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New Book Chapter: Dynamic Capabilities – Celebrating the Plurality of Understandings

I graduated from a doctoral program in strategic management. Its key tenet was to explore the theme of “dynamic capabilities and relationships”, i.e. how organizations can adapt to a changing business environment with help of their (multiple) social relationships (think of buyers, suppliers, stakeholders, etc.). I’ve written up some thoughts on the program in a previous blog post.

The community of scholars involved in the doctoral program, including the founding professors and several doctoral students, have recently published a book entitled “Dynamic Capabilities and Relationships: Discourses, Concepts, and Reflections“, published by Springer. It was a fun project to work on. We were invited to reflect on our doctoral journey and share some core insights from our dissertations projects.

My section has the title: “Four Lessons Learnt from My Doctoral Journey and Some Advice for Emerging Dynamic Capabilities Scholars”. I hope that these learnings will resonate with early doctoral students, particularly with those who share my interest in emerging technologies. Below is quick summary. In order to dive deeper, feel free to explore the whole chapter (see download links and formal references below).

Continue reading New Book Chapter: Dynamic Capabilities – Celebrating the Plurality of Understandings

The DCR Doctoral Program: Celebrating 10 Years

My doctoral program recently turned 10. I joined the the doctoral program in Dynamic Capabilities and Relationships in 2011. The program was the reason for me to return from the UK to Germany. I was extremely excited about the opportunity. And the program did deliver: We were given absolute freedom to work independently on our research projects, had the opportunity to attend numerous research events, such as summer schools, workshops and conferences, and were supervised by experienced and well-published academics.

Shortly upon graduation from the doctoral program, in 2014, I became a Visiting Professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I was privileged to spend some time with Samer Faraj’s Research Group on Complex Collaboration, whose work had strongly influenced my dissertation. In a sense, it was the culmination of my journey in the doctoral program and, of course, the foundation for my current work as a professor at Munich Business School.

To mark the 10-year anniversary, all members of the doctoral program were recently asked to write s short note of reflection. I chose to contemplate my first visit to the Academy of Management Conference, one of the world’s biggest management conferences, in the summer of 2011. (One of my key takeaways was…)

Continue reading The DCR Doctoral Program: Celebrating 10 Years

Call for Applications: Six Scholarships @Viadrina @GGS_Heilbronn

If you are currently looking around for interesting PhD programs in the field of management, you may want to have a look at the following call for applications. The program I’m currently enrolled in is recruiting five PhDs and one Post-Doc as of April 2012. Deadline for applications is December 12, 2011. There are a number of testimonials about the program written by me and my colleagues. You can check them out here. For further details, have a look at the below announcement or visit the program website.

The European University Viadrina (EUV) and the German Graduate School of Management and Law (GGS) are inviting applications for six scholarships in their joint Doctoral Program in Dynamic Capabilities and Relationships.

The aim of the doctoral program is to create knowledge about how organizations achieve and sustain competitive advantage in rapidly changing environments through the development of critical competences in relationship with other organizations and stakeholders.

Minimum requirements for the positions: Master’s degree (or equivalent) in business studies, social or behavioral sciences, or related field. Interested applicants should send their application with the subject header “Doctoral Program” to applications@ The application must contain the following in PDF format:

  1. Completed application form (available at
  2. CV
  3. Master’s certificate or evidence that all requirements for a Master’s degree will be completed by April 2012
  4. One-page statement explaining the candidate’s interest in and suitability for the position
  5. Outline of a potential research project in the area of Dynamic Capabilities and Relationships (max. 1000 words plus references)
  6. Copy of Master’s thesis
  7. One-page summary of Master’s thesis
  8. Names and contact information of three referees

Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Closing date: December 12th, 2011
For further information, please contact


AOM ODC PhD Workshop – Nasty Friends Session

The PhD Workshop run by Inger Stensaker and the ‘Nasty Friends Session’ contained in it where truly useful. What I’d like to highlight here is the process and the rules of the game rather than the content. In the weeks prior to the workshop we were asked to read papers by Quy Huy, Gavin Schwarz and a number of PhD proposals from our group. All papers were then to be criticized in the workshop.


3 min intro by the author of the paper

10 min critique by a senior academic

10 min critique by the audience

3 min feedback by the author as to which criticisms will likely be taken on board and which ones dismissed


No positive feedback is allowed. This is a great thing and saves a ton of time, particularly in an Anglo-Saxon environment 😉

The author of the paper is not allowed to reply to any of the criticisms until they get their last three minutes. 

It turned out that the academic papers we scrutinized had both been nominated for best paper awards. At first this made us think that there would be little to criticize and we were somewhat reluctant to start. However, as things got rolling, more and more comments were made by the PhD students. In total, there were more than 20 suggestions for improvement for each of the two papers and although the quantity is no guarantee for quality, Quy and Gavin acknowledged and welcomed a number of recommendations. We proceeded in much the same way with our own PhD proposals.

Goodbye UK, welcome (back) Germany

I’ve recently switched universities and moved from the United Kingdom to Germany. I’m now enrolled in a program with the title ‘Dynamic Capabilities and Relationships’. The graduate school is run jointly by the Europa-Universität Viadrina, situated in Frankfurt (Oder), and the German Graduate School of Management and Law in Heilbronn. We’re a team of six researchers: five PhD students and one PostDoc. The aim of the doctoral program is to create knowledge about how organizations achieve and sustain competitive advantage in rapidly changing environments through relationships with other organizations and stakeholders. You can see the people involved in the picture below (photo credit: EUV press office, Heide Fest).


I’m excited to be part of this newly established program and, luckily, will be able to continue the work on my original research proposal which I developed in Nottingham. It suits well within the realm of the program, primarily because my focus has been on organizational efficiency and relationships from the very start.

I want to take this chance to thank my previous supervisors, John Richards and Iain Coyne, for their great support. Both of them have guided my thinking and my professional development significantly.