Thomas Köllen


Personal Data

PD Dr. Thomas Köllen

Bern and Cologne

Senior lecturer / hauptamtlicher Dozent (Start date: 01.08.2023)

University of Bern, Department of Organization and Human Resource Management (IOP), Switzerland


Postdoctoral lecture qualification / Habilitation at WU Vienna (2017)

Doctoral studies at Vienna University of Economics and Business (2005–2009)

Studies of business administration at Vienna University for Economics and Business (Diploma), University of Turin/Italy (Erasmus exchange) and Friedrich Schiller University of Jena/Germany (Pre-Diploma) (1998–2004)

Languages: English, German, Italian

Previous positions and mobility

Lecturer / Oberassistent  at the Institute for  Organization and Human Resource Management (IOP) at University of Bern, Switzerland (2017–2023)

Assistant professor at the Institute for Gender and Diversity in Organizations (Department of Management) at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), Austria (2011–2017)

Visiting professor at Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada (01/2016–06/2016)

Research fellow at the Graduate School for Social Work, Universidad Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (08/2012–09/2012)

Self-employed researcher and diversity advisor, Berlin and Vienna (2010–2011)

Research assistant (as stipendiary of the Austrian Academy of Sciences) at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), Vienna, Austria (2006–2009)

Guest researcher at the Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany (11/2007–04/2008)

Research assistant at the Research Institute for Gender and Diversity in Organizations, Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) (2005–2006)

Professional activities and achievements

Editorial work

Section Co-Editor for Human Resource Management and Development of the Journal of Business Ethics (2024-Present)

Associate editor of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (2021–Present)

Associate editor of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (2020–Present)

Mit-Herausgeber der Zeitschrift für Diversitätsforschung und -management (2021–Present)

Editor of the book series Diversity and Inclusion Research (2020–Present)

Special issue co-editor of “Challenging cis-normativity and gender binarism in management research", a special issue of “Gender in Management”, together with Nick Rumens

Editor of the book: Sexual orientation and transgender issues in organizations - Global perspectives on LGBT workforce diversity. Heidelberg/New York: Springer. 589p. 33 chapters (2016)

Special issue co-editor of “Moral perspectives of equality, diversity, and inclusion", a special issue of the journal "Equality, Diversity and Inclusion" (emerald), together with Marja-Liisa Kakkuri-Knuuttila and Regine Bendl (2016–2018)

Expert and reviewer tasks

Member of the five-person board of jurors of the “Swiss LGBT-Label” (2018–Present)

Academic reviewer (journals), various

Academic reviewer (conferences), various

Reviewer for the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies, Lund University (2021)

Jury member for the "Gender/Diversity-Scholarship" from the Vienna Chamber of Commerce (2016)

Positions of trust and memberships

Programme co-chair of the SIG “Gender, Race, and Diversity in Organizations and Society" (GRDO) of the European Academy of Management (EURAM) (2016–2020)

Divisional co-chair of the Division “Gender & Diversity in Organizations" of the Administrative Science Association of Canada (ASAC) (2016–2019)

Project leader of the research project “Working climates for German employees in Vienna and Zürich" (funded by the Austrian Central Bank) (2014)

Joint efforts and cooperation

Research project together with Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank (my PhD thesis)

Several cooperations with local and global companies in several seminars

Participation in/organization of conferences, workshops, etc.

Conference-chair of the 13th & 14th  EDI Conference, Bern (2021) (Flyer)

Co-chair (Conference), track: “Philosophies of managing diversity, equality, and inclusion" of the conference “Philosophy of Management", Oxford (with Marja-Liisa Kakkuri-Knuuttila and Regine Bendl) (2016)

Co-chair (conference), track: “European perspectives on LGBTI workforce diversity" of the conference “Proud In Europe? LGBTI Emancipation in Comparative Perspective" organized by the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Amsterdam (2016, with Jukka Lehtonen)

Co-chair (conference), “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" sub-track of the European Academy of Management (EURAM), Valencia and Warsaw (2014–2015)

Chief organizer of the 14th International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations, Vienna (about 300 participants) (2014)

