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Eva Knies




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Professional profile

Eva is strongly committed to achieving academic and societal impact through her research, teaching, and outreach activities, and to supporting, facilitating, and inspiring others to do the same. Her professional drive is to contribute collectively to our understanding of how public sector employees and managers function at work, how people management can contribute to their performance and well-being, and ultimately to public value creation. She also applies this knowledge in her own leadership roles. Knowledge co-creation and teamwork are core values that guide her work. Her experience in collaborative projects confirms her belief that real impact is created by working with others (practitioners and academics) at all stages of the process.

Eva’s main professional interests are:

  • The contribution of HRM, leadership, and people management to employee, organisational, and societal outcomes, particularly in a public sector context

  • Sustainable employability of workers and employer investments in promoting this

  • Hybrid work


Eva’s research focus is on people management (combining HRM and leadership) in a public-sector context. Her research can be positioned at the intersection of public administration and management, Human Resource Management (HRM), and Work and Organisational Psychology. In recent years, she has conducted most of her empirical research in the education and healthcare sectors.


Between 2022-2027, most of Eva’s research will take place in the context of her NWO Vidi project entitled ‘The dark side of people management: when well-intended support is too much of a good thing’. As of 2023, Eva is supervising two PhD projects that investigate the dark side of people management in the education and healthcare sectors:

  • Roos Mulder: The dark side of people management in the healthcare sector (together with Jasmijn van Harten and Maria Peeters)

  • Sandra de Kruijf: The dark side of people management in the education sector (together with Julia Penning de Vries and Toon Taris)


Currently, Eva is also supervising the following PhD projects:

  • Robert van Kleeff: Lean management in healthcare (together with Paul Boselie and Jasmijn van Harten)

  • Renée Vermeulen: People management in the context of professionals (together with Carina Schott)

  • Mari Braakman: Process mining and well-being (together with Hajo Reijers, Maria Peeters and Iris Beerepoot)


Over the past years, Eva has been involved in numerous types of education, ranging from bachelor to master and executive education. She teaches a wide range of topics, including management and organisation, strategy and HRM, and research methods.


Eva is involved in USG’s bachelor’s programme in Public Administration and Organisational Science (in Dutch) and the master’s programme Strategic Human Resource Management.


She also has extensive teaching experience in executive programmes, such as the HRM in education programme for secondary school principals.


Eva is also involved in the PhD courses ‘Advanced HRM’ of the Dutch HRM Network and ‘Managing public organizations and employees in a challenging environment’ of the Netherlands Institute of Governance (NIG).

Societal impact

Eva highly values creating societal impact through her work. Over the past years, her work has contributed to the development of public management and HRM in the public sector, especially in the healthcare and education sectors, both at sectoral and individual institution level.


Eva has been project leader of several large, commissioned research projects, including projects commissioned by the Dutch Council for Secondary Education and the Ministry of Education and by Utrecht University. She co-designed the digital tool ‘Spiegel Personeel & School’ (‘Mirror Personnel and School’), which enables school boards and principals to map how various stakeholders perceive their school’s HRM and leadership, and provides tailored advice on how to strengthen it.


Eva has featured in several podcasts (e.g., Future of Work, Primary Education podcast), radio interviews (e.g., BNR Nieuwsradio), videos (e.g., Dutch Council of Secondary Education, Future of Work seminar series), and national newspaper articles (e.g., NRC, Trouw, Algemeen Dagblad), has given many presentations and workshops for public managers, and has published in professional journals.

Involvement in the wider (academic) community

Eva is one of the coordinators of the Future of Work platform, which is part of the university-wide strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies.


She is co-chair of the European Group for Public Administration’s Public Personnel Policies study group, and a member of the editorial board of several academic journals (Human Resource Management Journal, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Public Administration Review, Journal of Policy Studies, Gedrag & Organisatie).


Eva is a board member of the Dutch HRM Network and a member of the advisory council of the Netherlands Institute of Governance (NIG).

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