Rechts- und Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät

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  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Diversity in Organizations: Essays in Applied Economics Based on Experimental and Administrative Data
    (2024) Mayer, Lea
    The thesis consists of three chapters that study gender and nationality diversity in different organizations using causal methods. The first chapter investigates the impact of refugee and foreign students on secondary education track choices in Germany, especially after the European refugee crisis in 2015-2016. The quick increase in the share of refugees in German schools could potentially harm educational outcomes of students. The study uses a large administrative dataset from Bavaria to explore how the share of refugee and immigrant peers in a cohort influences the secondary educational track choices of native Germans, refugees, and other foreigners. The analysis uses a within-school fixed-effects model to address biases arising from school selection. This method exploits the quasi-random variation in the share of refugees and other foreigners among cohorts. My main findings reveal positive effects of the refugee share on Germans' secondary school choices, negative effects on refugees, and limited impact on other foreigners during the years 2015-2018. These effects persist in various robustness checks. Further examination of non-refugee foreigners reveals that the share of foreigners with their own citizenship or language negatively impacts their secondary school choices, suggesting social separation within the class. While the available data limits an analysis of the mechanisms behind the positive impact of the refugee share on Germans, additional insights from further data and the literature suggest as potential factors the changes in teachers' reference points and parental preferences for their children's peers. This chapter contributes to the existing literature on peer effects of immigrants, offering insights of an exceptionally large influx of refugees to Germany. The second chapter studies the preferences of highly educated individuals regarding gender diversity in the workplace. While extensively discussed aspects of jobs, include flexibility and competitiveness, gender diversity among co-workers has received limited attention. The chapter aims to understand if women's stronger preferences for gender diversity contribute to their underrepresentation in top positions, potentially influencing career choices. We conducted a stated choice experiment involving over 9,000 participants, including undergrads and graduate students, PhD students, and non-tenured and tenured professors in Germany. Participants made choices between hypothetical job offers varying in the wage and non-wage amenities, most importantly for this chapter the percentage of women among co-workers (10%, 25%, or 40%). Results reveal a substantial valuation of a more gender-diverse work environment among high-profile co-workers. Notably, women exhibit twice the willingness-to-pay for gender diversity compared to men. Heterogeneity analyses show that more career-ambitious and competitive individuals have lower valuations of gender diversity. Women maintain anyhow high valuations when having high levels of competitiveness or ambition. Surprisingly, family preferences only impact the valuations of men. The gender gap in willingness-to-pay for gender diversity is attributed to homophily in co-workers' gender preferences or expectations about a more employee-friendly and less competitive environment with increased gender diversity. Women may also benefit from reduced gender stereotypes and less sexual harassment in a diverse setting. The chapter contributes to understanding the persistence of the gender gap in high-earning jobs by providing a detailed analysis of preferences for gender diversity among co-workers, incorporating current decade data and including top earners like professors. The third chapter analyzes the impact of gender composition on team performance and communication. With the increasing prevalence of diverse work teams, it is crucial to understand how these teams function and leverage the skills of all members. The study utilizes an online experiment, randomly assigning individuals to teams of four, either all-male, all-female, or mixed-gender composition. The teams collaborate in an online audio chat room to solve non-routine business problems, which we tested for gender neutrality in individual performance. The design ensures that communication is essential for problem-solving. The primary findings reveal that all-male teams exhibit higher communication levels, particularly on topics related to the task, and outperform both mixed and all-female teams in solving problems. The data suggests that the increased communication in all-male teams may drive their enhanced performance. Moreover, in gender-mixed teams, men speak significantly more than in all-male teams, while women adjust their communication behavior in the opposite direction, resulting in a significant gender gap. The gender gaps in mixed teams persist even between low-ability men and high-ability women. Further evidence indicates that the differences are not attributed to a more aggressive style, as sentiments and interruptions are similar in homogeneous and mixed teams. Instead, the findings suggest that gender-specific communication behaviors, influenced by self-confidence and existing gender roles, contribute to male dominance in mixed teams. The socially acquired nature of gender-specific communication behaviors emphasizes the importance of early recognition and amplification of women's voices in teams. The study contributes valuable experimental evidence to the literature, offering a systematic analysis of style and quantity of communication in teams based on their gender composition. To summarize, this thesis uses causal methods to find new evidence of how diversity in organizations affects the outcomes and decisions of individuals. The gained insights from experimental methods and administrative data may contribute to the ongoing debate on how organizations in e.g. policy, education and the private sector can reach diversity and use its full potential.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Strategisches Controlling im Krankenhaus – aktueller Stand und Implikationen für Großkrankenhäuser auf Basis theoretischer und empirischer Analysen
    (2024) Mohr, Alexander
    Die vorliegende Arbeit hat das Ziel, einen Überblick über den aktuellen Stand des stra-tegischen Controllings in Großkrankenhäusern zu geben und Handlungsansätze für die Ausgestaltung sowie die Weiterentwicklung des strategischen Controllings zu entwickeln. Dabei kommen zwei Analyseansätze zur Anwendung: eine theoretische Analyse der bestehenden Literatur und Forschungsarbeiten sowie eine empirische Analyse in Form einer qualitativen Auswertung von Experteninterviews. Im Ergebnis der theoretischen Analyse lässt sich festhalten, dass in Deutschland bereits ein Konzentrationsprozess im Krankenhaussektor eingesetzt hat und Institutionen zu-sammengelegt oder geschlossen wurden. Durch die aktuell verfolgten Reformbestrebungen wird sich dieser Trend noch verstärken. Zudem bleiben Investitions- und Betriebskostenfinanzierung hinter dem Erforderlichen bzw. hinter den Preissteigerungen zurück. Hieraus resultiert für das Krankenhausmanagement das Erfordernis einer stetigen Steigerung der Effektivität und der Effizienz, um die Wirtschaftlichkeit zu erhalten. Zudem rückt die Ausrichtung von Kostenstrukturen auf Leistungsgruppen in den Vordergrund. Die klassischen Ebenen der Unternehmensführung finden sich im Krankenhausmanagement wieder; auch hier erfolgt insofern ein strategisches Management. In der Expertenorganisation Krankenhaus kann es zu vertikalen Dissoziationen