Our attention is concentrated on the research topics leadership, personality, and innovation as well as on the areas of conflict arising from these terms.
In the face of the comprehensive change in which the world finds itself, the necessity of leadership is obvious. Leadership enables courageous departure into a seemingly unpredictable future and prevents anxious persistence of people, organizations or societies. What awaits us at the end of the path is connected with the concept of the “new”. “The “new” is often reduced to the term “invention”. Joseph A. Schumpeter, who established the word “innovation”, was crucial in expanding this view. Innovations are far more than technical creations. Rather, new ways of thinking and acting that are necessary to bring about successful change are also depicted. It is not always the person who thinks or invents something new who is decisive, but the one who realizes something new. Irrespective of the social context, one can speak of “creative personalities”. With their active work, these people close the circle to necessary leadership in order to initiate and advance necessary change.
This thematic area comprises questions of futurology and its management: what is change, what are its causes and where could it lead? Innovation, as an answer to change, can occur in various forms: new or changed business models, new or changed technology, new or changed processes, new or changed ways of thinking. Accordingly, the term innovation can be found in all social systems. The area of “research quality” questions, whether the introduction of an innovation has a concrete benefit. According to Schumpeter, innovations arise when “factors are combined in a new way” and in the “implementation of the new combination”, so that the term “transfer” plays a major role. Transfer research deals with the question of how innovations arise and which factors are conducive. Another focus is on the research of networks.
This subject area is not limited to any social system, but encompasses a broad range of scientific questions coming from business, politics, culture and society. With regard to the economic system, leadership deals with the management of and in newly founded companies (entrepreneurship), but also with the teaching of executives within corporate structures (leadership education). However, since leadership plays an important role in all areas of society, our research interests also relate to topics outside economic aspects, not least in order to facilitate the interdisciplinary transfer of scientific findings. Furthermore, issues arising in the course of digitalization are covered (leadership in a digital world). Finally, there is the challenge of how managers in an unsettled world can assess future trends and their influence on their own organization and, against this background, can develop goals and strategies or scenarios up to “wildcards” for the long-term future (future research).
No fields of research we are dealing with refer to any particular interpretation of how these are to be understood. Personality, for example, is seen as an interdisciplinary object of research that can be understood in many ways as a multifaceted term. In addition to a clear reference to business and economy, the term also appears in all other areas of society. This research area deals in particular with the personality of executives, but is not limited to this. Leadership requires on the one hand individual dispositions and on the other hand legitimation by others. This subject therefore offers the possibility for interdisciplinary discourses dealing with the personal development of people. Another scientific focus is the development of competencies.
Katharina Helm, M.A.
Head of Doctorate Program
Phone: +49 7032 945890