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Prof. dr. Svetlana Khapova is a full-professor of Organisational Behaviour (specialisation Careers and Organisation Studies) at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is Head of Department - Management & Organisation, and Head of Section - HRM/OB. Between 2009-2017, she served as a founding Director of Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI). ABRI caters for doctoral education in management and organisation studies at VU. She also served as Director of Doctoral Education between 2009-2015. Since 2013, she is Director of the (Executive) part-time PhD programme in Business Studies.

Prof. dr. Svetlana Khapova is a founding Director of the VU Center for Boards and Executive Leadership Development

Professor Khapova held leadership positions at the Academy of Management between 2009-2013, serving as a Division Chair and Program Chair of Careers Division. She also organized and chaired many international conferences on the topic of careers, and co-convened the careers sub-track of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) in Amsterdam 2008, Barcelona 2009, and Lisbon 2010. Between 2008-2018, she was a visiting professor at ESMT – European School of Management and Technology. 

She is on the editorial boards of British Journal of Management and The International Journal of Human Resource Management. She also served on the board of the Dutch Foundation of Management Development (NFMD).


Her research focuses on the link between careers and institutions. She studies individual careers as a resource upon which both individuals and organizations draw to innovate. For example, her studies concern employees, who take initiative to make change in their work environment; nascent entrepreneurs, who draw on their past career experiences, to make their ventures successful; board members, who guided by their career aspirations, define future of their firms; and knowledge workers, who through enacting their careers, develop regional economies. Her research has been funded by various scientific and business foundations, among which are grants from the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO), Pieken in de Delta, and many other. Her work has been published in the international peer-reviewed journals: Human Relations, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Career Development International, and in a number of edited books.

Selected publications:

Gorbatov, S., Khapova, S. N., Oostrom, J. K., & Lysova, E. I. (2021, in press). Personal brand equity: Scale development and validation. Personnel Psychology.

De Mol, E., Cardon, M. S., de Jong, B., Khapova, S. N., & Elfring, T. (2021, in press). Entrepreneurial passion diversity in new venture teams: An empirical examination of short-and long-term performance implications. Journal of Business Venturing.

Lysova, E. I., & Khapova, S. N. (2019). Enacting creative calling when established career structures are not in place: the case of the Dutch video game industry. Journal of Vocational Behavior114, 31-43.

Engel, Y., van Burg, E., Kleijn, E., & Khapova, S. N. (2017). Past career in future thinking: How career management practices shape entrepreneurial decision making. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal11(2), 122-144.

Arthur, M. B., Khapova, S. N., & Richardson, J. (2017). An intelligent career: Taking ownership of your work and your life. Oxford University Press.

De Mol, E., Khapova, S. N., & Elfring, T. (2015). Entrepreneurial team cognition: A review. International Journal of Management Reviews17(2), 232-255.

Arthur, M. B., Khapova, S. N., & Wilderom, C. P. (2005). Career success in a boundaryless career world. Journal of Organizational Behavior26(2), 177-202.


  • Program Director of the Part-Time PhD program for executives
  • Coordinator and lecturer in the MSc course “Careers and Organizations”

Prizes and Awards

For her research and leadership efforts, she was nominated for De Jonge Academie KNAW (in 2011), and the Jubilee Prize of the Landelijk Netwerk Vrouwelijke Hoogleraren (in 2011) by the Faculty Board of FEWEB (VU). Her awards include: the Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service by Careers division of the Academy of Management, Orlando, 2013; the Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service by Academy of Management, Montreal, 2010; the Highly Commended Award (2008) from Emerald Publishing Group; the Small Group Meeting grant from the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (2008); the Best Reviewer Award (2007) and a nomination for the Best Symposium Award (2007) by Careers Division of the Academy of Management. In 2006 and 2013, she was nominated for the Best Lecturer award of SBE (VU).

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