zwischen den Führungsebenen sowie zu horizontalen Dissoziationen zwischen den Abteilungen kommen. Eine besondere Bedeutung besitzt in diesem Zusammenhang die personelle Dimension der Unternehmensführung. Bei der Erschließung der Wettbewerbsvorteile im strategischen Management ist ein beidhändiges Vorgehen im Sinne der organisationalen Ambidextrie erforderlich. Dabei geht es um ein ausbalanciertes sowie paralleles Vorgehen von Exploration und Exploitation. Die wesentlichen thematischen Herausforderungen für das Krankenhausmanagement werden in dieser Arbeit identifiziert und erläutert. Aus der theoretischen Analyse wird zudem ersichtlich, dass zur Unterstützung der Bewältigung der strategischen Herausforderungen ein strategisches Controlling beitragen kann. Aus den betrachteten Controllingkonzeptionen ist mit Blick auf die Aufgaben im Krankenhaussektor eine integrative, rationalitätssichernde Controllingkonzeption als zielführend anzusehen. Es lässt sich sowohl das koordinationsorientierte Controllingkonzept nach Horváth als auch das integrativrationalitätssichernde Controllingkonzept von Weber und Schäffer auf den Krankenhausbereich übertragen und diese bilden damit die konzeptionelle Grundlage für ein eigenständiges Krankenhauscontrolling, welches jedoch bislang sehr operativ geprägt ist. Das strategische Controlling ist hingegen noch in einer Entwicklungsphase; und gerade der Einbezug nicht monetärer Steuerungsgrößen ist ausbaufähig. Der empirische Forschungsteil dieser Arbeit setzt an dieser Ausgangslage an und untersucht die Ausgestaltungmöglichkeiten der Unterstützungsfunktion des strategischen Controllings im strategischen Steuerungsprozess in Großkrankenhäusern. Basierend auf einer Metastudie zu den Gestaltungsparametern des strategischen Managements werden die Forschungsfragen abgeleitet. Als Forschungsmethode kommen Experteninterviews mit 13 Probanden zur Anwendung. Im Ergebnis der empirischen Analyse lässt sich festhalten, dass der Ort des strategischen Controllings (F1) durch ein Zusammenspiel aus zentralen und dezentralen Impulsen ent-steht und damit weder nur ausschließlich von der Klinikumsleitung noch von den einzelnen Kliniken ausgeht. Die Gestaltung des Controllingprozesses erfolgt strukturiert und wird eher rigide gelebt – bei hoher Verbindlichkeit. Elemente des Gegenstrom-Verfahrens kommen in allen Häusern zum Tragen. Häuser mit dezentraler Orientierung sind wirtschaftlich erfolgreich. Insgesamt wird die Art der Zusammenarbeit zwischen Zentrale und dezentraler Einheit von den Experten als eng bis sehr eng beschrieben. Bei der Analyse der Einbindung verschiedener Akteure und Hierarchieebenen sowie der Rolle des Controllings (F2) wurde deutlich, dass das Controlling neben den beteiligten Managementebenen systematisch eingebunden und beteiligt wird. Insgesamt zeigt sich jedoch eine hohe Diversität der beteiligten fachlichen Funktionen. Die Rolle des Controllings selbst lässt sich überwiegend mit der des „Business Partners“ beschreiben. Auffällig ist die geringe Einbindung des mittleren Managements des Pflegedienstes. Die Methodik der Planung und der eingesetzten Instrumente des Controllings (F3) hat zu Ergebnis, dass die Formalisierung des Prozesses insgesamt hoch ist. Als Gesprächsformat werden am häufigsten Strategieklausuren, Jahresplanungsgespräche und regelmäßige unterjährige Gesprächsrunden beschrieben. Häuser mit separaten Topmanagement-Runden sind wirtschaftlich erfolgreich, ebenso wie Häuser, die ein hohes Maß an Planungsintegration aufweisen. Die Arbeitsweise ist insgesamt analytisch-rational. Bis auf einzelne Ausnahmen ist die Transparenz hier in den Krankenhäusern hoch. Auffällig ist eine geringe Nutzungsintensität strategischer Controllinginstrumente. Die Inhalte der Planung (F4) weisen eine hohe Bandbreite auf – mit bis zu 16 Themenclustern, von denen einzelne Häuser bis zu 12 in ihren Planungen abdecken. Aus Sicht der Experten sind die betrachteten Inhalte weitestgehend vollständig. Weiterentwicklungsbedarf besteht in den Themenfeldern Marktanalyse und -positionierung, Personalstrategie und Materialkosten sowie bei der Integration der unterschiedlichen Steuerungsperspektiven in die Gesamtstrategie. Erfolgsfaktoren für ein strategisches Controlling in Großkrankenhäusern (F5) sind ständige Wachsamkeit und Aufmerksamkeit durch die Gestaltung des Gesprächsformats, hierarchische Kontrolle, Trägeranforderungen, Transparenz sowie Leistungsanreize. Elementar ist die Etablierung eines Gesprächsformats für die strategische Weiterentwicklung. Insgesamt bestätigt die Arbeit im Hinblick auf die Theoriebildung, dass es eines strategischen Krankenhausmanagements bedarf und das strategische Controlling hierfür ein geeignetes Unterstützungskonzept darstellt. Dieses ist bereits in den Großkrankenhäusern etabliert. Die Arbeit liefert zudem vertiefte Einblicke und neue Erkenntnisse über die Ausgestaltung – und somit generalisierbare Aussagen zur Gestaltung. Auf Grundlage der gewonnenen Erkenntnisse werden Handlungsempfehlungen für die Praxis abgeleitet. So wird die Etablierung eines strategischen Controllings empfohlen. Zudem bedarf es der Etablierung von Gesprächsformaten zur Befassung mit strategi-schen Steuerungsthemen. Innerhalb dieser sind konkrete Ziele zu definieren und deren Umsetzung ist zu kontrollieren. Geeignete Controllinginstrumente sind die DB-Rechnung, die SWOT-Analyse, das Benchmarking und die Balanced Scorecard.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Konsumentenpräferenzen kontrazeptiver Methoden bei der selbstbestimmten Familienplanung - Ein Discrete Choice Experiment
    (2024) Drach, Cordula
    Die selbstbestimmte Kontrolle der Familienplanung durch die Individuen ist ein wichtiges Element eines demokratischen Staates. Dafür eignet sich die Verwendung von kontrazeptiven Methoden. Im deutschen Sprachgebrauch wird hier von „Verhütungsmethoden“ gesprochen. Mehr als die Hälfte der sexuell aktiven Bevölkerung verhütet. Individuen treffen Entscheidungen für Produkte oder Dienstleistungen, von denen sie den größten Nutzen erwarten. Damit der Nutzen eingeschätzt werden kann, bedarf es einer ausgiebigen Informationsgrundlage und der Möglichkeit der freien Wahl. Im Rahmen eines Discrete Choice Experimentes wurde in dieser Arbeit untersucht, wie das Wahlverhalten und die Präferenzen von Männern und Frauen in Deutschland bei Verhütungsmethoden ausgestaltet ist. Hierfür erfolgten zunächst zwei Vorstudien. Zur quantitativen Beantwortung der Forschungsfragen wurde eine Choice Based Conjoint Analyse durchgeführt. Bei der Betrachtung der relativen Wichtigkeiten ist sowohl Männern als auch Frauen die „Zuverlässigkeit“ einer Verhütungsmethode wichtig, wobei dieses Attribut bei den teilnehmenden Männern eine höhere relative Wichtigkeit hat, als bei den Frauen. Das Attribut „Wirkungsweise“ wurde von den teilnehmenden Frauen mit einer höheren relativen Wichtigkeit belegt, als von den Männern, was die Vermutung nahelegt, dass Frauen durch die höhere Auswahl an Verhütungsmethoden eher mit den potentiellen Nebenwirkungen vertraut sind als Männer. Bei den Attributen „Anwendung“, „Kosten“ und „Zugang“ wurden geringe Unterschiede zwischen den Geschlechtern beobachtet. Im Rahmen der latenten Klassenanalyse wurden zwei Segmentgruppen identifiziert, die sich hinsichtlich der Präferenzmuster voneinander unterscheiden. So war den Personen, die der ersten Gruppe zugeordnet wurden, die Wirkungsweise einer Verhütungsmethode, z. B. das Vermeiden eines Eingriffs in die hormonellen Körpervorgänge, wesentlich wichtiger, als der zweiten Gruppe. Dafür legte die zweite Gruppe mehr Wert auf die möglichst hohe Zuverlässigkeit einer Methode. Die Ergebnisse dieser Studie könnten dazu genutzt werden, Verhütungsmethoden stärker auf die Bedürfnisse und Präferenzen der Anwendenden zuzuschneiden und durch zielgerichtete Information die eigenverantwortlichen Entscheidungsprozesse zu unterstützen.
