My research is about imperfections in how actors interact with each other. Specifically, the aim is to identify errors and problems in how companies interact with their customers and suppliers and how they arrive at a jointly agreed action. Three structural pillars underpin this research:
B.Sc., LL.M., Ph.D.
Research on Negotiations, Contracts and Performance cuts across the inter-disciplinary boundaries of Management (Business-to-business Marketing), Economics (Behavioral Economics) and Law (Contract Law). The work is policy-relevant and places emphasis on obtaining contemporary manifestations of business agreements, such as written contracts, standard terms and conditions, umbrella agreements or framework contracts. The research includes financial institutions, manufacturers and retailers.
Conducting research on Negotiations, Contracts and Performance, I am involved in the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) Group which has carried out international studies into the management of complex business networks. The group’s ‘interaction approach’ is based on the importance for both researchers and managers of understanding complex business networks and the interaction between active buyers and sellers in continuing business relationships. Please see papers published in Harvard Business Review, Organization Studies, Cambridge Law Journal, Journal of Contract Law, Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Negotiation Journal, Journal of Customer Behaviour, Journal of Business Market Management, Thexis, Die Betriebswirtschaft - Business Administration Review (BARev)-, Journal of Marketing Management, European Journal of Marketing,Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing.
My current research concerns corporate deal-making of financial institutions and centres on the ways that financial institutions may come to act in a similar way to each other over time without coordination (see, Die Betriebswirtschaft -Business Administration Review (BARev)-. Current research delivers new insights on 1) the connectivity between financial institutions, and 2) the sources of systemic risk by offering accurate knowledge on the nature of exchange between financial institutions.
Moreover, my research is related to corporate responses to contemporary challenges. For example, climate change mitigation represents a significant challenge for our society, one in which businesses will need to play a more active role. Research findings highlight significant discrepancies between the way that CO2 markets are designed and the way that they are actually operated. See the study on "Market-based Responses to Climate Change" published in Organization Studies (with Gareth Veal).
Contracts to Foster Innovation
Empirical research has been conducted about how companies innovate in their business networks. We have investigated innovation as a process of leveraging resources within business relationships to achieve differentiation and create value. See recent study on Innovation in Business Networks:The Role of Leveraging Resources. Business contracts are a critical part in the innovation process as they can enable or prevent companies from moving quickly.
Recent work on contracts is related to 'A Proposed Taxonomy of Contracts' (with Michael Furmston) published in the Journal of Contract Law and a review of 'Contract Research Today: Where do we Stand?' (with Keith Blois) published in Industrial Marketing Management. The need to secure contracts with other firms may lead many companies to dysfunctional arrangements which limit their ability to differentiate and innovate in the future. This empirical observation prompted me to investigate a range of flexible inter-firm arrangements called umbrella agreements that foster innovation, see Harvard Business Review. Companies recognize the importance of umbrella agreements with other firms because they optimize the required level of reliance and flexibility. For more details of this work, see 'From Contract to Umbrella Agreement' published in the Cambridge Law Journal (with Michael Furmston, at Singapore Management University). See also ‘Negotiating Umbrella Agreements’ published in the Negotiation Journal. Empirical findings about the role of Umbrella Agreements in managing business relationships appear in the Journal of Business Research (with David Ford, at Euromed School of Management, Marseille France).
Furthermore, see commentary on Hugh Collins' (Oxford) article 'Legal Aspects of Network Architecture of Supply Chains'. Both commentary and article appear in a recent volume on "Networks: Legal Issues of Multilateral Cooperation", edited by G. Teubner and M. Amstutz, Hart Publications (2009).
One of the particularities of trust is its inherent anthropocentricity. As a concept, trust appears to be more applicable at the level of inter-personal relationships than to inter-organizational relationships. As business relationships involve both inter-personal and inter-organizational relationships, our research demonstrates the need to look at reliance as an incremental intellectual lens on business relationships, see the study on Trust and Reliance in Business Relationships.
Effectiveness versus Efficiency
Empirical research in this area indicates that in periods of low growth, many companies focus on issues of competitive advantage through value appropriation rather than on issues of creating new growth opportunities in their networks. They are solely addressing their operational efficiency and neglecting market effectiveness. My research on companies' performance in business networks emphasizes the importance of linking efficiency and effectiveness. For details of my work in this area, see the study on Efficiency versus Effectiveness published in the Journal of Business Research.
Managerial Cognition in Networks
Based on empirical research in consumer goods companies, pharmaceutical companies, producers of semiconductors and telecommunication and utility service providers, we suggest that managers which develop network insight are able to mobilize other actors and create a competitive advantage for their organization that is crucial for innovation and growth (see the article on 'Developing Network Insight' as well as the article on 'Changing Network Pictures: Evidence from Mergers and Acquisitions' both published in the Industrial Marketing Management.
The Constitution of Networks
The idea of a constitution of networks is a useful addition to our ways of understanding what happens within the business landscape. We look at the constitution of networks as a system of values, norms, rules and other conventions that are shared by actors in business networks. Whether by intention or not, the constitution of networks provides a framework within which interaction among actors takes place. See empirical insights on The Constitution of Networks published in the Industrial Marketing Management.
I welcome PhD applications from prospective students interested in the following areas:
-Negotiations and Contracts
-Markets and Institutions
-Innovation and Value
-Efficiency and Effectiveness
ESRC Grant (2005); KTP Grant-Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Energy for Sustainable Development Ltd and the University of Bath-(2006); ISBM Fund -Institute for the Study of Business Markets- (2006); Global Innovative Marketing (2006); Pump Priming Grant (2007). KTP Grant-Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Energy Efficiency Company and Lancaster University (in cooperation with Lancaster Environment Centre (J. Faulconbridge) with the objective to investigate carbon trading, offsetting and verifying (2010). Co-investigator in the Catalyst project (2011-1014); funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPRSC), and brings together academics and communities to jointly imagine and build the next generation of innovative technologies for social change.
Editorial Board Member for:
-International Marketing Review
-Industrial Marketing Management
-Journal of Business and Market Management
Member of Industrial Marketing and Purchasing Group (IMP- Group)
-Harvard University, Harvard Law School, Program on Negotiation, Cambridge, MA, USA (Academic Year 2013-2014)
-Stockholm School of Economics (2014)
-Vienna University of Economics and Business| WU, Austria (2013)
-University of Duesseldorf, Germany (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
-Singapore Management University, Singapore (2010)
-University of Lugano, Switzerland (2010)
-University of Bocconi, Italy (2009)
Before joining the academe in 2002, I worked at Kellogg as Head of Brand Management for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I also held management positions at R. J. R. International/ JT International, GfK-Trade Research and Procter & Gamble in Germany.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article
Activity: External academic engagement › Invited talk
Activity: External academic engagement › Research and Teaching at External Organisation
Activity: Editorial work or peer review of publications › Editorial activity
Press clipping: Research
Press clipping: Teaching