Category: General

PRME Conference in Innsbruck

The preparations for the upcoming PRME Conference hosted by the MCI in Innsbruck of Friday this week are coming to an end. This conference will lead to the signatory act for the foundation of the PRME Chapter in the DACH region. On Twitter refer to the DACH-Chapter with #prmedach.

There is a high level line up of speakers, who will contribute their ideas, insights and their experience in the context of responsible management education. The program for the conference, for the signatory act and for the subsequent workshop can be found here.

It has turned out that  together with my colleague Daniela Ortiz I have the honor to chair and the pleasure to moderate the main morning and the early afternoon sessions of the conference. The presentation will touch the broad field of responsible management andresponsible management education in particular. The coverage ranges from corruption to social entrepreneurship and from social innovation to humanistic management. It will be really thrilling to see the heated debate that we will certainly have.

Urban agglomerations, knowledge intensive services and innovation: Establishing the core connections

It took us a while to go from an idea to an accepted paper. But now Sverre Herstad and I have received the news that our paper “Urban agglomerations, knowledge intensive services and innovation: Establishing the core connections” is accepted for publication in Entrepreneurship and Regional Development.

In this paper we investigate how resources available in urban agglomerations influence the (1) organizational form, (2) innovation activity and (3) collaborative linkages of knowledge intensive business services firms (KIBS). We use rather comprehensive Norwegian data: We use the Norwegian employer-employee (LEED) registers for the years 2000 -2008 to connect the organizational forms and labour market positions of individual KIBS to their physical locations. For the decision to engage and for subsequent collaborative ties we utilize unique establishment-level information available from the Norwegian Community Innovation Survey of 2008.

We find that compared to their counterparts elsewhere, KIBS located in Norwegian large-city labour market regions are more likely to be independent from multi-establishment business organizations and thus reliant on resources available externally, in their locations. This is most pronounced in the central and western business districts of the capital, wherein independent KIBS exhibit high turnover of professionals and are less inclined to engage actively in innovation. Yet, those that do engage use the capital region economy as a platform for engaging with both domestic and international collaboration partners. Only by consecutively analysing these aspects and accounting for the selection processes involved is the empirical analysis able to uncover contrasting firm-level responses to the same urban economy resource base.

Science as a Pilgrimage

Recently I have heard that a medieval philosopher interpreted doing science as a pilgrimage.

I really like this metaphor. For a good pilgrimage one needs accommodation along the way, one cherishes hospitality and most of all good companions to share both hardship and  pleasure.

At the end of this interesting and inspiring year 2013 I would to thank a number of institutions for being a home and for extending their hospitality.

Most of all I would  like to thank  my  collaborators for their companionship along the way.

All the best for the Christmas season and for a good start into a prosperous 2014.

From a rather spring-ish Innsbruck.




Project Meeting at GP Design Partners in Vienna

Today I am attending a kick-off meeting for a project integrating design thinking and management in the innovation process of strat-up firms and SMEs. The project is financed by the Austrian AWS. The meeting is hosted by GP partners in Vienna – an innovative design firm with highly inspiring premises.

Schumpeter-Lectures at Perm Polytechnic University

This week I participate in the Schumpeter Lectures as the Perm National Research Polytechnic University, in Perm, Russia. I present our work about mobility and Schumpeterian innovtion. The slides of the presentation can be found here. All participants enjoyed the high quality and the intellectual stimulus of the Lectures. Most of all, we were overwhelmed by the perfect organization and by the hospitality.

After the Lectures there was time to explore the sights of the city and the surroundings of Perm. The picture above shows the Belogorsky monastery.

CERGE-EI Workshop in Prague

Currently I am participating in a highly interesting and inspiring workshop in Prague “Innovation, institutions and geography: What can we learn from microdata?” organized by CERG-EI.

The format of the workshop is great. For each presentation the organizer Martin Srholec has set aside a time slot of an hour. This allows for extensive presentations and discussions. Excellent.

Multilevel approaches and the firm-agglomeration ambiguity in economic growth studies
Frank G. van Oort, Martijn J. Burger, Joris Knoben and Otto Raspe
Discussant: Martin Srholec

Does the local milieu matter for innovation? Multilevel evidence from the Czech Republic
Martin Srholec and Pavla Žížalová
Discussant: Martijn Burger

Understanding multilevel interactions in economic development
Micheline Goedhuys and Martin Srholec
Discussant: Mark Knell

Academic inventors in Italy: Patterns of collaboration with industry
Riccardo Crescenzi, Andrea Filippetti and Simona Iammarino
Discussant: Robert van der Have

Mapping the geography of R&D: What can we learn for regional innovation policy in the Czech Republic and beyond?
Martin Srholec and Pavla Žížalová
Discussant: Jan.Stejskal

Innovation of KIBS and firm-location
Bernd Ebersberger and Sverre Herstad
Discussant: Pavla Žížalová

Devil of a time: How technological radicalness matters for the effects of search strategies on innovations’ time to market
Pankaj C. Patel and Robert van der Have
Discussant: Bernd Ebersberger