  • Conference object
    Open Access
    Towards automated business process redesign in runtime using generative machine learning
    (2024) Harl, Maximilian Victor; Zilker, Sandra; Weinzierl, Sven
    In business process management, business process redesign (BPR) aims to improve business processes. In the past, BPR was mainly a manual task, with little computational power and typically high labor and time intensity. The increasing amount of stored process data and great advancements in generative machine learning (GML) and other analytical approaches have paved the way for automated BPR. However, existing BPR approaches are designed for offline applications and therefore restricted to computing historical data samples of business processes. In this paper, we argue performing BPR in runtime and leveraging prediction capabilities via GML achieves a higher degree of BPR automation, allowing organizations to improve their processes proactively. Accordingly, this research-in-progress paper outlines a design-science research process for designing a GML-based technique for automated BPR in runtime. In our preliminary evaluation, we present promising results for the proposed technique’s first online task, namely process model prediction, based on real-life event data.
  • Conference object
    Open Access
    Transfer Learning for Predictive Process Monitoring
    (2024-06) Liessmann, Annina; Wang, Weixin; Weinzierl, Sven; Zilker, Sandra; Matzner, Martin
    Event log data reflects the behavior of business processes that are mapped in organizational information systems. Predictive process monitoring (PPM) transforms this data into value; it creates process-related predictions to provide insights required for proactive interventions at process runtime. Existing PPM techniques require sufficient amounts of event data or other relevant resources that might not be readily available, preventing some organizations from taking advantage of PPM. In this paper, we present a transfer-learning-based technique for PM, allowing organizations without suitable data or other relevant resources to implement PPM for effective decision support. We instantiate our artifact, and apply and evaluate it on a real-life use case. The use case includes two event logs for purchase-to-pay processes of two organizations. Our results provide evidence that knowledge of a process of one organization can be transferred to a similar process of another organization to enable PPM in the target organization.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Social Influence and Decision Making: Desirability, Signalling and Information
    (2024-02-29) Baker, Edmund
    This dissertation is a collection of three essays that contribute to the literature on the influence of social factors on economic decision-making. Each essay focuses on one aspect of how socially conveyed information causes individuals to change their behaviour. The introduction on page 6 sets out a more detailed summary of each essay. The first essay focuses on ethnic discrimination in the labour market. There is a disparity between lab and field, with the former producing less convincing evidence of discrimination than the latter. One hypothesis for the disparity is that participants in experiments are aware they are being monitored and adjust their behaviour to avoid sending a signal that they are discriminatory. We tested this with an online experiment. In our control treatment, we asked the participants to rate fictitious CVs (which vary according to ethnicity) as part of a pre-selection in a recruitment process. In our second treatment, we explicitly tell the participants that they are taking part in an experiment. In our third treatment, we tell them their decisions will be evaluated. Overall, participants favoured Black CVs by a small amount, but a small minority favoured White CVs by a large amount. However, that minority ceased discriminatory behaviour in the two treatments where they are being monitored. The second essay focuses on the social signals that jobseekers increasingly send via their social media accounts. We implemented a similar experiment to the one in the first essay, except this time the participants were provided both with a CVs and social media content. Candidates who were open about their mental health problems received lower scores, and candidates whose social media content included mild negative signals such as an interest in video games received the worst scores. Candidates with no social media presence received scores even worse than the candidate who was suffering from mental health issues. This suggests that seeking to maintain a low profile online is itself perceived as a negative signal. The third essay focuses on the signals inherent in bilateral trade. I present a model which illustrates the conditions under which rational agents should have a gap between their willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA). In essence, this is because if someone wants to sell a good, it sends a negative signal about its value. The more uncertain traders are about the value of the good, and the more affiliated they are with their trading partner, the larger this gap should be. I tested these predictions in an experiment and found no overall convincing evidence that information effects drive WTP-WTA gaps for everyday goods.
  • Conference object
    Open Access
    On the Disappearance of the Metaverse: Three Scenarios for the Future
    (2023-12-10) Brechtelsbauer, Bastian; Tang, Willi
  • Conference object
    Open Access
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Essays on Information Disclosure, Uncertainty Perception, and Expectations in Financial Markets
    (2023-12-07) Perico Ortiz, Hector Daniel
    This thesis encompasses four self-contained chapters besides the introduction. Each chapter is written so that it can be read independently, however, they are closely related to each other in terms of methods and object of study. The next two chapters, Chapters 2 and 3, are the result of collaborative work with Matthias Schnaubelt and Oleg Seifert. These chapters examine the impact of interactions between analysts and executives on options' implied volatility across various maturities. Chapter 2 analyzes the financial and economic implications of these interactions using an event-study approach. Chapter 3 outlines the text-processing methodology used for topic model evaluation, and selection. Chapter 4 examines the relationship between social media data evaluated at a high-frequency level and stock market uncertainty. Chapter 5 concludes with an analysis of the effect of daily news on inflation expectations and risk-premium at different horizons. This is derived from the term structure of inflation-protected securities. Below, we provide a brief discussion of the motivation and main results for each chapter and the connections among them.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Gender Wage Inequalities within Firms
    (2023) Zimmermann, Florian
    Despite substantial progress towards gender equality in many areas of life, gender inequalities in the labor market, most notably the gender wage gap, persist in Western countries, such as Germany. Since closing gender wage inequalities is a key goal of policymakers in most Western countries, identifying causes for these persisting inequalities is essential to better understand the underlying processes. Besides individual factors and occupational segregation as potential explanations for remaining gender wage inequalities, recent research highlighted the roles of firms in generating and sustaining gender wage disparities. In organizations, categorical distinctions based on salient status characteristics, like gender or occupational status, can lead to between-group disparities in organizational power and resource flows. These disparities might result in between-group inequalities. The categorical distinctions might be highlighted or dampened by the intersection of institutional, organizational, and individual contexts, creating distinct inequality regimes. Thus, investigating organizations is crucial to understanding the processes that generate and sustain gender wage inequalities. This dissertation consists of three self-contained essays investigating how organizational culture, organizational policies, and female representation in positions of power can narrow gender wage inequalities. The first essay of this dissertation in section 2 is single-authored and investigates whether multinational companies transfer corporate culture into subsidiaries abroad. Using the Orbis-ADIAB data and regressions with company-fixed effects, I show that lower gender inequalities in a multinational company’s home country are associated with a lower gender wage gap in German subsidiaries. Furthermore, I identify expatriate managers from the same home country as the multinational company as drivers of this association. In companies with these expatriate managers, one standard deviation of differences in gender inequalities in the home countries can explain around 10% of the remaining within-firm gender wage gap. Investigating organizational policies as part of organizational culture, the second essay in section 3 analyzes how organizational policies promoting gender equality, such as work-life balance practices, influence gender wage inequalities within firms. This essay is co-authored with Matthias Collischon. Using German linked employer-employee data and regressions with firm-fixed effects, we find that organizational policies narrow gender wage inequalities within firms. Regarding channels, we show that these policies narrow the gender wage gap for currently employed staff by increasing women’s chances to be promoted. However, we find no evidence for changes in the gender wage gap for newly hired staff or hiring behavior. The third essay in section 4 is single-authored and disentangles two theoretical channels to investigate how female managers can narrow the gender wage gap among workers. First, women might benefit from interacting with female managers, for example, by homophily. Second, female managers might use their organizational power to change organizational policies. These changes make an organization more female-friendly, resulting in lower gender wage inequalities among workers. I employ German linked employer-employee data and firm-fixed-effects regressions. I find evidence for the interaction with workers channel because female manager whose tasks include interacting with workers narrow the gender wage gap among workers. However, I find no evidence for the organizational power mechanism because female managers do not narrow their workers’ gender wage inequalities by implementing female-friendly organizational policies. In summary, this dissertation contributes to understanding the role of firms in creating and sustaining gender wage inequalities within firms. By investing organizational culture, organizational policies, and female representation in positions of power, this dissertation deepens our understanding of inequality-creating processes within firms. In section 5, evidence-based policy advice is derived from these insights, and avenues for future research are discussed.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Interconnection and Cooperation in the Era of Industry 4.0: The transformative Role of Digital Platforms and Ecosystems for Industrial Value Creation
