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Institute of Management (IfB-HSG)

2009

On this page you will find brief descriptions of the theses which were written in 2009 at the Institute of Management.

Ambroz Kristjan: Estimating New Product Uptake with the Use of System Dynamics (Prof. M. Schwaninger)

«The aim of this dissertation is to examine ways of estimating the uptake of a new class of products. As these products address needs that are more or less successfully fulfilled by much cheaper substitutes, conventional product uptake estimating methods have failed so far.
Uptake estimation is approached by making a complete model of the pool of potential users. This procedure allows more accurate estimates of product uptake than previous analogue uptake estimation approaches. System Dynamics (SD) has been used as an organizing methodological framework for the dissertation, because it allowed an integration of results from several conflicting data sources. The main data source used is a cross country, longitudinal panel study that followed the behavior of two types of codependent decision-makers over 4 years.
The results of the dissertation suggest that the industry has continually underestimated the sales potential of the new product class. The results also support the thesis that the market for such products will continue to grow at a faster pace than is currently forecasted. The dissertation demonstrates a successful use of System Dynamics as a tool for data validation and triangulation between conflicting data sources.
Finally, the dissertation also addresses the question of the appropriateness of modeling problems and systems.»


Bertram Florian: The strategic management of innovation: Resource allocation and the creation and establishment of new and uncertain opportunities (Prof. J. Rüegg-Stürm)

«The dissertation develops a process model that describes and explains the creation and establishment of new and uncertain opportunities, drawing implications for resource allocation. It is motivated by the challenges managers are confronted with when making investments into new and uncertain opportunities that have no immediate impact on the business but may have an impact in the long-term. The primary research gap addressed in this dissertation is that the creation of new and uncertain opportunities is largely underexplored in existing contributions to strategy process research. It focuses on the following research question: How do managers in existing organizations enable resource allocation to new and uncertain opportunities that are still in the process of their formation and that may only have a positive influence on the business in the long-term? The dissertation is based on an in-depth single case study in the context of F. Hoffmann-La Roche following a grounded theory methodology, and building on the theoretical foundation of an actor-network theory. The dissertation derives a process model that describes simultaneous and parallel processes of venturing and strategizing in problematization, interessement, enrolment, and mobilization, which represent central processes in the creation and establishment of new and uncertain opportunities, and the allocation of resources to such opportunities-in-themaking.
The study contributes to an introduction of creative entrepreneurial processes to the strategy process. Furthermore, it contributes to the further development of the emerging research program of strategic entrepreneurship.»


Bilhuber Galli Eva: Strategic Alignment of Leadership Development (Prof. G. Müller-Stewens)

«Eine der zentralen strategischen Aufgaben des Corporate Managements von Mehrgeschäftsunternehmen ist es, Synergien zwischen verschiedenen Geschäftsfeldern zu erzielen. Die Dissertation geht der Fragestellung nach, unter welchen Voraussetzungen die firmeninterne Managemententwicklung dazu einen Beitrag leisten kann.
Am Beispiel eines internationalen Mehrgeschäftsunternehmens in der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche wurden Manager, die sehr erfolgreich geschäftsübergreifend kooperierten mit Managern, die sich weniger erfolgreich engagierten, verglichen.
Die Analyse ergab, dass die Managemententwicklung in der Tat die Umsetzung der Strategieziele in Form von geschäftsbereichsübergreifender Zusammenarbeit unterstützen kann. Allerdings muss sie sich dazu von der traditionellen, individuumszentrierten Kompetenzorientierung lösen und die Beziehungen – das Sozialkapital – zwischen den Geschäftsbereichen als vollwertiges Ziel systematisch in den Vordergrund stellen. Sozialkapital, im Sinne von gegenseitigem Vertrauen und einer gemeinsamen Ausrichtung, wird bei der geschäftsübergreifenden Zusammenarbeit als entscheidende Komponente betrachtet, sollen insbesondere Wachstumssynergien über die Geschäftsbereiche hinweg generiert werden.»


Kaltenbrunn Wolfgang: The Impact of the Organizational Context on the Performance of Strategic Initiatives (Prof. G. Müller-Stewens)

«Employing a modified contingency perspective, this dissertation investigates which factors of both the internal and external organizational context impact strategic initiative performance. As the causal relationship between the organizational context and initiative performance is indirect, we use the degree of the three dimensions of strategy-making (i.e., leadership style, task rationality, and employee involvement) to logically bridge the former two phenomena. On that basis we develop a theoretical model and derive from it three hypotheses relating these three contextually induced strategy-making dimensions within an initiative to strategic initiative performance. These relationships are all moderated by the degree of exploration in the initiative’s task.
We then propose and apply a methodology which links descriptive statistics and a combination of the statistical application of a principal components analysis and a multi-stage regression analysis to quantitatively test our three hypotheses. The empirical data for our PhD thesis comes from a sample of 200 managerial employees of a global industrial organization who responded to our online questionnaire survey. The statistical analyses confirm both the validity of our theoretical model and the significance of all three of our hypotheses. Our study then highlights its contributions to the scientific field of strategic management and also suggests opportunities for future research projects. Finally, we infer four concrete recommendations for managerial practice from our most significant statistical results without over-interpreting the findings of our analyses.»


