Innovation Management and Sustainability


The research at the Chair of Innovation Management and Sustainability centres on the theoretical questions of evolutionary and interaction economics as well as empirical and application-related aspects of innovation management, the generation of sustainability innovations, the creation of "green" future markets, and eco-entrepreneurship.

In this context we supervises PhD-theses.

Current PhD-theses:

Linda Bergset: Financing sustainable entrepreneurship.

While sustainable entrepreneurship in many ways is similar to conventional, market-based entrepreneurship - in that it creates economic value - it has a distinct feature, which separates it from the latter: it also creates societal value through environmentally friendly or socially beneficial innovation. This distinction may have an impact on how sustainable entrepreneurs can and want to finance their business activities and how investors perceive and evaluate sustainable entrepreneurship as a business opportunity.

This doctoral thesis looks at

  • how sustainable entrepreneurship may differ from conventional entrepreneurship,
  • what influence these differences may have on the financing of such entrepreneurship and
  • what role conventional and more sustainability-oriented financial actors play in sustainable entrepreneurship.


Maria Klewer: Sustainable Business Models based on Insect Inclusiveness

The Bioeconomy is a policy concept that aims to promote sustainable solutions to meet diverse societal challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity and food production. At the same time, the Bioeconomy offers opportunities to develop fully new markets and to uncover new customer needs and wants. In the framework of this PhD project, the Bioeconomy will form the socio-economic context within which Maria Klewer will specifically look at insects as biological resources. This socio-economic context in turn will be analyzed from the academic perspective of Sustainable Entrepreneurship – thereby meaning entrepreneurship that seeks to generate societal and economic value creation -, Innovation and Sustainable Business Models.

In the first step of the research process, a typology on business opportunities related to insects as biological resources will be developed. By doing so, the economic and societal potential that this sub-part of the Bioeconomy bears will be explored. The typology will also provide the context to start a discourse around the subject.

In the second step, Maria Klewer will look closer at sustainability-oriented and innovative business models and will thereby allow to make such business models replicable and scalable.


Published Theses

Mareike Seemann

Innovationsnetzwerke in jungen Branchen. Formation, Morphologie und unternehmensstrategische Implikationen am Beispiel der deutschen Photovoltaikbranche.

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