The risks of innovation: Are innovating firms less likely to die?
Ana Margarida Fernandes and Caroline Paunov
Discussant: Andrea Filippetti

Surviving the times of crisis: Does innovation make a difference?
Oleg Sidorkin and Martin Srholec
Discussant: Caroline Paunov

Novelty of innovation: Who, where and how much in Europe?
Mark Knell and Martin Srholec
Discussant: Micheline Goedhuys

Entrepreneurs as innovators: A multi-country study on entrepreneurs’ innovative behaviour
Martin Lukeš
Discussant: Johannes Stephan



At the Technical University in Berlin

A couple two days of interaction and networking with Knut Blind and his team at the Technical University of Berlin provides a welcome opportunity to get new ideas, talk about insights and think about future projects. Plus it provides the opportunity to work on a joint paper, which has been with us for quite a while now. The first ideas about this particular setup date back to spring 2009. Some things take a while to mature.

Patreon – Continuously Crowdfinancing Your Projects

We have all heard that crowd-funding is the next wave of funding innovative projects and maybe even start-ups. Perhaps it is not the next wave but already a current wave. However, it seems that for innovators who are innovating continuously, say they create in an artist type of way, Kickstarter and all the other crowd-financing platforms are not the right place for funding. It ist too much a one project financing tool. But there is a rather new kid on the project financing block. Patreon. It is set up to finance the continuous creation of stuff, that reminds me very much of a subscription type of financing.

I am really curious how this service will develop in the future. I will stay tuned.



Offshoring & Innovation in the Media

Today the Austrian newspaper covers our analysis about the innovation effects of offshoring of production activities in its science section (here). Under the heading “Auslagern ist besser als sein Ruf” (“Offshoring is better than its reputation”) the article covers our research quite extensively.

Business Ethics, Innovation, & Creating Shared Value

On Monday this week I have organized a tiny workshop at the Management Center Innsbruck to discuss “Business ethics, innovation & creating shared value”.

In my opening comments “Ethics, innovation & creating shared values” I introduced the topic with strong reference to Fontrodona (2013) arguing that there is a strong relationship between ethics and innovation leading to Porter and Kramer’s (2011) concept of creating shared value. CSV, Porter and Kramer argue, is distinctively different from conventional CSR activities.

George Bragues with his contribution “What would Adam Smith say about contemporary business ethics?” shed light onto the question whether Adam Smith would consider CSR as a task that managers should care about. In short, and as such not unexpectedly, Adam Smith would not consider CSR a relevant task for managers. Yet, Adam Smith, in his moral reasoning would argue that what managers should do is not detached from their environment and is not completely dictated by self-interest. He sees managers as part of their individual network that will finally determine the ethics of management. For more about George’s talk see here.

Michael Redinger investigated whether and how distinct the academic discussion around Creating Shared Value is from the current concepts of corporate social responsibility. In his talk “Creating Shared Value – A paradigm in its infancy?” he used social network analysis on a large citation network. He found that currently Creating Shared Value has not yet developed a distinct body of literature that allows us to differentiate it from CSR. The analysis showed that the CSR literature shows clusters that are comparable to the four groups developed in Garriga and Mele (2004), yet with some tiny nuances.

Roman Haas in his presentation “Creating Shared Value implementation – A cross sectional analysis” introduced us to his measurement of Creating Shared Value activities of the 100 most innovative companies in the German speaking DACH region. His conclusion – although somewhat preliminary in nature – is that an astonishingly high fraction of companies already score pretty well on his CSV-score. This also indicates that CSV cannot be so radical a concept otherwise this could not be explained.

In her presentation “Which ethics for the capitalist system? The proposal of the German neoliberal Wilhelm Röpke” Daniela Ortiz discussed the life, the thought and the legacy of Wilhelm Röpke to the audience. For the audience it was interesting to see the ethical foundations of the German post WW2 economic system, which Wilhelm Röpke has significantly contributed to.

In his brief statement Johannes Dickel covered the PRME initiative and the foundation of a German speaking chapter in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. PRME is currently and will continue to be an important actor to integrate responsible management practices into business education.

Markus Frischhut finally analyzed the ethical implications of moving for health cross border in his presentation titled “Moving for health – Not only legal, but also ethical implications”. Aside from the legal and ethical implications Markus analyzed the different dimensions of cross border mobility for health and the related issues.


Fontrodona, J. (2013). The relation between ethics and innovation. In T. Osburg & R. Schmidpeter (Eds.), Social innovation: solutions for a sustainable future (pp. 23–34). Heidelberg: Springer.

Garriga, E., & Melé, D. (2004). Corporate Social Responsibility Theories: Mapping the Territory. Journal of Business Ethics, 53(1/2), 51–71.

Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard Business Review, (January-February).

Image: modified from|Author%20=Markus%20Henkel%20(|Date%20=2013-05-08%20|Permission%20=%20|other_ver… (CC)