013, p. 42.

[73] Cf. Bischofberger, J./Schmidt-Hieber, C., Neuroforum 2006, p. 214.

[74] Draht, K., Neuroleadership, 2015, p. 22.

[75] Cf. Prieß, A./Spörer, S., Führen mit dem Omega-Prinzip, 2014, p. 41; Draht, K., Neuroleadership, 2015, p. 22.

[76] Cf. Draht, K., Neuroleadership, 2015, p. 24; Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 39.

[77] Cf. Prieß, A./Spörer, S., Führen mit dem Omega-Prinzip, 2014, p. 41.

[78] Cf. Hüther, G., mS 2009, p. 34.

[79] Cf. Hüther, G., mS 2009, p. 34.

[80] Cf. Rizzolatti, G., et al., CBR 1996, p. 131; Rock, D., Brain at Work, 2011, p. 208.

[81] Cf. Zak, P. J., HBR, 2014,

[82] Cf. Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 33.

[83] Cf. Mukamel, R., et al., CB 2010, pp. 750-756.

[84] Cf. Peters, T./Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 33.

[85] Cf. Rock, D., Brain at Work, 2011, p. 211.

[86] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 18.

[87] Cf. Dubow, J. D., The carrot and the stick, 2012,

[88] Cf. Kohn, A., HBR 1993, p. 2.

[89] Cf. Ibid., p. 2.

[90] Cf. Ibid., p. 2.

[91] Cf. Ibid., p. 2.

[92] Cf. Ibid., pp. 4-10.

[93] Cf. Chapter 3.2.4 Autonomy. The perception of being controlled affects negatively the basic need of autonomy.

[94] Kohn, A., HBR 1993, p. 10.

[95] Cf. Ibid., p. 10.

[96] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, pp. 1-9.

[97] Cf. Reinhardt, R./Roosen, G./Schweizer, K., SCARF-Modell, 2014, p. 69.

[98] Cf. Gordon, E., et al., JoIN 2008, p. 348.

[99] Cf. Liebermann, M. D./Eisenberger, N. I., NLJ 2008, p. 1.

[100] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 2.

[101] Cf. Chapter 2.4.3. The Limbic System.

[102] Cf. Gordon, E., et al., JoIN 2008, p. 349; Naccache, L., et al., PNAS 2005, p. 7716ff.

[103] Cf. Friedman, R. S./Förster, J., JPSP 2001, pp. 1001-1013.

[104] Cf. Fredrickson, B.L., AP 2001, p. 223.

[105] Cf. Fredrickson, B.L./Joiner, T., PS 2002, p. 172-175.

[106] Cf. Eisenberger, N.I., et al., Science 2003, p. 291.

[107] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 4; Reinhardt, R./Roosen, G./Schweizer, K., SCARF-Modell, 2014, p. 72.

[108] Cf. Reinhardt, R./Roosen, G./Schweizer, K., SCARF-Modell, 2014, p. 72

[109] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 4.

[110] Cf. Rock, D./Schwartz, J., strategy+business 2006, p. 3.

[111] Cf. Kohn, A., HBR 1993. The article includes sixteen further studies why incentives fail. Hüther, G., mS 2009, p. 34; Rock, D./Schwartz, J., strategy+business 2006, p. 5.

[112] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 4; Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p 18.

[113] Cf. Hawkins, J/Blakeslee, S., On Intelligence 2004, p. 58.

[114] Cf. Reinhardt, R./Roosen, G./Schweizer, K., SCARF-Modell, 2014, p. 75.

[115] Rock, D./Schwartz, J., strategy+business 2006, p. 4.

[116] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 4; Chapter 2.4.4 The cerebral cortex.

[117] Cf. Schultz, W., NPS 1999, pp. 253-254.

[118] Cf. Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership 2012, p. 59.

[119] Cf. Rock, D./Cox, C., NLJ 2012, p. 5.

[120] Cf. Ibid., p. 5.

[121] Cf. Bosman, M., SCARF 2012,

[122] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 5

[123] Cf. Ibid., p. 5.

[124] Cf. Ibid., p. 5.

[125] Cf. Rock, D., Brain at work, 2011, p. 214.

[126] Cf. Zak et al., Hormones and Behavior 2005, p. 524.

[127] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 6.

