Current dissertation projects
Current dissertation projects
Sustainable Business Model Innovation for a circular future
|The finite nature of resources requires a rethinking of production and consumption. Innovations and new business models are key for the transformation to a more climate-friendly, resource-efficient, and circular economy. Product-service systems are being discussed as a solution to this problem. They have the potential to increase the efficiency of use, for example, in the case of service providers retaining the ownership of products and for this reason optimizing longevity and recyclability. Another example are product take-back systems, which close the product cycle. To maximize the sustainability potential of product-service systems it is essential to consider the positive and negative effects on the environment and the society already in the innovation process.
Therefore, the goal of the doctoral thesis is to take a holistic view on sustainable business model innovations.
Drivers and barriers of sustainable business model innovations is explores, a framework for the development of sustainable business models involving different stakeholders is developed, and suitable methods for the inclusion of sustainability in the innovation process are developed and tested in practice.
Keywords in this context are business model innovation, circular economy, service design, closed-loop supply chain management, sustainable value creation, resource efficiency, stakeholder management, customer orientation, and social change.
|PhD student: Lena Ries
Strategizing sustainability in the firm: conceptual and empirical approaches
|In times of ongoing climate change debates and related sustainability issues, companies of every size and in every sector are incorporating sustainability aspects into their management operations. However, this implementation is not necessarily strategically aligned with the overall business strategy of each firm. While some firms might focus on functional sustainability strategy, others may incorporate a special sustainability aspect as a core competence in the entire organization. And still, others might even take a less strategic approach. These different approaches vary across sectors and industries, but also across the size of firms. Therefore, this dissertation project intends to analyze the different definitions of and approaches to sustainability strategies in various industries. Thereby, a special emphasis will be on the size of firms since small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often lack the resources which large enterprises can draw from.
To analyze this development, this dissertation project combines and complements the three overarching research fields of general strategy, management of SMEs and sustainability management.
|PhD student: Jennifer Adolph
Green cooperations: Business opportunities, branding success and impact communication of NGO-firm-cooperations
|Climate change and modern stakeholder interests are increasingly posing new sustainability challenges for companies. Companies can acquire knowledge and develop skills to meet the challenges themselves, or they can look for the expertise they need externally. As a result, partnerships between companies and non-profit organizations (NPOs) that are familiar with environmental issues and sustainability are becoming more common. My dissertation project deals with the specifics and opportunities of such NPO-firm-cooperations. In particular, I will investigate how such cooperations can achieve competitive advantages through their internal, external and inter-organizational communication. I will use quantitative, qualitative and theory-based methods to answer both questions from research and practice.
|PhD student: Laura Therese Heinl
Effect of Work onto Social Entrepreneurs – with a focus on the meaning of stress situations
|Social entrepreneurs in Germany are systematically interviewed by means of individual interview research (Reflexive Grounded Theory) to find out what special challenges they experience in their professional world and which aspects in particular influence their work design and the impact of work. Among other things, valid statements about different conditions for successful social entrepreneurship will be worked out. Furthermore, the question will be investigated, to what extent specifics for failure can be identified.
|PhD student: Rüdiger Hein
Integration of sustainability in corporate decisions
|Differences between thinking patterns of decision makers and sustainability specialists regarding the contribution of sustainability initiatives to corporate value are a possible explanation for different degrees of implementation of companies. Building on a literature-based analysis of the effect of thought patterns on decision-making processes, the research project analyzes methods and strategies for internal communication of sustainability projects in German-speaking multinational companies. Based on the results of the literature and qualitative analysis, interventions will be developed, applied and analyzed with regard to their effect on the thinking patterns of managers in an experiment in a selected company.
|PhD student: Jasper Meyer
Incorporating sustainability into project management
|Integrating sustainability into operations is a major challenge for many organizations and companies. One possibility is the integration of sustainability aspects into project management. The dissertation project aims to contribute to the research area of sustainable project management by first analyzing the different interpretations of the role of sustainability in project management in the literature. In a further step, the results of the literature review will be reflected in an empirical work.
|PhD student: Kevin Friedrich