    Schmidt, Marie-Christin
    Industrial value creation is undergoing a profound transformation in the Industry 4.0 era. The transformation entails several challenges, but also offers extensive opportunities for industrial companies. Against this backdrop, cross-company interconnection and cooperation are required to cope with the rising complexity and to exploit the full potential this transformation promises for industrial ecosystems. An expedient way towards smooth interconnection and improved cooperation is the use of digital industrial platforms in industrial value creation. In order to support industrial companies in adapting to this development and to add to extant research in the field, this dissertation pursues the research question: How do Industry 4.0 and particularly digital platforms affect cross-company industrial value creation and cooperation? The dissertation comprises six scientific studies that are interconnected and are subsumed under a comprehensive research framework. With this it contributes to improve the understanding of changes in the value creation structure, strategic approaches for industrial companies, and operative implications from both company-internal and cross-company perspectives. Thus, the dissertation generates new insights, broadens academic knowledge and carries suggestions for further research in this context. By identifying relevant implications for practitioners, it also helps industrial companies to successfully manage current transformations in industrial value creation.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Essays on Current Issues Related to Sustainability and Climate Change in the Insurance Industry
    Reichel, Philipp
    This thesis deals with issues related to sustainability and climate change from the point of view of the insurance industry. With regard to sustainability, emerging risks and opportunities from the asset, liability and corporate perspective and the approach of insurers towards sustainable investing are studied in the first two articles. The two remaining focus on insurers’ awareness of climate risks and opportunities and how these influence the management of the asset side. First, we offer a structured overview of sustainability risks and opportunities for insurers as sustainability represents a mega trend with the potential for large-scale implications. For this purpose, we examine material risks and opportunities from three different perspectives, which has not previously been done: the asset side, the liability side, and the overall corporate perspective. The structured overview highlights climate change as an overarching issue. However, sustainability is not restricted to this single aspect. Insurance companies should therefore develop and apply a comprehensive management approach. Second, even though insurance companies are among the largest institutional investors, the further development of their investment policies in regard to sustainability considerations has not been studied comprehensively yet. To fill this gap, we set up a sustainable investment dictionary and apply a text mining process to US and European insurers’ annual, sustainability- and investment-related reports and documents. We overall find a strong increase in references to our dictionary over the sample period. Additional analyses conducted thereby also show differences depending on firm characteristics and region while a significant relation between sustainable investment-related keywords in reporting and firm value is not confirmed. Third, while climate change represents a highly relevant issue for insurers with potential impacts on assets, liabilities and strategic approaches, previous literature is characterized, however, by a lack of empirical research. We thus contribute to the literature by empirically studying the awareness of related risks and opportunities for a large panel dataset of insurers and thereby provide first insights on significant drivers, such as firm size. Finally, examining value effects in this context for a broad panel dataset extends previous research as well, where we find a positive impact of considering climate-related risks and opportunities on firm value. Fourth, as the literature further highlights a lack of research as well as challenges in the context of managing climate risks and opportunities as financial institutions and investors, the final study examines how insurance companies as large asset owners can handle these topics. Moreover, a first analysis of Climate Transparency Reports, published by insurers as signatories of the Principles for Responsible Investment, allows to derive in-depth insights on their actual tools and management approaches towards climate risks and opportunities on the asset side.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Novel perspectives on sustainable value creation: Challenging the status quo by implementing advanced technologies into supply chain processes
    Feldmann, Finn Günther
    Driven by far-reaching global developments such as climate change, resource scarcity, and demographic change, the creation of business value has been shifting away from merely economic metrics. Instead, to stay competitive, firms are increasingly encouraged to develop sustainable strategies that simultaneously provide economic, environmental, and social benefits – the so-called Triple Bottom Line of sustainability. As an extension of the widely accepted conceptual framework of the natural-resource-based view (NRBV), linking environmental sustainability to gaining a competitive advantage, clean technology strategies have been regarded as one of the cornerstones of a firm’s contribution to sustainable development. This dissertation, compromising four essays with distinct qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches, contributes to the understanding of the process by which firms competitively position themselves in uncertain future environments by pursuing clean technology strategies. To cover a wide spectrum of theoretical and practical applications, the essays examine firms’ respective approaches towards sustainable development from various stakeholder perspectives along the supply chain in addition to two deep dives into distinctive industries (i.e., construction and e-commerce). Thereby, this dissertation strengthens the theoretical basis of various research fields in the context of a firm’s sustainable development and provides essential guidance for practitioners aspiring to implement clean technology strategies while gaining or sustaining a competitive advantage. The first essay, “Exploring barriers towards modular construction – A developer perspective using fuzzy DEMATEL”, examines the adoption of a more sustainable construction method from the perspective of key decision-makers in the construction supply chain. In contrast to conventional construction approaches, modular construction (MC) industrializes the building process by shifting the vast majority of operations to a controlled factory environment. With prefabrication levels of up to ninety percent, MC offers a wide range of benefits: reduction of waste and energy consumption, higher quality, reduced lead times, and better working conditions. This is why it can be regarded as a clean technology allowing firms and the entire industry to develop sustainably. However, the adoption of this approach by housing corporations and developers remains relatively low. Therefore, based on a literature review, the barriers to wider adoption are identified and subsequently evaluated by industry experts regarding their influences on each other by applying the fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method. The results provide in-depth insights into the relationships of barriers impeding a further uptake of MC and emphasize the factors that should be given the most attention by practitioners and researchers to promote this cleaner production approach. The second article, “Towards lean automation in construction – Exploring barriers to implementing automation in prefabrication”, focuses on the further improvement of the aforementioned clean technology from the perspective of MC manufacturing firms. While high levels of prefabrication yield a considerable number of advantages concerning sustainable development, recent research showed that current production operations can be regarded as a mere shift from on-site to off-site craftsmanship. Considering today’s technical possibilities, the potentials in terms of increased productivity are, therefore, far from being fully exploited. To contribute to a further improvement of the underlying processes, this study explores barriers inhibiting the implementation of robotics and automation into the manufacturing process of MC using a qualitative study design. More precisely, based on a literature review and semi-structured interviews with eight experts from MC manufacturers in German-speaking countries, seven barrier dimensions with 21 sub-categories are identified. Thereby, a comprehensive framework of barriers to implementing automation in MC is created. From a theoretical lens, the results both strengthen the understanding of implementing advanced manufacturing approaches in construction and provide numerous starting points for future research considering the high number of identified barriers. From the perspective of practitioners, the framework can serve as a guideline for firms aspiring to implement automation in prefabrication by overcoming current barriers most effectively. The third research paper, “Exploring the future of the last mile – A Delphi study on autonomous delivery concepts in 2040”, sheds light on the implementation of clean technologies for fulfilling orders on the last mile by integrating the perspective of various supply chain stakeholders. Associated with cheaper, faster, and more environmental-friendly deliveries compared