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Photo: Prof. Dr. Julia Brennecke


Research at our chair pursues the goal of contributing to theory in the areas of innovation management, entrepreneurship, and networks through predominantly quantitative-empirical research. Analyses are based on survey and interview data as well as on archival data, for example from patent databases. In addition to using common methods of quantitative statistics, we specialize in the application of social network analysis is of particular importance. Our work centers around the following areas: 

DFG project "Positive and Negative Network Ties of Entrepreneurial Households in Sub-Saharan Africa - Drivers, Interplay and Consequences"

We are pleased that an application for DFG project funding by Prof. Dr. Julia Brennecke in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Christiana Weber from the University of Hannover and Prof. Dr. Anja Faße from HSWT and TUM was approved in March 2024. The aim of the project is to examine the social networks of entrepreneurs in Tanzania in more detail. Over a period of 36 months, we will research key mechanisms that shape these networks and use qualitative and quantitative methods to do so. Particular attention is paid to the interplay of positive and negative relationships as well as financial and non-financial consequences of the relationships, such as life satisfaction. The research in this project not only contributes to expanding management, entrepreneurship and network theories, but also draws attention to a previously little-researched context - sub-Saharan Africa. In this research project, we are deliberately critically questioning the extent to which established theories in these research areas can be transferred to indigenous contexts, what changes they would need to undergo, or whether entirely new models and theories are required in some areas. We hope that our new project will make a significant contribution to research and generate new insights in the topics addressed.

Cooperation and knowledge transfer within and between knowledge-intensive organizations

Collaboration and knowledge transfer within and between innovation-intensive organizations are a central pillar of our research. For example, an ongoing project investigates differences in the transfer of explicit and tacit knowledge by engineers based on data collected in the development department of a large aircraft manufacturer. Further work deals with the importance of informal networks and formal alliances in biotechnology alliances or networks in the research and development of industrial companies. Selected publications from this research area are: 

Brennecke, J. (2020). Dissonant ties in intra-organizational networks: Why individuals seek problem-solving assistance from difficult colleagues. Academy of Management Journal, 63(3):  743-778. 

Brennecke, J.+, Schierjott, I.+ & Rank, O.N.+ (2016). Informal managerial networks and formal firm alliances: A multilevel investigation in biotech. Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), 17(1), 103-125. (+Equal authorship) 

Brennecke, J., Sofka, W., Wang, P., & Rank, O.N. (2021). How the organizational design affects informal search behavior of R&D professionals – A network study. Research Policy, 50(5): 104219. 

Networks and (Corporate) Entrepreneurship

Work in this research area deals with the networking behavior of founders and managers and the influence of this behavior on entrepreneurial thinking and action as well as on innovation. For example, the interplay between the responsible handling of innovation and networking behavior is an area of research that has received little attention to date and to which the professorship seeks to make a theoretical and empirical contribution. Selected publications from this research focus are: 

Glaser, L., Fourné, S. P. L., Brennecke, J., & Elfring, T. (2021). Leveraging middle managers’ brokerage for corporate entrepreneurship: The role of multilevel social capital configurations. Long Range Planning, 54(4): 102068. 

Schierjott, I.+, Brennecke, J.+, & Rank, O.N.+ (2018). Entrepreneurial attitudes as drivers of managers’ boundary-spanning knowledge ties in the context of high-tech clusters. Journal of Small Business Management, 56(S1): 108–131. (+Equal authorship) 

Innovation Networks

This area of our research deals with current issues in network theory and their relation to innovation management. Current research projects, for example, are dedicated to questions in the area of network dynamics as a nascent research field and investigate why and how innovation networks change over time. Here, the interplay between network and innovation dynamics, which benefits from the improved access to longitudinal data, is of particular interest to us. Selected publications from this research focus are: 

Brennecke, J. & Stoemmer, N. (2018). The network-performance relationship in knowledge-intensive contexts – A meta-analysis and cross-level comparison. Human Resource Management, 57(1): 11-36. 

Ertug, G., Brennecke, J., Kovács, B., & Zou, T. (2022). What Does Homophily Do? A Review of the Consequences of Homophily. Academy of Management Annals, 16(1), 38-69. Gilding, M.+, Brennecke, J.+, Bunton, V., Lusher, D Molloy, P., & Codoreanu, A. (2020). Network failure: Biotechnology firms, clusters and collaborations far from the world superclusters. Research Policy, 49(2) 103902. (+Equal authorship)