Prof. dr. Willem van Rhenen

Willem van Rhenen
  • Enthusiasm and Productivity
  • Labor and health
  • HRM & Leadership
  • New perspectives on safety
Good leaders create followers, great leaders create new leaders.

Prof. dr. Willem van Rhenen is Professor of Engagement & Productivity at Nyenrode Business University. He is part of Nyenrode's Faculty Research Center for Strategy, Organization & Leadership

Van Rhenen mainly teaches and gives master classes on engagement, stress, leadership, work (conditions) and productivity to professionals and executives. This using a theoretical framework and with a pragmatic translation. 

He was and is involved in a wide range of subjects that focus on the employee, or as Willem puts it himself: "that concern ‘human capital’”.

van Rhenen studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam. After his studies, he worked as a doctor in Lesotho and the Netherlands and made the switch to occupational health care in 1991. 

He obtained his doctorate with the dissertation titled 'From Stress to Engagement' and has held the chair 'Engagement and Productivity' since 2010. He is (co-)author of several national and international scientific articles and has twice been rewarded with a quote of excellence by Emerald.

Secondary positions

Van Rhenen has also held managerial positions since 2005. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors at the Occupational Health and Safety Union (Arbo Unie) as Chief Health Officer. From this managerial role, he is not only responsible for quality, but also for innovation and academic workshops. In addition, Willem is Ombudsman for PostNL (formerly TNT), member of the Social Medicine Department (Kamer van Sociale Geneeskunde) of the Capaciteitsorgaan, the foundation for the education of healthcare professionals, as well as various working groups in the field of social, preventive and occupational medicine/general health care. Finally, he is a guest lecturer at several universities (of applied science).


As a 'blue zoner', van Rhenen attaches great importance to healthy living, social contacts and meaning. He considers the latter when studying the Bible and Rabbinic literature.

Most relevant publications