[128] Cf. Cacioppo, J./Patrick, B., Loneliness, 2008, p. 247ff.

[129] Cf. Domes, et al., BP 2007, p. 1.

[130] Cf. Lim, M. M./Young, L. J., Hormones and Behavior 2006, p. 507; “Oxcytocin released within the brain itself though to regulate [!] behaviour by acting as a neurotransmitter/neuromodulator” and Ghadiri, A., et al. Neuroleadership, 2011, p. 59; “…oxytocin, the trust and bonding hormone,...”.

[131] Cf. Stoesz, B. M., et al., NBR 2013, p. 124.

[132] Cf. Carter, E.J./Pelphrey, K. A., JSN 2008, p. 151ff.

[133] Cf. Singer, et al., Nature 2006, p. 467.

[134] Cf. Waber, B. N., et al., Productivity Through Coffee Breaks 2010, Waber, B. N., et al state that giving employees breaks at the same time they increased the strength of and individual´s social group.

[135] Cf. Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2011, p. 60.

[136] Cf. Tabibnia, G./Liebermann, M. D., ANYAS 2007, p. 97.

[137] Cf. Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 6; Ghardiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2011, p. 60.

[138] Cf. Singer, T., et al., Nature 2006, p. 467.

[139] Rock, D., NLJ 2008, p. 6.

[140] Cf. Tabibnia, G./Liebermann, M. D., ANYAS 2007, p. 97.

[141] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, pp. 88-139.

[142] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 132.

[143] Cf. Ibid., pp. 169-170.

[144] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 170.

[145] Cf. Ibid., p. 171.

[146] Cf. Ibid., p. 172.

[147] Cf. Chapter 2.4.3 The Limbic System.

[148] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 174.

[149] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 174; Stewart-William, S./Podd, J., PB 2004, p. 326. “A placebo effect is a genuine psychological or physiological effect, in a human or another animal, which is attributable to receiving a substance or undergoing a procedure, but is not due to the inherent powers of that substance or procedure.”

[150] Cf. Elger, C., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 174.

[151] Cf. Chapter 2.2.4 The Cerebral Cortex; Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, p. 61, named this process “the emotional dynamics”.

[152] Cf. Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, p. 61.

[153] Cf. Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, p. 112, mention Job Enlargement, Job Rotation, Job Enrichment, Autonomous Work Groups, Job Characteristics Model and the Flow model as instruments.

[154] Cf. Grawe, K., Neuropsychotherapie, 2004, pp. 183-186.

[155] ACTIVE model is the combination of initial letters of “Analysis”, “Consistency profile”, “Transformation”, “Inconsistency avoidance” and “Verification”.

[156] Cf. Grawe, K., Neuropsychotherapie, 2004, p. 186.

[157] Cf. Epstein, S., Cognitive-Experiential Theory, 2014, pp. 8-26.

[158] Cf. Grawe, K., Neuropsychotherapie, 2004, p. 186; Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, p. 71.

[159] Cf. Grawe, K., Neuropsychotherapie, 2004, p. 186.

[160] Cf. Grawe, K., Neuropsychotherapie, 2004, p. 188.

[161] Cf. Ibid., p. 188.

[162] Cf. Peters, T./ Ghadiri, A., Neuroleadership, 2013, p. 54.

[163] Cf. Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, pp. 115-125. Further information and detailed description about the usage of the ACTIVE model.

[164] Cf. Ghadiri, A., et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, p. 122.

[165] Cf. Ibid., p. 124.

[166] Cf. Ghadiri, et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, p. 125.

[167] Cf. Ibid., pp. 125-128.

[168] Cf. Ghadiri, et al., Neuroleadership, 2012, p. 152.

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Applied Neuroleadership Models in Project and Change Management
A Toolbox for Project Managers
University of Applied Sciences Ludwigshafen
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Neuroleadership, Neuroscience, Project Management, Change Management, Toolbox, Neuroleadership Models, Applied Neuroleadership, SCARF Model, SCRUM, Mindfulness, Mirror Neurons, Neuroplasticity, Consistency Theory, Affect Balance, Laughter Yoga, Storytelling, Agile Project Management, ACTIVE Model, Reward System, Change is Pain
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Tobias Mauritz (Author), 2017, Applied Neuroleadership Models in Project and Change Management, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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