Dr. Lia Siachou, Associate Professor in Hellenic American University’s Business programs, received an Emerald Literati Award for Excellence for her article on “Empowering leadership and organizational ambidexterity: a moderated mediation model”. The paper, which she co-authored with Dr. Panagiotis Gkorezis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), was published in Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship.
The prestigious award recognizes “outstanding and impactful contributions to scholarly research”. It is the second time Dr. Siachou has been honored by the Emerald Literati Network. Her earlier research on knowledge sharing and employee ignorance was selected as a highly commended paper in the 2016 awards for excellence.
Dr. Siachou’s research is particularly timely in today’s highly dynamic business environment. As she explains, in this kind of environment, organizational knowledge must be effectively shared among employees; otherwise, it can quickly become obsolete. Business leaders are thus confronted with the difficult balancing act of organizational ambidexterity, that is, exploiting what is within the company to keep its competitive advantage and at the same time exploring what’s happening outside the firm to keep with these changes and grow. Her paper, which drew on field research with over 200 employees in SMEs in IT, looked at how leaders can be empowered to overcome the ambiguity in this role and promote ambidexterity within the organization.
Empowering leadership achieves these outcomes, Dr. Siachou says, since employees are then more willing to share their knowledge within the organization. This, in turn, generates organizational knowledge which becomes part of the firm’s activities instead of remaining isolated in employees’ minds.
In addition to advancing knowledge in the field, Dr. Siachou’s research plays an important role in her teaching. “The research I’ve done over the last decade has certainly informed my teaching and helped me help my students better understand the real business world,” she says, and adds, “and teach them the value of good research in the career they will have after graduating.” It’s not surprising that research assignments are part of every course she teaches.
Dr. Siachou received her award during a ceremony held at the 12th annual Euromed Academy of Business Conference in Thessaloniki in September 2019. Following the ceremony, Dr. Siachou presented her current research project, which investigates the role of leader humility in employee voice.
An unusual topic, perhaps, but not for this researcher. “On the plane on my way back to Athens,” she says, “I thought about what draws me to explore certain topics and not others. You know, for example, that various types of leadership are described in the literature. Despotic leadership, for one. I couldn’t possibly imagine doing research on that. I think, in the end, I study the types of leaders I like to be around myself.”