The following dissertations have recently been completed at the Chair of Organization and Management:
Caroline Kähr Serra: "Three Essays on the Professionalization of New Ventures"
This dissertation analyzes the profeessionalization of new ventures. Thereby, it takes up a key moment in this professionalisation process, namely a new venture`s first succession event where the founder is replaced with a professional CEO. In order to foster our understanding of this moment, it adopts three different perspectives: First; assuming a cognitive stance, it integrates the succession event within the broader literature of organisational change. Second, adopting a sense making perspective, it sheds light on how founders construct narratives to make sense of the role transition they undergo in the succession event. Third, embracing an upper echelons view, this dissertation shows how the different founder post-succession roles relate to the changing dynamics within the top management team and how these changes in turn influence strategic decision-making outcomes.
Lea Stadtler: "Designing public-private partnerships for development"
This thesis explores the challenge of designing successful public-private partnerships (PPPs) for development and contributes to the discourse on partnerships and business engagement in society with four papers. Paper I adopts the company perspective and develops a conceptual framework for aligning the corporate economic interests with the partnership's social goal. Based on a theoretical analysis, Paper II examines the role which different structures play in handling common design challenges and contributes to building a framework that facilitates more informed and tailored decisions to structure PPPs for development. Papers III and IV are empirical: The former analyzes how partners cope with tensions occurring on the PPP's boundaries. Building on insights from four case studies, it develops a comprehensive framework for boundary management. Based on a seminal qualitative study of 19 organizations, Paper IV then explores the roles of broker organizations which increasingly facilitate the partnering process of PPPs for development.
Gaetan Devins: "Les organisations ambidextres - solutions structurelles et organisationnelles"
In today's environment, innovation and agility are deemed central to a firm's sustainable growth and prosperity. Moreover, to ensure short-term viability, there should be a focus on operational efficiency and the continuous improvement of existing capabilities. This dissertation explains how this balance might be achieved through ambidexterity. Its two forms, namely organizationnal and structural, allow for the conciliation of the two opposing activities: exploitation of current capabilities and exploration of new opportunities. Furthermore, the dissertation maintains that different types of innovation might require different organizational structures.
Patricia Klarner: "Rhythm of organizational change: A longitudinal analysis of the European insurance industry"
My dissertation seeks to gain insight into how organizations that undergo a series of changes over time can improve their long-term performance. More specifically, I am interested in the role that the rhythm of organizational change plays in explaining long-term performance. The dissertation is structured into two parts: A first one, in which I introduce the concept of change rhythm and develop a theoretical model of the determinants of organizational changes' outcome, arguing that prior research has so far underestimated this concept's importance for explaining long-term performance. In the second part, I build upon this by developing a model which deals with factors that moderate the relationship between an organization's change rhythm and long-term performance. In order to develop these two models, I build on theories of organizational change, the entrainment literature and research on top management's role in change, as well as organizational learning theory.
Both models and their underlying hypotheses will be empirically tested using a longitudinal dataset. It consists of yearly change events of 70 companies in the European insurance industry and covers the period 1995 until 2004 and the geographical areas of the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France.
Katty Marmenout: "The Balanced Organization : Balancing Culture as a Global Player"
Prominent organizational scholars have recognized tensions between desirable characteristics of cultures and paradoxical contextual requirements. Long-term successful global corporations somehow seem to find and maintain a balance between competing demands. The purpose of the present study is to uncover how a cultural balance is achieved and maintained in a successful global organization. In order to do so, the present study follows an organization characterized by sustainable growth over a 10 years period. Key findings would be the patterns that are related to successful adaptation and balance maintenance, a picture of the phases through which groups go in this adaptation and documenting potential pitfalls to avoid. This research would contribute to research on the ambidextrous organization and to organizational culture research.
Achim Schmitt: "Innovation and growth in corporate restructuring : solution or contradiction?"
Phases of growth and decline are part of every organizational life and therefore constantly represented in the management literature. Companies anticipating or facing downturns react through restructuring activities in order to reverse the declining business situation in the long-term. Due to a focus on efficiency within the literature, restructuring activities are often associated with short-term cost-cutting, downsizing and retrenchment. As innovation functions as a means to attain corporate growth it might provide a response to corporate decline. For that reason, the research aims to determine the role of growth through innovation within corporate restructuring efforts.
Stefano Borzillo: "Communities of Practice to Actively Develop and Share Best Practices"
The development and transfer of best practices emerges as one of the major problems that management faces. The utilization of best practices is of particular interest for organizations, since they allow considerable cost reduction, gain of time, as well as enhancement of quality for production processes. This research project is focally concerned with the question of how Best Practices get managed by Communities of Practice? More precisely, what are the key-success factors that enable these intra-organizational networked structures of practitioners to actively develop and share best practices within the organization? Thanks to their development and transfer, these best practices serve as a vector to distribute know-how within the enterprise, allowing the deployment of superior results elsewhere across the organization. These key-success factors were discovered using the methodology of comparative case study. Until now, the research has been conducted in 30 Communities of Practice, from different organizations and industries.
Heidi Armbruster: "Success factors of innovation teams - a social network analysis"
The aim of this research project is to identify key success factors of innovation teams in the fields of team composition, team context and social networks of the teams. The core of this research project is the analysis of these social networks within the team and from the team to other organizational units. In particular, communication networks, knowledge transfer networks, resources transfer networks and trust networks within teams and to other organizational entities are investigated. We see in these social networks the main success factors of innovation teams. This research project takes place in cooperation with several multinational companies in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry. The data is analyzed with the social network analysis.
Sebastian Raisch: "Dynamic Strategic Analysis - The Case of the Global Media Industries"
The aim of this research project is to integrate diverse approaches to industry analysis within strategic management and to complement these approaches with a dynamic component. Existing approaches are highly fragmented and inherently static and thus fail to capture the complex interplay of numerous determinants of firm success in dynamic industries. The core of this research project is to establish an integrated model of strategic analysis that allows to better grasping this increasing complexity and dynamics. Finally, the model will be applied to analyze different market segments of the global media industries and to uncover the core determinants of corporate success in these markets.
Christian Wiedemann: "Relational Knowledge in Organizational Change Processes"
The aim of this research project is to explore the role of knowledge in organizational change processes. In particular, not caring about relational knowledge (which is being defined as knowledge dependent on personal, trustful relationships to other members within the organization or to externals) in planned change initiatives is considered to be a crucial factor for causing resistance to change or even change failure. The research is based on a in-depth single case study applying qualitative research methods such as grounded theory.