Lüders Christoph: Struktur der Initiierungsphase von Dienstleistungsinnovationsprozessen: Umsetzung des Spannungsfeldes zwischen Effizienz und Flexibilität auf Prozessebene (Prof. P. Gomez)

«Die Arbeit untersucht, wie Innovationsprozesse für Dienstleistungen gestaltet werden. Aufgrund ihrer Immaterialität, der hohen Interaktion mit dem Kunden und des Fehlens einer F&E Tätigkeit unterscheiden sich Dienstleistungsinnovationen von denen bei produzierten Gütern. Die gewonnenen Erkenntnisse aus dem Güterkontext können nicht 1:1 auf den Dienstleistungskontext übertragen werden. Anhand von zwei Fallstudien mit IT-Beratungsunternehmen wird der Dienstleistungsinnovationsprozess und im Speziellen die Phase der Ideengenerierung untersucht. Die Ergebnisse werden vor dem Hintergrund der bestehenden Erkenntnisse aus den Bereichen der Organisations- und Prozessgestaltung sowie des Innovationsmanagements ausgewertet.
Die Fallstudien zeigen, dass durch die Ausgestaltung der Ideengenerierung in den untersuchten Dienstleistungsinnovationsprozessen die widersprüchlichen organisatorischen Anforderungen von radikalen und inkrementellen Innovationen gekoppelt werden können. Während radikale Innovationen flache und organische Strukturen erfordern, benötigen inkrementelle Innovationen eine effiziente und mechanische Struktur. Den untersuchten Unternehmen ist es gelungen, diese widersprüchlichen Prinzipien in einem Innovationsprozess zu integrieren. Die identifizierte Lösung wurde bisher nicht diskutiert und liefert damit Erkenntnisse zur Weiterentwicklung einer «theory of organization design for innovation»


Menz Markus: The Entrepreneurial Corporate Center: How Multibusiness Firms Benefit from Management Innovation (Prof. G. Müller-Stewens)

«In this dissertation, we focus on the entrepreneurial role of the corporate center in multibusiness firms and study how these firms benefit from management innovation. Following an introductory chapter, we review the literature on the corporate center. Distinguishing studies according to their focus on the roles, styles, and resources of the corporate center, the relationship with the organizational and environmental context, and the performance implications, we integrate the research into an organizing framework. Based on a synthesis of the literature, we propose a comprehensive research agenda.
In the third chapter, we introduce two dimensions of management innovation performed by the corporate center, business scope and functional scope. We argue that the fit between the scope of management innovation and relatedness of the business portfolio, centralization of decision-making, and formalization of the corporate center is advantageous. Analyzing survey data from 139 European firms, we find that the scope of management innovation is not beneficial per se, however, that the capacity to align the scope and the organizational context results in superior performance.
In the fourth chapter, we hypothesize that developing management innovation capability through deliberate learning mediates the relationship between a firm’s management innovation activity and management innovation performance. Further, we suggest that the environmental dynamism a firm faces positively moderates this indirect effect. While results from our data provide evidence for the former, they only partially support the latter.
In the fifth chapter, we illustrate our previous findings with the case of Siemens. Exploring the Siemens top+ program for the ten-year period from 1998 to 2007, we highlight the development of a firm’s corporate-level management innovation activity.
We conclude this dissertation with a synthesis of the results and with a discussion of our contribution to research on the corporate center in multibusiness firms, on management innovation, and on dynamic capabilities.»


Olaya Camilo: Selection and variation: Criticism and a first selectionist metamodel fort the growth of knowledge in management science (Prof. M. Schwaninger)


Türtscher Philipp: The emergence of architecture in modular systems: coordination across boundaries at ATLAS, CERN (Prof. G. von Krogh)

«Proponents of modularity suggest that the development of complex technological systems can be coordinated by pre-specifying their architecture(s), i.e., the coordination of interdependent components is embedded in clearly defined interface specifications.
Such an approach, I suggest, begs a more fundamental question – What are the origins of architecture(s)? This question, I believe, has largely been neglected by the extant literature.
To shed light on this question, I studied the development of ATLAS, a complex technological system that is being developed at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. My study suggests that the emergence of technological architecture(s) is characterized by an ongoing process of negotiations in which diverse actors justify and explain their design rationales. The ‘interlaced knowledge’ resulting from this process provides a deeper understanding and appreciation of the requirements of the various components.
As a consequence, the multiple groups are able to anticipate latent interdependencies and to interrelate with one another with care and deliberation.»

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