Entrepreneurship – unleashing the entrepreneur

We study successful individuals, their behaviours, and the way they work. We also investigate the economic and legal frameworks in organizations, politics, and society that enable entrepreneurship to thrive. We develop responsible business leaders who perform successfully as entrepreneurs and who are able to utilize the full potential of legal protection for their firm’s creativity.

Composition of research teams along the life cycle of firms

Founders have a strong impact on the performance of their firms. However, the role of founders can change dramatically as the firm progresses along the life cycle. Whereas founders are responsible for all tasks at the time of start-up, they can decide about which tasks to delegate after the firm has grown. This project investigates for technology-oriented firms whether continuing involvement of founders in research and development (R&D) is positive or negative for firm performance. Furthermore, implications of founder-involvement in research are analyzed for R&D cooperations and for knowledge combination inside the firm.

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Gaining Customer Perceived Cognitive Legitimacy in New Venture Settings

Young companies are important for economic growth. Many of these start-ups develop new and innovative products. While the product performance and the firm performance are highly correlated within the first years, the firm performance highly depends on the company’s first product success. The first product success decides about success or failure of the company. To overcome the risk of failure a new venture has to increase its customers’ legitimacy. Legitimacy consists of different dimensions, e.g. sociopolitical and cognitive legitimacy. From a customer’s perspective, new ventures must concentrate on cognitive legitimacy. In the early phase of a new venture cognitive legitimacy is low and has to be increased.

This project addresses the operationalization of customer perceived cognitive legitimacy, its enhancement, and its influencing factors.

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Managing Cultural Diversity in Small and Medium-sized Organizations

Because of immigration, organizations in the EU have become increasingly more diverse in terms of the national and cultural backgrounds of their employees. In response to an increasingly diverse workforce, many European companies and public institutions have initiated so-called diversity management programs. However, despite increased research on diversity management in the recent past, disagreement over what diversity management entails is restraining the development of a coherent body of knowledge. Much of the work is speculative and findings of empirical studies about diversity management are still fragmented and inconsistent. Research on cultural diversity in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is especially scarce, even though SMEs may be more affected by demographic changes than large companies. 

Our research project focuses on the management of cultural diversity in SMEs and pays special attention to professionally qualified immigrants from Non-EU countries. Our goal is to better understand the use and effectiveness of measures designed to integrate immigrant professionals into their organizations. Our findings will enable us to provide evidence-based recommendations to decision makers for managing a culturally diverse workforce and for improving the integration of qualified immigrants especially from non-EU countries.

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