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Dr Maria Kakarika

Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour & Leadership

Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour & Leadership in the Business School


Maria Kakarika is Associate Professor in Leadership and Organizational Behavior at Durham University Business School. She received a PhD in Organizational Behavior from IE Business School, an MSc in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management from the London School of Economics, and a BSc in Economics & Business Administration from the Aristotle University. She also held a visiting position at the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University and posts in France before joining Durham University Business School in 2022.

Maria’s research uses leadership and identity theories to better understand how leaders and followers construct or protect their identity and repsond to feedback. Her ongoing projects on follower perceptions of their leaders focus on novel antecedents such as leaders’ physical activity, gestures and silence. Maria is further interested in gender differences in various organizational pheonomena, such as workplace bullying, gossip and female sexualization. She also takes a multi-disciplinary approach and studies the links of leadership with crisis and entrepreneurship, CEO ethics and careers. 

Her research has been published at the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Human Resource Management, Human Relations, Journal of Vocational Behavior, British Journal of Management, Journal of Managerial Psychology and the Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings and cited at the Financial Times and the Huffington Post. 

Maria has been teaching change management and leadership development to executives and international MBAs, as well as to MSc students, and has consulted executives and start-up teams on leadership and team dynamics. She is an Associate Editor at Group & Organization Management and the Director of the Durham DBA. Prior to her academic career she worked in the banking industry and filled positions in HR training and development.

Research interests

  • Gender
  • Identity
  • Leadership
  • Sexualization
  • Social perceptions


Journal Article

Supervision students

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