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Institute of Organization Science
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Educational Approach

In the bachelor majors "Organization, Innovation and Entrepreneurship" and "Sustainability Management" as well as in the master programs "Leading Innovative Organizations", "Global Business" and "Management", the Institute of Organization Science deals in particular with the following three core topics in business management: organizing in the tension between order and freedom, innovating between the poles of "new" and "valuable", and legitimizing at the interface of business and society.

Organization: Stability versus flexibility
Adam Smith demonstrated the power of organizing to the (professional) world as early as 1776. Using his now legendary example of pin production, he showed how the productivity of pin production could be increased a thousandfold through the use of modern division of labor. Prosperity - until then a zero-sum game in which one's own increases came from the violent appropriation of the goods of others - now became a question of rationality: Its basis is the ability to organize ever more efficiently in order to generate ever higher yields with the same input of resources. Since then, organizational theory and practice have been working on organizational forms, i.e., work processes and organizational structures that provide an optimal framework for the production and exchange of economic output, whereby this organizational framework - therein lies, among other things, the art of organizing - must be both stable and flexible: stable, so that it provides orientation and enables efficiency; flexible, so that it allows for the situational adjustments that are sometimes necessary.

Innovation: planned forays into uncharted territory?
Toward the end of the 20th century, saturated markets and the global division of labor are once again shifting the basis of prosperity: innovation - the ability to create something that is new (ergo little known) and at the same time (known to be) valuable or useful - is moving to the center of economic development in technologically and economically advanced societies. Efficiency is losing importance as the sole basis of value creation; creativity is joining it as an increasingly important source of prosperity: innovative services create temporary quasi-monopolies, change the rules of the game for entire industries, make consumers realize what they want but could not have named, and make lucrative profits possible.

Legitimacy: Business is society
Business is part of society and therefore massively dependent on the institutional environment: Key institutions such as the market, the state, the family, the profession or religion shape people's values, ideas and practices in different ways. In order to gain legitimacy, reputation and status, managers must be able to deal with different "institutional logics" and make them work for them. In addition to the sociological dimension, the geographical dimension is also gaining in importance: the economic landscape is becoming more fractured, i.e. the gap between educated, prosperous regions and those with low levels of education and wages is growing (and is already as large within the USA, for example, as between industrialized and developing countries). In the major "Organization, Innovation and Entrepreneurship", the interplay between business and society is addressed in both directions: Society as the framework for economic activity and business as the cause of or responsible for social conditions and developments (e.g. corporate social responsibility, social innovation, sustainability, etc.). The major "Sustainabilty Management" explicitly addresses the question of how organizations can be made socially, ecologically and macroeconomically sustainable.

Selected key topics offered through the Institute of Organization Science:

  •     Organizational and Leadership Psychology
  •     Leadership theories
  •     Archetypal organizational forms
  •     Interorganizational networks and regional clusters
  •     Organizational and institutional change
  •     Crowd-based organizational and business models
  •     Creative individuals and creative processes in organizations
  •     Alternative and sustainable forms of organization