to traditional delivery approaches, autonomous last-mile delivery (ALMD) has been regarded as a potentially disrupting, sustainable delivery method. However, currently, various barriers are inhibiting the widespread adoption of this clean technology, while researchers agree on its large-scale application in the future. Since the steps towards mass adoption and the associated consequences for the environment and society remain largely unexplored, this study introduces a timeline for future developments of ALMD until 2040 by applying a two-rounded Delphi survey. Through a structured four-step process, twelve provoking projections are developed and subsequently evaluated by 53 last-mile experts regarding the expected timeframe of occurrence, impact, and desirability. Results reveal three distinct future scenarios illustrating a timeline towards mass adoption of ALMD. After achieving technological and legal requirements in the short-term, by 2035 economic viability including a higher demand and willingness to pay for ALMD is expected to be reached. By 2040, mass adoption will be achieved bearing additional environmental and social challenges caused by the high number of operating drones. For practitioners and policymakers, scenario-based recommendations for action are emphasized. From a theoretical perspective, multiple opportunities for future research are outlined by highlighting relevant future developments. Expanding the perspectives, the fourth paper, “Because, after all, it has to serve the customer – The significance of supply chain resilience in the B2C context”, examines a firm’s required capabilities to pursue sustainable development strategies from an end-customer perspective. Since the context of implementing advanced, potentially disrupting technologies can be regarded as highly ambitious and complex, firms rely on dynamic capabilities allowing effective reconfiguration of resources to sustain a competitive advantage. Therefore, this study investigates the relationship between the recently widely discussed topic of supply chain resilience (SCR) as a firm’s dynamic capability and customer satisfaction in a B2C online retail context. As an integral part of sustainability, SCR is defined as the capability of a system to reestablish its former condition or to evolve towards a more desirable state after experiencing a disruption. While SCR has become one of the major research streams of supply chain management (SCM) literature, studies specifically focusing on customer-related outcomes in the B2C context are still scarce. To close this research gap, this study applies a survey of 424 online retail customers to test six hypothesized relationships between conceptual elements of SCR and customer satisfaction using linear regression analysis. The results reveal flexibility, information sharing, and velocity as determinants for higher customer satisfaction. From a theoretical lens, the study contributes to a cross-contextual understanding of SCM-determined antecedents in marketing-related outcomes. Practitioners are provided with recommendations for action to implement SCR as a dynamic capability while contributing to customer satisfaction. Table A-1 provides an overview of the underlying essays of this dissertation, including the applied research design, as well as the research questions.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Drivers of Business Performance – A Perspective on Supply Chain Risk Management Practices, Entrepreneurial Activities and Industry 4.0
    Sturm, Sebastian
    Companies nowadays are faced with an ever more dynamic and competitive environment. Ongoing globalization, arising and continuing international conflicts, wars, pandemics and natural disasters, and new technologies lead to increasing complexity in the provision of products or services. In this context, supply chain risk management emerged as a vital concept to tackle these new challenges and ensure business continuity. Only companies that succeed in adapting to these rapidly changing conditions can achieve desired business performance goals and survive in the long-run. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to understand how to ensure and maintain business performance and what factors influence it. Traditional supply chain risk management practices can be categorized into proactive and reactive approaches and include flexibility, agility, robustness, and resilience. However, the antecedents and interactions of these principles and their effects on business performance are not fully understood yet. Additionally, the research field of entrepreneurial activities in the context of supply chain management and their impact on competitive advantage lacks empirical research. Subsequently, with a view to current developments, especially in the area of Industry 4.0, there are major changes in processes, which open up new possibilities and opportunities, but also harbor risks. On the one hand, all of these topics have a sole influence on business performance and thereby on a firm’s long-term success, but they are also interrelated. For this reason, the present dissertation illuminates the intersection as well as the interactions and influences of supply chain risk management practices, entrepreneurial activities and Industry 4.0. In particular, it examines the extent to which these research areas affect business performance to cope with changing environments. To address these questions, the enclosed articles employ three different methodologies: Structural equation modeling, a meta-analysis, and an independent systematic literature review. By linking four different fields, the intersection of these research areas and interdisciplinary knowledge exchange is further advanced. In addition to the theoretical contributions, practical recommendations for action are also highlighted. Overall, the findings of this dissertation contribute to ensuring the long-term competitiveness of companies in a new era of volatile market environments. The first article, “Empirical research on the relationships between demand- and supply-side risk management practices and their impact on business performance”, integrates research on proactive and reactive supply chain risk management practices to better explain how to achieve competitive advantage under these dynamic business conditions. In this regard, the management of supply chain disruptions has become a popular and significant field for researchers and practitioners to handle sudden shocks in the supply chain. Based on a review of existing literature, a research model is developed that links supply chain flexibility, agility, robustness, resilience, and business performance to explore their interactions. The proposed hypotheses are validated by applying partial least squares structural equation modeling on survey data from 89 multi-national companies based in Europe. The findings suggest that the proactive supply chain risk management practices flexibility and robustness enhance the reactive capabilities agility and resilience to withstand disruptions and thereby foster competitive advantage in highly dynamic and uncertain environments. From a theoretical perspective, this is the first time that supply chain flexibility, agility, robustness, resilience, and business performance get empirically investigated altogether in a single model. The study offers a clear separation of these terms and sheds further light on the interactions between these concepts. For practitioners, it is important to understand that investments to mitigate supply chain risks are not just a financial burden but rather improve their ability to compete in dynamic conditions. In addition, the gained knowledge provides managers with support to maximize the impact of resource allocation decisions in the face of supply chain disruptions. The second article, “Linking entrepreneurial orientation and supply chain resilience to strengthen business performance: an empirical analysis”, connects the two distinct but related, previously unconnected research fields of entrepreneurship and supply chain risk management. In this context, entrepreneurial activities have gained increasing popularity through anticipating changing situations and reconfiguring a firm’s resources to generate competitive advantage through quick decision making, new products or processes, and innovative ideas. Following the call to identify additional relationships and drivers of the risk management practices outlined in the first study, an entrepreneurial orientation within a firm is proposed as a possible enabler of supply chain resilience and business performance. The hypotheses are empirically validated by also applying partial least squares structural equation modeling on data from 168 global companies from a second survey. The results suggest that individual dimensions of innovativeness, proactiveness, risk-taking, autonomy, and competitive aggressiveness that represent a firm’s entrepreneurial proclivity enhance supply chain resilience as well as the financial and commercial dimensions of business performance. As a theoretical contribution, the proposed research model is discipline-bridging and delivers greater insights into the supply chain management literature by integrating research on entrepreneurship, supply chain resilience, and business performance fostering cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange. From a practical perspective, the study proposes that companies can achieve additional competitive advantage by pursuing entrepreneurial activities thereby enhancing supply chain resilience and effectively combating supply chain vulnerability. The third article, “Enhancing supply chain robustness and supply chain agility through corporate entrepreneurship: an empirical examination”, picks up from the previous paper and also illuminates the intersection of entrepreneurship and both proactive and reactive supply chain risk management practices. More specifically, the study draws on corporate entrepreneurship and examines its impact on supply chain robustness and agility. Corporate entrepreneurship seeks to build an entrepreneurial orientation inside a firm to discover, develop, and renew combinations of resources or to fully utilize existing capabilities to enhance firm performance by creating new sources of competitive advantage. With regards to supply chain robustness and agility, only a few studies clearly distinguish these concepts in literature and their antecedents remain poorly understood. To address this research gap, this study presents a research model that postulates positive relationships between corporate entrepreneurship, supply chain robustness