IHK-Chair of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises –

Supporting regional business.

About us

Founded in 2014 and lead by Professor Dr. Christina Günther, the IHK-Chair of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises actively strengthens the profile of WHU in both research and the transfer of results into real-world situations.

Acting as mediator for the transfer of knowledge between WHU and regional companies, the Chair focuses on the continuous exchange between such research and practice. Through joint projects, the cooperation between the Chair and student theses, and networking via business and university visits, the Chair actively maintains this ethos of knowledge exchange.

The IHK-Chair of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises has particular focus on the following fields of research:
  • Small Business Economics
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Behavioral and Experimental Economics
  • Behavioral Business Ethics 
Our team

Professor Dr. Christina Günther

Chairholder
+49 (0)261 6509 295

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Assistant Professor Dr. Rainer Michael Rilke

Assistant Professor
+49 (0)261 6509 814

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View biography
 

Fotini Noutsia

Personal Assistant (interim)
+49 (0)261 6509 198

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Yulia Litvinova

Research Assistant
+49 (0)261 6509 366

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Dana Sülberg

Research Assistant
+49 (0)261 6509 298

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Sebastian Lehnen

External Candidate

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Alumni

Dr. Philippa-Luisa Harhoff

Alumna

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Assistant Professor Dr. Nicole Gottschalck

Alumna
+49 (0)261 6509 297

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News and stories

The latest news from the Chair –
Keep up to date with our recent activities.

Entrepreneurial challenges come into focus at the Forum Mittelstand and “The Region of Koblenz Positions Itself for the Future” event

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Learning about Strategies at the Female Entrepreneurs' Day

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Two studies by WHU professors were praised in the category "Best Family Business Review Article Honorable Mention".

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Free online session series for small and medium sized companies

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Whether a Smartphone, Tablet or Alexa, a life without it is not imaginable at all. Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, has found its way into working life.

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The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) Koblenz awarded WHU alumnus Daniel Davydov the IHK University Prize for Economics 2019 on April 9th.

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For the twelfth time, Capital chooses "Young Elite - The Top 40 Under 40."

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Our teaching

Cutting-edge insights –
Bringing research into the classroom.

The IHK-Chair of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises offers courses in the Bachelor of Science Program, the Master of Science Programs, and the MLB Program. Click on the courses below to find out more information:

Spring Term:

Assistant Professor Dr. Rilke
Sustainability in the Textile Industry
6. Semester / 2 SWS / 3 ECTS


Professor Dr. Günther
Seminar Market dynamics and Industrial Evolution
6. Semester / 2 SWS / 6 ECTS


Professor Dr. Günther
Seminar Business Wargaming
6. Semester / 2 SWS / 6 ECTS


Assistant Professor Dr. Rilke
Behavioral Business Ethics & Governance
6. Semester / 2 SWS / 3 ECTS

Assistant Professor Dr. Rilke
Field Experiments in Organizations - Design and Statistical Analysis
1.Semester / 2.5 SWS / 5 ECTS

Professor Dr. Günther
Social Entrepreneurship
Winter Term / 1,5 SWS


Professor Dr. Günther and Assistant Professor Dr. Gottschalck
Business Essentials Simulation Workshop
Summer Term

Publications

Selected publications –
Our contributions to the field.

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Forum Mittelstand

Forum Mittelstand

In close cooperation with the IHK Koblenz (Koblenz Chamber of Commerce and Industry), the Forum Mittelstand at WHU aims to present the latest scientific findings to small and medium-sized companies from the surrounding region. Through this event, the Forum Mittelstand hopes to make a significant impact and contribution to the economic and innovative power of such companies.

The following Chairs at WHU contribute to the Forum Mittelstand:

IHK Chair for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

(Prof. Dr. Christina Günther)

Chair of Sales Management and B2B Marketing

(Prof. Dr. Ove Jensen)

FORUM MITTELSTAND

Forum Mittelstand

Forum Mittelstand

In close cooperation with the IHK Koblenz (Koblenz Chamber of Commerce and Industry), the Forum Mittelstand at WHU aims to present the latest scientific findings to small and medium-sized companies from the surrounding region. Through this event, the Forum Mittelstand hopes to make a significant impact and contribution to the economic and innovative power of such companies.

