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Current and Completed Projects

Current Projects


Determinants and consequences of decision errors in innovation development: A comprehensive empirical investigation on the organizational and individual level


Successful innovation development remains crucial for organizational survival. However, innovation development is inherently uncertain and susceptible to erroneous decisions. In general, the two different types of erroneous decisions comprise Type 1 error, i.e., an erroneous “go” decision, and Type 2 error, i.e., an erroneous “no go” decision. In this context, Type 1 error manifests in a failed innovation and Type 2 error in a missed innovation. Whereas the former causes concrete costs such as R&D and marketing efforts, the latter predominantly causes opportunity costs in the form of foregone profits and market share. Since both decision errors emerge rather often, they are major aspects of unsuccessful innovation development and harmful to organizations. Therefore, it is important to understand the determinants and consequences of both decision errors. Not only to be able to address decision error occurrence in desired fashion, but also to understand the implications that each error brings. As such, the dissertation project aims at investigating both decision errors across the organizational and individual levels to understand unsuccessful innovation development to a fuller extent, employing a thorough empirical, mixed-methods investigation.


For further information reach out to Björn Hofmann


Dissertation Working Title: „An Investigation of Decision Failures in Innovation Management“


In his research, Mr. Nickel deals with decision behavior and decision errors in innovation management, especially in the development of new products.  He is particularly interested in the human side of innovation management. For the first study of his dissertation, he plans to conduct a systematic literature review on decision errors in new product introduction to develop a holistic and better understanding of the antecedents and consequences of decision errors in innovation management. In the second study, he focuses on how past bad decisions (Type 1 vs. Type 2 Errors) affect the occurrence of Escalation of Commitment, the investing of resources in a failing (new product development) project. Examining how individuals learn from past failures through two different types of learning, namely learning through their own experience (experiential learning) and learning through observation of others (vicarious learning). Furthermore, in the context of erroneous decisions and the learning behavior of individuals, he considers additional cognitive and emotional factors as possible moderators and mediators involved in the learning and subsequent decision-making processes.


For further information reach out to Julian Nickel


Dissertation Working Title: "An Investigation on the Human Factors in Cybersecurity and Privacy"


Humans are often referred to as the weakest link in cybersecurity. Consequently, companies tend to exclude humans from the system and prevent exploits technically.  However, new types of attacks are emerging every day that aim to bypass all technical protections through exploiting these very "human weaknesses" such as in the case of CEO Fraud. Thus, instead of building a wall at the end of the chain, it is crucial to change the role of humans in cybersecurity. That is, in other words, not just the role, but the understanding of human factors in general. Humans should be seen as an opportunity rather than a risk. However, for a successful implementation of this, an understanding of human needs, backgrounds, and capabilities should be created to break barriers of previous cybersecurity awareness programs. This dissertation project aims to explore the importance of understanding attitudes and emotions toward cybersecurity to ultimately create a positive approach to strengthening human capabilities in cyber defense. Furthermore, this project intends to apply insights of human factors in data protection to the adoption of innovations.


For further information reach out to: Alexandra von Preuschen



Dissertation Working Title: „Examining the Human Factor in Entrepreneurial Settings“.


In his research, Mr Amend deals with human behaviour and decision making in an entrepreneurial context. Thereby he is interested in combining interdisciplinary research streams and experimental reseach designs to expand current entrepreneurship research.


For further information reach out to Yannick Amend



Cognitive Traits and Entrepreneurial Pursuits in the Digital Age: A Multi-layered Perspective


Objective: The objective of this dissertation project is to investigate how cognitions as well as industry-, and country-level contextual factors influence and shape entrepreneurial pursuits at the individual-, and firm-level. To address this research objective, the first study of this dissertation investigates whether and how a country’s digital infrastructure acts as an external enabler on the macro-level, by shaping the relationships between the action-formation mechanisms of socio-cognitive traits and entrepreneurial action on the individual-level. The second study examines the phenomenon of minority equity investments of incumbent firms in entrepreneurial ventures. Specifically, the study concentrates on how industries-, and firm-levels urgency for digital transformation moderate the relationship between cognitive predispositions of decision-makers, i.e. CEOs, and the corporate venture capital activities of a firm. The third study aims to predict entrepreneurial pursuits and to unravel the complex interplays between individuals’ cognitions that are relevant for explaining entrepreneurial pursuits. To reach that goal, different machine learning techniques are applied to a comprehensive dataset to discover hidden patterns. 


For further information reach out to Philipp Schade or visit FND website.



Corporate Venture Capital in the Digital Age: A Multi-Method Analysis


Incumbent firms operating with traditional business models increasingly foster the external search for newest digital technologies as a means of ensuring long-term competiveness. An important instrument to gain access to newest digital technologies is corporate venture capital (CVC) investing – that is, minority equity investments in entrepreneurial ventures. Most recently, the inception of digital technologies into the global business landscape has led to a new and industry-agnostic wave of global CVC investment activity. The aim of this research project is to shed light on the phenomenon of CVC in times of digital technologies through three empirical studies. Study 1 draws upon qualitative comparative case analysis to examine how CVC investors transfer and redeploy digital technologies from ventures into own use contexts to create digital innovations. Study 2 employs an experimental approach to shed light on the characteristics of digital ventures that CVC investors value in their evaluation of investment options. Study 3 uses a longitudinal panel analysis to investigate the role of CEO characteristics for CVC investment activity in the context of the firm’s urgency for digital transformation. In sum, this research projects aims to advance our understanding of CVC investing in the digital age at both the individual and the firm-level of analysis through a variety of methods.


For further information reach out to Petrit Ademi or visit FND website.


Completed Projects


Customer Integration in Innovation Development: Illuminating Different Design Aspects

  • Project members: Monika Schuhmacher, Anna-Lena Hanker, Sabine Kuester (Universität Mannheim)

Start-up Financing: How To Attract the “Right” Investors”

  • Project members: Monika Schuhmacher, Stephan Philippi, Jörn Block (Universität Trier), Christian Masiak (Universität Trier), Nicolai Bastian