Chair of Innovation and Corporate Transformation –

Delivering insights to inspire business leaders.

The Chair of Innovation and Corporate Transformation is committed to rigorous, interdisciplinary and relevant research in collaboration with business leaders. Our aim is to discover and share how companies can best adapt to changing environments and capitalize on new technologies, markets, and customers.

Professor Ozcan is also the Founding Director of WHU Campus for Corporate Transformation, a forum dedicated to exploring the challenges and opportunities of corporate transformation. He is also the co-host of the Leading Corporate Transformation: The WHU Podcast, powered by PwC, featuring inspiring transformational leaders from renowned European companies.

Our teaching programs include the WHU MBA, Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA and WHU Executive Education. Professor Ozcan is the Faculty Co-Director of the IESE WHU High-Performance Board Member Program.

Our work has been published in prestigious research journals such as the Academy of Management JournalManagement Science, MIT Sloan Management Review, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, and Strategic Organization.

Our team

The Chair of Innovation and Corporate Transformation Team:

Professor Dr. Serden Ozcan

+49 (0)211 44709 250
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Uta Deutsch

Personal Assistant
+49 (0)211 44709 251
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Anja Wintermeyer

External Doctoral Student
+49 (0)211 44709 252
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News and Stories

Innovation on the move –
Keep up with the latest events and activities.

High-ranking business representatives used the WHU Campus for Corporate Transformation 2022 to exchange views at eye level

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WHU Campus for Corporate Transformation is launching its own podcast series

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Why profitability of companies decreases after the acquisition

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Karaevli, Ozcan and Wintermeyer highlighted in Winter 2020 MIT Sloan Management Review

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Our research focus

High-quality and innovative research –
Giving organizations a competitive edge.

We aim to inspire business leaders with our research results, developing effective management tools and best practices which inform public policy debate.

Our research focuses on three specific areas:

Organizations have recently emerged, such as new budget airlines, microbreweries, and organic supermarkets, that use radically different business models to successfully penetrate their relevant markets. On this track we discuss:

  • Why, where and how do new business models and organizational forms emerge?
  • How do new business models/new organizational forms compete with established models/forms, gain acceptance, diffuse and come to dominate?
  • How do the processes of emergence, rivalry, diffusion and growth differ across base-of the pyramid countries, emerging markets and mature economies? 
  • How do new business models/organizational forms generate socio-economic change and reconfigure the basis of competition in industries?

Growth ecosystems are integral to start-up formation, scaling, talent development and technical and social progress. In such systems, venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) play prominent roles. Our research investigates the inner workings of VC/PE firms, their operational mechanics, and their value creation.

We also investigate:

  • What determines VC/PE activity in emerging markets?
  • How does VC behavior differ in emerging markets?
  • How much value/innovation does PE foster in emerging market economies?
  • How do emerging market start-ups and firms deal with VC/PE?
  • How do PE firms extract value from emerging market firms?

We look at how companies begin and evolve while remaining competitive and entrepreneurial.  Some of the key questions we examine include:

  • How do early choices regarding strategy, structure, and governance affect the way the company evolves, competes, and adapts?
  • How can organizations remain nimble, flexible, responsive, innovative, and entrepreneurial while expanding?
  • How should firms transform their identity as they grow and competition increases?
  • How should mature firms identify, develop, and exploit new, innovative resource combinations and growth opportunities?
  • What is the best way to acquire talent from rivals and deploy it strategically?
  • How should firms design, develop, and manage corporate venture capital?
  • How should companies execute corporate entrepreneurship through acquisitions in emerging markets?
  • How can emerging market firms become innovation organizations?
  • How should firms source and exploit emerging market innovations?
Selected publications

Our publications –
A selection of journal articles and cases.

Journal Articles

Karaevli, A. and Ozcan, S. (2022). Why Some CFOs Make Better M&A Deals. MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 63 (4): 78-84. 

Günther, C., Ozcan, S., Sassmannshausen, D. (2022). Referrals among VCs and the length of due diligence: The effect of relational embeddedness. Journal of Business Venturing,Vol. 37 (5): 106-230. 

