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Expertisecentrum HRM&OBOnderdeel van Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Expertisecentrum HRM&OB

Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde
Expertisecentrum Human Resource Management & Organisational Behaviour
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Colloquium: Dr. Bert Schreurs

Datum:14 maart 2017
Auteur:Secretariaat HRM & OB
Colloquium: Dr. Bert Schreurs
Colloquium: Dr. Bert Schreurs

Dr. Bert Schreurs (

Maastricht University - Organisation and Strategy, School of Business and Economics


Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Time: 15:30 – 17:00

Location: 5419.0109 – Kapteynborg, Landleven 12 (Zernike)


Abstract title

Leveraging Construal-Level Theory for Understanding Organizational Behavior



After briefly presenting an overview of my research interests, I will introduce the basic tenets of Construal-Level Theory (CLT) and demonstrate its usefulness for understanding organizational behavior. CLT holds that the way people mentally represent objects/events varies from abstract and decontextualized (high level) to concrete and contextualized (low level). The theory also states that people tend to construe psychologically (temporally, spatially, socially, hypothetically) distant versus near objects/events in high-level rather than low-level terms. The theory has particular relevance for a multitude of organizational phenomena, most notably for those in which organizational actors try to influence each other through the use of language. Based on propositions from CLT, my colleagues and I hypothesized that abstract ( vs. concrete) information would be more effective if the psychological distance from the recipient to the sender is high (vs. low). We tested this ‘construal compatibility hypothesis’ across a series of experimental studies and in the context of corporate apologies (1 study), the selection interview (2 studies), voice endorsement (3 studies) and leadership (1 study). I will present the research findings, discuss the implications for theory, practice, and future research.