Academic Initiative in Management and Entrepreneurship

The social and economic challenges of the 21st century are complex and multicausal. A broad, interdisciplinary perspective is needed to successfully meet these challenges. Consequently, disciplinary autonomy and interdisciplinary cooperation form a productive synthesis at the Faculty of Business and Economics, which is also reflected in excellent research achievements.

The Faculty of Business and Economics combines the disciplines of business administration, business education, business informatics, economics, engineering, law and psychology. The faculty's unique selling point is its competence in looking at problems from different disciplinary perspectives and working on them synergistically and multicausal. The methodological repertoire of the members of the faculty is as diverse as their research perspectives: machine learning methods for the quantitative modeling of decision problems are applied as well as various qualitative, experimental or interventional research designs. Research at the pulse of time: The members of our faculty work on the social megatrends of the present.

  • Research foci
  • Cooperations and networks
  • Faculty and institutes

Research foci

(1) Entrepreneurship is one of the forward-looking research foci of the Faculty of Business and Economics. Our researchers are united by a comprehensive understanding of entrepreneurship, which is seen as a key competence for innovation and progress. With a firm focus on the change in social values and the need to save resources, the concept of a responsible maximization of benefits is the focus here. The Research Center for Entrepreneurship is the institutional focal point of this visionary approach. Members of the faculty from the disciplines of business administration and psychology set up joint research projects under this roof in order to offer entrepreneurs, practitioners and decision-makers a scientific basis for informed business decisions.

(2) Digitization and Digital Transformation is another interdisciplinary research focus. At the Research Center for Digital Transformation, the topic is dealt with intensively and holistically from economic, technical, entrepreneurial, psychological and legal perspectives. In this research center, members of the faculty work together in interdisciplinary projects with regional, national and international partners. Our researchers are dedicated to questions in the areas of BigData, Internet of Things and Social Media and investigate changing usage habits, resource-saving potentials for increasing efficiency and automation options. This orientation is reflected in the ongoing research projects on Digit@l Entrepreneurship, E-Mental Health, E-Business, E-Commerce, Online Marketing, Knowledge Management and E-Learning. A telling example is the project "A dynamic system for recording and preventing mental workloads in SMEs in Industry 4.0". As part of a cooperation between universities as well as business partners, a web-based tool has been developed here that provides user-friendly, reliable and flexible support for companies in evaluating workloads and deriving measures.

The project "Development and Evaluation of Behavioral Prevention Modules for Online Health Check and Online Health Training for Founders and Employees" shows how these two research foci can be linked systematically. Within the framework of this collaborative project, a web-based prevention program for workplace health promotion for business start-ups and their companies was developed. In the projects "Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion" (STEP) and "Personal Initiative" (PI), the colleagues involved pursue the goal of training young people in the Global South to become entrepreneurs of the future. The publication "Teaching personal initiative beats traditional training in boosting small business in West Africa" by Michael Frese and colleagues examines whether a psychology-based training approach that teaches a proactive way of thinking and focuses on entrepreneurial behavior is particularly promising in this regard. In the project "Digital Knowledge Transfer Model", a structured approach is being developed in cooperation with the regional economy and society to provide targeted support for innovation processes and to motivate actors accordingly. The project "Digital Leadership Lab - Digital Leadership in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses" pursues a similar objective by aiming at sensitizing managers of regional SMEs to their new role in digital change and training them as innovation drivers.

(3) Sustainable management is seen as a central cross-cutting theme of the research activities. In the research project "Determination and adjustment of the properties of boundary layers in aluminum material composites in the process combination of composite casting and forming", for example, work is being carried out on this cross-sectional topic to expand the range of applications of hybrid structural components made of aluminum materials in lightweight construction in industry and research. The project "Analysis of high-voltage direct current relays for short-circuit currents in electric vehicles" is working on future mobility. The aim here is to improve the battery performance of electric vehicles. Also in cooperation with the Faculty of Sustainability, psychological and organizational success factors for sustainable behavior, sustainable decisions and also sustainable entrepreneurship are examined and researched.

Cooperations and networks

Research as an international alliance: The Faculty of Business and Economics is working intensively on strengthening the international dimension of its research activities. The faculty maintains numerous bilateral cooperation agreements, expands these collaborations and is involved in international networks (e.g. the Global Business School Network and the European University Network on Entrepreneurship) in order to ensure high quality research, teaching and transfer and to promote responsible action in business and society.