Boone, C. , Ozcan, S. & Li, J. (2022). How are competing logics combined in managerial teams? The impact of branch founding team hybridity on the growth of Islamic bank branches in Turkey, 2002-2019, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 59 (6): 1460-1492.

M Feldman, S Özcan and T Reichstein 2021. Variation in Organizational Practices: Are Startups Really Different?, Journal of Evolutionary Economics 31(1): 1-31.

A Karaevli, S Özcan and A Wintermeyer 2021. The Four Competencies Every IT Workforce Needs, MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter Issue.

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C Boone, S Özcan 2019. Oppositional logics and the antecedents of hybridization: A country-level study of the diffusion of Islamic banking windows, 1975-2017, Organization Science 31(4): 797-1051.

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M Feldman, S Özcan, T Reichstein 2019. Falling not far from the tree: Entrepreneurs' prior employment and the transfer of organizational practices, Organization Science 30(2): 1047-7039.

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C Boone, S Özcan 2016. The ideological purity vs. hybridization trade-off: When do Islamic banks hire managers from conventional banking, Organization Science, 27(6): 1380-1396.

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C Boone, S Özcan 2016.  Strategic choices at entry and relative survival advantage of cooperatives vs. corporations in the US bio-ethanol industry, 1978-2015, Journal of Management Studies, 53(7): 1109-1255.

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C Boone, S Özcan 2014. Why do cooperatives emerge in a world dominated by corporations? The diffusion of cooperatives in the US bio-ethanol industry, 1978-2013, Academy of Management Journal, 57(4): 990-1012.

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Ö Koçak, S Özcan, 2013. How does rivals' presence affect firms' decision to enter new markets? Economic and sociological explanations, Management Science, 59(11): 2586-2603.

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S Özcan, T Reichstein, 2009. Transition to entrepreneurship from the public sector: Predispositional and contextual effects, Management Science, 55(4): 604-618.

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S Özcan, ML Overby, 2008. A cognitive model of stock market reactions to multi-firm alliance announcements, Strategic Organization, 6(4): 435-469.

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V Mahnke, S Özcan, ML Overby, 2006. Outsourcing innovative capabilities for IT‐enabled services, Industry and Innovation, 13(2): 189-207. 

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S Özcan 2022. EnerjiSa Üretim: An Electrifying Transformation Following a Demerger 

S Özcan 2020. TUI AG Starting With a Clean Slate in a Digital World

S Özcan 2020. Klöckner & Co: A Digital Old Economy Firm

S Özcan 2020. Thyssenkrupp: Stronger Than Steel?

S Özcan, D Sassmannshausen 2018. The China Gambit: When Chinese VCs knock on a German start-up's door. The Case Center Reference No: 818-0019-1

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S Özcan 2020. ProSiebenSat.1 Media: Digital Diversification & Platform Wars

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Awards and accolades

Awards and Accolades –
In recognition of excellence in research and teaching.

  • Best Teacher award from WHU’s Full-Time MBA II Class (2018) (Prof. Ozcan)
  • Best Paper Runner Up Prize, Coller Institute, Tel Aviv University, Annual Meeting in Hong Kong (2017) (Prof. Ozcan)
  • The Danish Society for Education and Business Prize for Excellence in Teaching in Denmark (2012) (Prof. Ozcan)
  • Best Paper Finalist, Israel Strategic Management Conference, Be'er Sheva, Israel (December 27-29, 2009) (Prof. Ozcan)
  • Recognition for “outstanding” teaching and course coordination, Asian Studies Program, Copenhagen Business School (2007) (Prof. Ozcan)
  • Winner of Robert J. Litschert Best Doctoral Student Paper at Business Policy Division, Academy of Management, Atlanta, USA (2006) (Prof. Ozcan)
Get in touch

Stay connected –
We look forward to hearing from you.

Professor Serden Ozcan

Chair of Innovation and Corporate Transformation

Tel.: +49 (0)211 44709 250