Workshop on “Employer branding and diversity management" for the German Association of Lesbians and Gays in Psychology (VLSP), Göttingen/Germany (2014)

Chair (conference), track: “Nationalisms and the workplace" of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) conference, Athens (2013)

Administrative assignments

Responsible for the WU Vienna student exchange program with:
- Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, New-Delhi/India
- Humboldt University Berlin/Germany
- Corvinus University of Budapest/Hungary (2011–2017)

Member of the working group “Research Support/Paper Development" at the management department, WU Vienna (2013–2017)

Member of the department conference (Department Management) at WU Vienna (not during my visiting professorship in Canada) (2015–2017)

Public appearances

Talk on diversity management and inclusion, Diversity Lecture Series, University of Bern (2022)

Talk on LGBTI-diversity management, SBB trainee-program, Bern (2022)

Keynote and workshop on LGBTI-diversity management for Raiffeisen Bank International, Vienna (2020)

Workshop on workplace- and career-related LGBT-research (for the employees of the Canton of Bern) (2018)

Keynote at the LGBT-Symposium in Merseburg/Germany (2015)

Keynote at the Gender-Symposium of ver.di (“United services union" in Germany) in Berlin/Germany (2014)

Keynote at the LGBT Business Forum, Vienna/Austria (2013)

Keynote at the 1. Educational Workshop on LGBTI of the Hirschfeld Foundation, Berlin/Germany (2013)

Speaker at the LGBT recruiting fair (today: Stick and Stones, Berlin/Germany (2011)

Third-party funding

Funding from the University of Bern (Projektpool) for the organization of the research workshop on “Diversity management in family businesses" in Bern, 4.2.-6.2., Value: 4900 SFr (2018)

Doc-Team scholarship from the Austrian Academy of Science (together with Heike Mensi-Klarbach, Helga Gartner, and Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger), Value: 260.000€ for 3 years for 3 persons (2006–2009)

Jubilee Fond of the City of Vienna (for WU Vienna) funding for the research project “Working climates for German employees in Vienna and Zürich" (funded by the Austrian Central Bank), Value: 18.500€ (2014)

Prizes and awards

Research Contract (Research scholarship for 6 months), WU Vienna (2016)

Award of Teaching Excellence, WU Vienna (2015)

Best paper nominee, European Academy of Management (EURAM) Conference, Valencia/Spain (2014)

Research fellow at the University of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2012)

International Award for Excellence for new Research or Thinking in the Area of Diversity (Best Paper Award of the International Journal of Diversity, chosen out of 81 articles published in the 2011 issues) (2012)

Austrian Gay Professionals (AGPRO) prize for my PhD thesis (Price of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce) (2010) (Photo 1 / Photo 2 / Photo 3)

Doc-fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2006–2009)

Austrian Gay Professionals (AGPRO) prize for the lecture “Homosexuality in Business” (2006) (Photo 1)

Other relevant information

Media contributions

Lieblingsnachbar oder Piefke? Wie unsere Sprache Deutsche an den Rand drängt, Article in “die Presse“ (2021)

Article in “The Christian Science Monitor” (USA) (2018)

Article in “The Globe and Mail” (Canada) (2018)

Interview zu „nationalen Identitäten“ für gmx/ (2018)

Article in Österreichs Wirtschaft 172(Spring): Schade niemandem; sondern hilf allen so gut du kannst, p 10-11 (2017)

Wir haben einen Experten gefragt, warum wir Österreicher so gerne Deutsche hassen (Interview), in Vice

Interview: Warum Österreicher Deutsche nicht mögen, in Augsburger Allgemeine (2017)

In Österreich ist Deutschsein ein Defizit, Article in “die Presse". An article on my ongoing research project. 3363 times shared on facebook (2016)

Huge media response to my report on “Working climate for Germans in Switzerland". Almost every Swiss German-speaking newspaper wrote an article about it (including NZZ, tagesanzeiger, Blick, 20min), and several other European newspapers, such as FAZ, Spiegel, Welt (Germany) and Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland); Several radio-interviews

Several interviews about my PhD thesis with Austrian and German newspapers/journals

Radio-interview on ethnic marketing with OE1

PhD thesis of the week in the Austrian daily newspaper “die Presse"