and agility, and business performance. Once more, the hypotheses are empirically validated by applying partial least squares structural equation modeling on survey data from 168 international firms. The results suggest that corporate entrepreneurship enhances both supply chain robustness and agility and all concepts facilitate different dimensions of business performance. From a theoretical perspective, the study promotes cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange and offers further insights into the supply chain risk management literature. From a practical point of view, managers must be aware that investments in supply chain robustness and agility have different effects on the operation of a supply chain after a disturbance. To create an additional competitive edge, pursuing corporate entrepreneurship is proposed to be advantageous for advancing both supply chain robustness and agility and for addressing supply chain vulnerability. The fourth article, “Do digital technologies matter? A meta-analysis on Industry 4.0 and business performance”, moves on to provide a holistic picture of the benefits of current technological advancements. In this context, the study focuses on Industry 4.0 technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, or Cloud Computing, that are rapidly transforming businesses and supply chains to create competitive advantage. However, existing studies in this domain either examine only individual technologies or consider only a limited number of dimensions of business performance. Therefore, a systematic literature review and subsequent meta-analysis are employed to address this research gap. During the analysis, business performance is operationalized as a multidimensional concept and the different digital Industry 4.0 technologies are categorized based on the organizational information processing theory. These categories refer to digital technologies facilitating the collection, analysis, and decision making based on data. Furthermore, it is argued that these categories also represent the technological maturity of digital technology. The statistical analysis of 48 empirical studies published between 2011 and 2022 provides support that all Industry 4.0 technologies foster overall business performance. For digital technologies related to the second and third maturity levels, this finding additionally holds for all subdimensions of business performance. As a theoretical contribution, this study provides a holistic picture of the relationships between emerging digital technologies and the multi-faceted concept of business performance. Practitioners can use the results to become aware of the necessity to invest in digital technologies and that the combination of Industry 4.0 technologies from different maturity levels is most beneficial to ensure long-term business success. The fifth article, “A systematic literature review on business performance measurements in operations management”, concludes the covered topic of business performance in this dissertation. In this context, researchers and practitioners alike highlight the need for appropriate performance measures for the management of business processes. Many different metrics are offered in the literature, and the process of selecting the right metrics to capture the multi-faceted concept of business performance can be overwhelming, as systematic categorizations are still scarce. However, companies cannot improve without proper performance measurements. To this end, this paper offers an up-to-date overview and evaluation of performance measurements employed in empirical research published between 2010 and 2022 in peer-reviewed international journals in the domains of operations and supply chain management. The conducted systematic literature review focuses on top-rated journals and highly cited articles and leads to a sample of 79 studies that are further evaluated. The reported metrics are then categorized and synthesized. A comprehensive list of key performance indicators for future studies is presented as a theoretical contribution. From a managerial perspective, the results may be used for evaluating own strategies and identifying areas of improvement.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Energy Efficiency and Market Intervention: An Empirical Study with Product-Level Data
    Kesselring, Anne
    The dissertation consist of three self-contained chapters, all of which provide empirical evidence on energy efficiency from micro data on household appliances. All empirical work in the dissertation is based on product-level data reporting sales and prices of household appliances in the European Union from 2004 to 2017. The second chapter is co-authored with Thiess Büttner, the first and third chapter are single-authored. The dissertation addresses two related aspects of energy efficiency. First, I study the consumer valuation of energy efficiency, which remains subject to debate despite more than 30 years of research. Second, I examine the impact of two non-price interventions in energy efficiency markets: minimum standards that ban certain products from the market, and energy labels as an information-based policy. The two aspects are connected because the understanding of consumer choices has consequences for policy making, while the evaluation of existing policy instruments helps explain how these consumer choices are shaped by market intervention. The following gives an abstract for each chapter. The first chapter explores the willingness-to-pay for energy efficiency by exploiting variation across products and countries within the EU market for household appliances. Based on scanner data at product level, I use the hedonic method to estimate implicit prices for energy efficiency and derive implicit discount rates. The paper argues that the implicit price will be underestimated when energy consumption is not only a determinant of operating cost but also is positively associated with other features of a product. The empirical analysis confirms that estimates of the willingness-to-pay are higher when this effect is accounted for in the estimation. This is especially true of product types for which the heterogeneity of usage intensity is low. The results thus indicate that the energy efficiency gap is smaller than found in earlier studies. The second chapter analyzes a regulation that banned household appliances with energy efficiency below a minimum standard from the EU’s common market in 2014. Based on a data set reporting unit sales at product level, we conduct an empirical analysis of the product-characteristics space. This permits us to explore the market response in terms of energy efficiency and size of products and to estimate the adjustment cost. Though our results show that the product ban induced a sizable market transformation towards products with higher energy efficiency, we find that the minimum standard is set inefficiently low: if the regulation banned a larger segment of the market, higher energy savings could be obtained at lower adjustment cost. The third chapter paper studies the effect of mandatory eco-labels for durable goods using a bunching design. I exploit discontinuities in the European energy label for washing machines to document consumer inattention in response to the salient quality signal given by the label. The effect on the distribution of consumer choices is reinforced by producers’ menu adjustments, which leads to a sales distribution that is strongly concentrated around the label thresholds. Market transformation occurs not only through a local shift in existing segments of the product space, but also through the build-up of a new market segment at the highest label threshold. Regarding price effects, I find no evidence of green premia and argue that competition is effective in preventing this for the case of the EU.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Essays on Asset Allocation in Retirement Planning, Decumulation Strategies and Insurers' Solvency and Financial Condition Reporting
    Bär, Maximilian
    This thesis addresses questions evolving around an adequate design of retirement planning, thereby involving multiple stakeholders, including retirees, product providers, regulators and academia. To this regard, we (i) study behavioral aspects regarding asset allocation up to and beyond retirement, (ii) lay focus on available product options specifically for the decumulation of wealth, (iii) investigate the recently introduced Pan-European Personal Pension Product (PEPP) and (iv) conclude with an investigation of the Solvency and Financial Condition Reports (SFCRs) of German insurers. A first model-based study strives for a better understanding of optimal asset allocation in the context of retirement planning. We modify the traditional shape of utility functions by calibrating objectively justifiable levels of thresholds, thereby incorporating reference point dependence in a normative setting. By comparing the expected utility of a Merton portfolio (i.e., a mix of stocks and bonds) to a constant proportion portfolio insurance (CPPI) product, we investigate differences relative to the results of existing studies of product choices and guarantees in a retirement planning context, and consider the effects of additional income on optimal decisions. Second, we analyze the product landscape regarding the decumulation of wealth based on more than 70 peer-reviewed articles, where we account for (actuarial) analyses of existing products as well as concepts emerging from the recent academic literature. Following the approach of a structured review, we are able to categorize a multitude of decumulation strategies, identify drivers leading to innovative suggestions and derive areas for future research, which ultimately enable a holistic perspective on the optimal drawdown of retirement savings. Third, in light of ageing societies, the interest rate environment and altering circumstances regarding life and work increasingly challenge the vigorousness of public pension systems. With this background, the suitability of PEPP as a possible remedy is investigated. Building on an introduction of the underlying framework and its origins, key definitions and features (e.g., the “Basic PEPP”) are summarized, with the focus on a distinction from current pension products. To conclude, challenges and opportunities upon its market introduction by 2022 are described. Finally, we conduct a descriptive analysis of the SFCRs of German life and non-life insurers that fulfill multilayered tasks of providing products, (long-term) investing as well as managing and mitigating risks. However, studies on the assessment of material risks and of SFCRs remain scarce and are mostly concerned with supervisory purposes. We close this gap by means of a more granular investigation of key indicators, stress test results and a qualitative evaluation of risk profiles, while also considering the particularities arising from different business models.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Creating Workplaces That Matter: Understanding the Value and Mechanisms of Creative Workspaces
