Good leaders create followers, great leaders create new leaders.

Prof. dr. Willem van Rhenen is Professor of Engagement & Productivity at Nyenrode Business University. He 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’”.

Willem 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

Willem 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', Willem attaches great importance to healthy living, social contacts and meaning. He considers the latter when studying the Bible and Rabbinic literature.

Most relevant publicaties

  • Tims M, Bakker AB, Derks D, Van Rhenen W. (2013) Job Crafting at the Team and Individual Level: Implications for Work Engagement and Performance. Group and Organization Management 38: 427-454.
  • Schaufeli WB, Bakker AB, Van Rhenen W. (2009) How changes in Job Demands and Job Resources Predict burnout, Work Engagement, and Sickness Absenteeism. Journal of Organizational Behavior 30: 893-917.
  • Schaufeli WB, Taris TW, Van Rhenen W. (2008) Workaholism, burnout and engagement: Three of a kind or three different kinds of employee well-being. Applied psychology: An International Review 57(2): 173-203.
  • Schaufeli WB, Van Rhenen W. (2006) Over de rol van positieve en negatieve emoties bij het welbevinden van managers: Een studie met de Job-related Affective Well-being Scale (JAWS) / About the role of positive and negative emotions in managers’wellbeing: A study using the Job-related Affective Well-being Scale (JAWS). Gedrag en Organisatie 19(4): 323-344.
  • Terluin B, Van Rhenen W, Schaufeli WB, de Haan M (2004) The four –dimensional symptom questionnaire (4DSQ): measuring distress and other mental health problems in a working population. Work & Stress 18: 187-207.