Research

At DOM we are concerned corporate entrepreneurship; with sensing, creating, and launching desired futures in established social systems, and in particular with the individual and sociological processes associated with the creation, mediation, and implementation of radical new knowledge (ideas) in large, complex organizations.

Three focal points define the research, teaching and project work of the center:

1) Knowledge creation:  In this research focus we investigate how corporate entrepreneurs are able to discover or create opportunities that are not obvious to others in the organization. While new knowledge is developed by individuals, we do understand that organizations play a critical role in the dynamic process of articulating and amplifying that knowledge.

2) Knowledge communication: In this field of research we attempt to explain how individual knowledge becomes shared within a group. In particular we are interested in answering the questions, how corporate entrepreneurs achieve credibility for radical new ideas within an established social system?

3) Knowledge implementation: To become an entrepreneurial initiative, either as an experimental trial or pilot project, new ideas must gain acceptance among others. We investigate how organizations validate entrepreneurial belief and research the criteria that determine ‘truth’ in the process of creating entrepreneurial knowledge within an existing corporation?

In terms of methodology, researchers at DOM work mainly with case studies and surveys of real situations.  A special feature and skill of DOM is not just to investigate practically relevant problems, but also to develop our own suggestions for solutions and then test and evaluate them rigorously (e.g., by means of appropriate prototypes).

At present, the following projects are under way:

Creation Entrepreneurs (fundamental research project)
Fairly recently an alternative theory of how entrepreneurial opportunities are generated has been proposed in the field of entrepreneurship. This new perspective suggests that opportunities do not just exist independet of entrepreneurs, just waiting to be discovered – but equally are created by the actions of entrepreneurs. Although it probably will always be possible to describe entrepreneurial opportunities as the outcome of either discovery or creation process, these two models bring about different implications for the effectiveness of various entrepreneurial actions. We investigate the theoretical implications of the uncertain decision making context in the case of opportunity creation from an entrepreneurial and strategic management perspective.

Visionaries Talk (applied research project)
How do visionaries and change makers achieve credibility for new ideas? Think of Steven Sasson at Kodak, who in the early 1970s, in the analog age, has born the idea of digital photography he then translated into a tangible camera. We look at corporate entrepreneurs to investigate the individual and sociological processes associated with the creation and mediation of radical new ideas in large, complex organizations. Currently we continue our research in this field with an in-depth survey at Kodak US.

Porsche Innovations (applied research project)
Porsche innovations have an enormous bandwidth: from the first serial-production hybrid vehicles, to the establishment of the world's biggest automobile club, to Porsche's transformation into one of the most profitable automobile manufacturers in the world. In years of research (2007-2012), Michael Shamiyeh has investigated Porsche's innovative steps and extracted a set of 12 universal innovation principles for successful product, social, and business model innovation. In 2012 Shamiyeh and his firm Shamyieh Associates curated and designed a 4,000 sqm large exhibition and produced a double DVD presenting the innovative force of Porsche. A book that explores the innovation principles side-by-side with case studies from other industries is currently in progress.

Talent Management (applied research project)
Economic researches predict a massive decline in the economic output and many claim this crisis to be the most severe since World War II. One has to acknowledge though, that the preconditions to solve this crisis are totally different to the situation in 1945. Many companies will take it as a chance to restructure their organization, to implement new technologies, or to gain access into new markets. This in mind, the demand for highly qualified employees may rise dramatically within immediate future and the battle for talent may be more important than ever before. Siemens VAI commissioned DOM to investigate criteria to increase the quality of life and work for international employees, to search for instruments for recruiting and employer branding, and to evaluate future developments in the field of human resources and to improve services to support new employees and their families from other countries.

Beyond Eco-efficiency (research and innovation project)
Historically, management theory systematically ignored the constraints imposed by the natural environment. Despite the growing magnitude of ecological problems it was not until the mid 1990s that the impact of environmental issues on firm strategies has led to a variety of academic perspectives most notably focusing on resource respectively eco-efficiency. Our research attempts to investigate the limits of strategies towards efficiency with respect to the natural environment as well as to their capability to sustain a competitive advantage over the long run, and to examine eco-effective strategies as an alternative model of sustainability. In addition to our research work, we explore these issues by actually engaging in real innovation initiatives. Current projects are the award winning self-sustained media facade ‘Solar Display’ and ‘Radical Wood,’ a house that has been built purely out of wood (no chemicals).