    Pakos, Oscar
    Creative workplaces are working environments with unique physical structures and elements that promote creative behavior and represent an innovative organization to the outside world. Given that the physical work environment influences creative behavior, providing adequate workspaces for employees is now seen as crucial to an organization’s ability to innovate. It is, therefore, not surprising that pioneering companies around the world are implementing modern workspace designs as part of the concept often referred to as New Work and using them as a strategic resource to significantly influence employees’ performance for long-term corporate success. The physical work environment represents a valuable organizational tool and a central platform within companies that brings people, technologies, and ideas together, resulting in competitive advantages. This dissertation contains five scientific articles that highlight the significance and mechanisms of this strategically valuable resource for organizations. In particular, academics and organizational decision makers will learn about the motivation, impact, and behavioral changes of employees that accompany a workplace transformation, and they will understand what requirements a modern work environment needs to meet to support creativity and innovation.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Essays on the application of statistical and machine learning methods to sustainable finance
    Webersinke, Nicolas
    This thesis consists of four essays that contribute to the literature at the intersection of statistical and machine learning methods and sustainable finance. In the first essay, we introduce Monte Carlo permutation testing for stock index performance by applying it to two S&P 500 ESG indices to test the association between ESG credentials and index performance metrics and risk characteristics. Although we find differences in performance and risk metrics, we find no evidence that firm-level ESG ratings contribute to the indices’ performance metrics. We find that the better ESG profiles of these indices go hand in hand with exposures to small or value companies, depending on the index construction. In the second essay, we introduce ClimateBERT, a large language model based on DistilRoBERTa and further pretrained on climate-related text. We demonstrate performance improvements by using ClimateBERT on three climate-related downstream textual analysis tasks relevant to accounting and finance. Supported by considerably lower masked language modeling loss and improved predictive performance of the downstream tasks, ClimateBERT is a valuable addition to the toolbox of researchers and practitioners analyzing corporate climate-related text. In the third essay, we introduce an innovative textual analysis approach based on ClimateBERT to identify paragraphs about non-specific climate-related commitments and actions in corporate disclosures. We then apply this approach to a sample of MSCI World index constituents and analyze whether climate initiatives can be effective in disciplining companies to disclose fewer non-specific climate-related commitments and actions. We find mixed results, suggesting that more regulatory requirements and standardization of disclosures are needed. In the fourth essay, we systematically review existing accounting and finance literature that uses textual analysis approaches to synthesize major trends in topics and methods. We compare the performance of rule-based, traditional machine learning, and deep learning approaches to textual analysis. Our literature review reveals that rule-based and simple traditional machine learning approaches are still widely used in accounting and finance, suggesting that the accounting and finance literature is methodologically lagging behind. The performance comparison shows that deep learning approaches consistently perform best, but also that rule-based approaches can produce decent results for simpler problems. These findings argue for increased, but not universal, use of deep learning for textual analysis in accounting and finance.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Perspectives on advancements influencing Supply Chain Management: the role of governance, strategic agility, and organizational culture
    Pfaff, Yuko Melanie
    Today's business environment is characterized by numerous challenges, novel developments, and rapid advancements reaching a yet unknown level regarding the need of supply chains to respond and adapt to change (SC). A high level of uncertainty, ongoing globalization, disruptive political decisions, large-scale natural disasters, rapidly emerging innovations in products and services, and severe disturbances such as the devastating pandemic have caused a highly dynamic business environment. Responsiveness and adaptability of and within SCs have become essential constructs in the supply chain management (SCM) domain in overcoming adverse SC consequences and sustaining survivability and competitiveness. The aforementioned factors require companies to change and reconsider and adapt existing structures, strategies, rules, and even cultural aspects to recent economic, technological, geopolitical, social, and environmental challenges. In addition, companies are faced with the necessity to take a holistic approach to deal with these emergencies. Motivated by these observations, a multiple and single case study design explores the responsiveness and adaptability of SCs toward supply chain governance (SCG), strategic agility, and organizational culture, followed by a mixed method approach investigating the interplay of three aspects within the dynamic business environment regarding the generation of competitive advantage. Consequently, this cumulative dissertation includes four studies, providing valuable contributions addressing the responsiveness and adaptability in the era of multi-dimensional dynamics; how governance in form of SCG is affected and evolving in multi-tier SCs (Chapter I); why strategic agility as a dynamic capability can be regarded as a success factor in mastering the challenges (Chapter II); how organizational culture is transformed within the appropriation (Chapter III); and how distinctive capabilities can generate competitive advantage in the interplay of digitization, resilience, and sustainability (Chapter IV). The studies´ multiple perspectives on the behavioral dynamics of SCs within the responses and adaptions contribute to theory building and deliver practical implications involving essential guidance in steering efforts of companies choosing appropriate measures in this demanding era. Each research paper represents a chapter within this dissertation. The chapters are summarized in Table 1 and briefly introduced in the following. The first research paper (Chapter I), “Supply Chain Governance in the context of Industry 4.0: Investigation implications of real-life implementations from a multi-tier perspective”, aims to close the research gap in the SCG literature through its comprehensive approach, considering relational and contractual SCG mechanisms in the examination toward management and structure of SCs via the implementation of technological innovation. While the implementation of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) involves intriguing potential regarding operational efficiency, flexibility, and overall performance. Especially in SCM, it encompasses an adaption in the management and structure of inter-organizational relationships across the entire SC to reach and exploit desired potentials at the same time. Grounded in the dimensions and mechanisms of SCG (relational and contractual), in a multiple case study method, the impact of I4.0 is investigated. A special emphasis of this research paper is on exploring the impact applying the theoretical lens of complementary SCM theories in the analysis of SCG, developing nine propositions for the future. The paper involves an analysis of three cases from the manufacturing industry involving an I4.0 implementation across the multi-tier SC, demonstrating an intensification of synergistic combinations of inter-firm resources emphasizing SCG as essential within the future management and structure of multi-tier SCs. The results of this analysis highlight that in the future state after the implementation, competitive advantage along the multi-tier is considered more important than the competitive advantage on the individual or dyadic level. Evolving relational governance mechanisms allow a competitive advantage as a multi-tier and balance out traditional power mechanisms in the SC hierarchy. Additionally, the observations show that in these circumstances, contractual governance mechanisms are limited in their effectiveness and unveil the necessity for rethinking toward “relational contracting”. Finally, the research results show agility as an emerging extended mechanism in SCG research delivering tangible evidence to reconsider the structure and management of SCs with adapted SCG while considering redesigning multi-tier relationships. The second research paper (Chapter II), “Agility and digitalization: why strategic agility is a success factor for mastering digitalization – evidence from Industry 4.0 implementations across a supply chain”, is based on the emergence of agility as a capability responding adequately to the dynamics of today. Since the constantly changing environment forces the need for successful adaption, the importance of agility as an adaptive capability emerges as inevitable to stay competitive – especially within the turbulence of the pandemic. Founded on two different lines of research concerning dynamic capabilities and governance mechanisms, this study investigates the dynamics and outcomes due to the digitization of SCs. While strategic agility is considered a dynamic capability for coping with change, governance mechanisms are applied in this study to examine socioeconomic relations among the SC members of a multi-tier. Based on a multiple case study of SCs challenged by digitization efforts in times of the pandemic, the study analyzes contingent dynamics within sixteen different