The following Chairs at WHU contribute to the Forum Mittelstand:

IHK Chair for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

(Prof. Dr. Christina Günther)

Chair of Sales Management and B2B Marketing

(Prof. Dr. Ove Jensen)

FORUM MITTELSTAND

Institute of Family Business and Mittelstand

The Institute of Family Business and Mittelstand at WHU (ifbm@WHU) is a thought leader in the field of family business and small and medium-sized enterprises. With a dedicated team of scholars and practitioners, we aim to study different aspects of family firms, hidden champions as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.

To the institute

Irmgard and Erich Schneider Foundation

Schneider Foundation –
We support research, teaching, and students.

The Foundation was established in April 1998 by Irmgard and Erich Schneider at WHU. Irmgard and Erich Schneider, as well as their son Peter Schneider and grandson Axel Schneider, were and are strongly socially motivated.

The foundation aims to promote activities at WHU that support the transfer of knowledge to SMEs in the region, e.g., in the field of digitalization for economic or social purposes.

The Schneider Foundation is managed by a five-member Board of Trustees and represented by its Chairman. The members of the Board of Trustees are: Dr. Andreas Fromm (Chairman), Peter H. Schneider, Dr. Axel Schneider, Doris Meyer and Peter Christ (WHU).

The foundation is associated with the IHK-Chair of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) and supports teaching, research as well as project work.

Highlights

2021Forum Mittelstand September on "Online Recruiting"

2020: Webinar series for small and medium-sized enterprises on „Dealing with the Corona crisis

The Foundation also awards scholarships to WHU students who demonstrate an interest in practice-oriented research as well as an outstanding motivation to transfer knowledge to SMEs.

Highlights

2021: WHU In Praxi Outstanding Thesis Awards: Catharina Janz (winner) for her Master thesis “ESG and Investment Behavior – Does Corporates’ Engagement in Environment, Society, and Governance Impact Individual Investors’ Stock Market Decision-Making?” (supervised by Professor Dr. B. Burcin Yurtoglu, Chair of Corporate Finance)

2019: IHK Hochschulpreis der Wirtschaft: Daniel Davydov (winner) for his Bachelor thesis „Internationalization Strategy and Location Analysis for a SME

Contact person: Yulia Litvinova

In order to create ideal conditions for the research projects of students and doctoral candidates, the Schneider Lab has been set up. VR-glasses as well as a video conferencing system and smartboard offer the opportunity to try out new approaches to the work of the future.

The Lab is available to all WHU stakeholders.

For example, Bachelor students Cedric-Pascal Sommer and Eva Scheiwe, conducted experiments in the VR Lab as part of their final theses.

Contactperson: Yulia Litvinova

 

Theses samples: 

Cedric-Pascal Sommer, BSc Thesis 2019

Abstract: Objective self-awareness theory predicts that individuals behave morally under increased self-awareness. This proposition requires a critical reflection in the context of Virtual Reality (VR). Results of the VR experiment show that when being exposed to the image of own avatar in a virtual mirror, individuals take significantly more time to submit a -- dishonest -- claim. However, it does not affect the level of dishonesty.

Eva Scheiwe, BSc Thesis 2019:

Abstract: The immersive Virtual Reality (VR) based experiment examines how the presence of virtual observers (avatars) influences the lying behavior. Results indicate that when lying cannot be detected, exposure to such an audience does not affect the level of dishonesty. This deviates from what the theory of social behavior suggests. They display, however, that individuals still prefer not to lie “to the full extent”.

Scholarship holders

Since the Schneider Foundation was established, about 50 students have been sponsored. Each year, the Foundation supports 4-5 scholarship holders. Click through the statements below to find out more about the scholarship holders. 

Partners

Fostering connections –
Enabling theory to grow.

Through close cooperation with universities and industrial partners, the Chair is able to transfer knowledge from theory to applied science. The following partner companies and institutions support the IHK-Chair of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in this commitment:

Get in touch

Get in touch with us –
We look forward to hearing from you.

Professor Dr. Christina Günther

Chair of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

christina.guenther(at)whu.edu

+49 (0)261 6509 295