multi-tiers. Applying a conceptual approach from design science theory with the CIMO logic (context, intervention, mechanisms, and outcome), the paper explores the interplay between strategic agility as a dynamic capability and its micro-foundations represented by governance mechanisms, identifying key capabilities which evolve within overcoming the challenge of these times. The findings show that mastering relational governance mechanisms managing and structuring relationships is crucial, emphasizing the human component and the socioeconomic dynamics. Key capabilities were identified, offering insights into how to address the recent challenges successfully by building and strengthening strategic agility. This study contributes to delivering insights into the role of strategic agility and highlights governance mechanisms such as trust, collaboration, and flexibility. Aligned with common incentives in generating competitive advantages as a multi-tier SC, its results enable the SCs to mitigate uncertainty and risk while preventing opportunistic behavior and optimizing effectiveness and efficiency by facilitating strategic agility. The third research paper (Chapter III), ”How Digital Transformation impacts organizational culture – a multi-hierarchical perspective on the manufacturing sector”, elaborates on the industry-wide adoption of digital technologies allowing a digital transformation (DT) that is not limited to the bare implementation of technology, but is handled as a strategic priority to maintain competitive advantage. Beyond the technological perspective, DT implies a paradigm shift toward a company´s business model – how it creates value and does business, strategies, and finally also culture – implying a strategic renewal of OC. , Scholars agree that the evolution of organizational culture (OC) is one of the most crucial factors organizations face in this era to master the challenge of exploiting DT's full potential. However, even if the cultural aspect has been found to be of vital importance toward DT in the manufacturing sector, the impact of DT on OC has not been covered by research yet. Due to the vitality of OC within a successful DT, this particular study investigates OC with regard to digitization and how companies can facilitate its development in this context in the industry. Consequently, this paper contributes by identifying the main challenges toward a digital OC, examining established OC dimensions and the appropriation of these dimensions in a contained DT program of a German manufacturing company temporally: five years ago, now, and in five years. The theoretical foundation of this research lies in the adaptive structuration theory (AST), based on an input-process-output model. By specifically referring to the manufacturing industry, this study evaluates the vital OC dimensions impacted by DT. In this context, evidence was collected from 26 experts from an established and contained DT program in a single case methodology in the temporal dimensions of five years (five years ago, now, and in five years). Furthermore, through the lens of AST, findings are analyzed from a multi-layered perspective, deriving insights into how companies can manage digital change across different hierarchical organizational levels. The empirical findings highlight important scientific insights and managerial implications. First, by applying the theoretically based AST framework, the research significantly contributes to highlighting the appropriation mechanisms from before five years, now, and in five years, shedding light on a road map of how to adapt toward a digital OC in a temporal dimension. Second, by presenting relevant OC dimensions, we strategically support manufacturing organizations adapting OC toward collectivism, femininity, indulgence, and a long-term orientation, reducing power distance and uncertainty avoidance. Third, confirming that the cultural perspective with OC is viable for DT, this paper provides insights into a multi-layered perspective on the impact of DT on OC, extending the adaptions from the standpoint of multiple hierarchical levels. The fourth research paper (Chapter IV), “The interplay between digitalization, resilience, and sustainability in enabling competitive advantage”, takes a forward-looking approach, elaborating on the numerous emerging challenges which SCs face today, such as issues regarding revolutionary changes caused by digital innovations, disruptions in the flow of goods, and climate change. However, at the same time, these circumstances bear the opportunity to create new competitive advantages in SCs emphasizing the interplay between the concepts of digitization, resilience, and sustainability as distinctive capabilities which need to be adapted to sustain viability. Grounded in a multi-methodological approach encompassing 22 expert interviews as well as subsequent expert workshops with an additional nine experts, empirical data was collected from the manufacturing industry to explore the topic highlighting important scientific insights and managerial implications. By applying a theoretical framework rooted in the resource-based view (RBV), this study identifies which capabilities are crucial to enable competitive advantages in digital, resilient, and sustainable SCs. Special emphasis is put on how digitization, resilience, and sustainability interact to allow competitive advantages rather than only focusing on one perspective. As a consequence, this study contributes to achieving future advantages by elaborating on the value of a collaborative and inter-organizational approach. An overview of the four underlying research papers of this dissertation, including the applied research methodology, the investigated research questions, and the current status in the process of journal review, is provided in Table 1.
  • Doctoral thesis
    Open Access
    Industrial Smart Service Systems - Exploring Resource Orchestration in the Context of Service Innovation
    Marx, Emanuel
    Smart products increasingly permeate our daily lives and provide new value potentials through personalized, predictive, or self-configuring services. Such smart services are also increasingly implemented in industry to generate additional revenue streams, strengthen customer loyalty, improve sustainability through better use of resources, and so on. This shift represents the next evolutionary stage in the transformation of manufacturing companies toward service-based business models that has been known for decades by the term “servitization.” To conceptualize value creation and delivery, service researchers typically adopt a systemic perspective. Value is created collaboratively in actor-to-actor networks, so-called “service systems.” The customer, as beneficiary, is explicitly perceived to be part of the network, actively engaged in the process of value creation. Actors participate in these networks by integrating and absorbing resources, which necessitates a system-wide orchestration of resources. To ensure high service innovation performance, it is necessary to find ways to efficiently and effectively manage and deploy resources. The integration of smart products in the industrial context leads to industrial smart service systems (ISS systems). The industrial context is characterized by a high technological and organizational diversity, close relationships between actors, and complex distribution mechanisms. In addition, smart products behave differently from ordinary resources because they can operate autonomously, using and recombining other resources. This changing framework affects the design of ISS systems and the process of industrial smart service (ISS) development and has therefore recently attracted the attention of scholars from different disciplines, including information systems (IS). With this in mind, the objective of this dissertation is to identify crucial resource orchestration determinants in the context of ISS systems and explore their effect on the shape, design, and implementation of ISS systems. To situate the results of the individual studies in this dissertation, the resource orchestration framework of Sirmon et al. was adopted and applied to ISS systems. This framework proposes three basic processes: structuring, bundling, and leveraging. “Structuring” denotes the management of the service system’s resource portfolio. In this context, this dissertation demonstrates through two studies that diversity is an essential driver of high innovation performance. These studies show the benefits that actors in ISS systems expect from high diversity and the challenges that arise from it. In addition, two other studies empirically reveal that the socio-economic context exerts a significant influence on what resources are available and how they are integrated and absorbed into the system by the actors. “Bundling” refers to the (re)combination of corporate resources with the aim of creating or modifying capabilities. In this sense, two studies presented in this thesis build on the findings of existing research on traditional servitization and extend them to include the additional capabilities needed to successfully implement and deliver ISSs. The studies identify the capabilities that both regular actors and a resource orchestrator need to build. In particular, it is apparent that the combination of a service-based business model and a smart element requires unique capabilities that go beyond the manifestations in isolation. Finally, “leveraging” indicates the explicit application of a company’s capabilities to create value for customers and income for owners. Under the mantle of service systems engineering (SSE), service researchers are developing models and methods to support market opportunity identification, resource infrastructure alignment, and service architecture design in a systemic, comprehensive, and systematic way. Two articles in this dissertation extend this body of knowledge with two modeling languages for explicitly conceptualizing ISS systems from macro and micro perspectives. In addition, another paper examines an existing method for developing service systems to meet the requirements of ISS systems. The increasing importance of ISSs for industrial enterprises suggests this will be a high priority for future service research. Insights into the factors determine successful resource orchestration and - as a consequence - high innovation performance in ISS systems will be pivotal in the transformation of industrial companies into ISS providers. Therefore, the results of this dissertation can serve as an impetus and guidance for the exploration of resource orchestration in the context of ISS systems.