Chair of Innovation and Corporate Transformation –
Delivering insights to inspire business leaders.

About us

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 regulations and capitalize on new technologies, markets, and customers.

Professor Ozcan is an Associate Dean of WHU. He is also the Academic Director of Campus for Corporate Transformation, a forum dedicated to exploring the challenges and opportunities of corporate transformation.

Our teaching programs include the WHU MBA, and Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA with Professor Ozcan contributing extensively as Academic Director to WHU Executive Education.

Our work has been published or accepted for publication in prestigious research journals such as the Academy of Management JournalManagement Science, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Strategic Organization.

Our team

The Chair of Innovation and Corporate Transformation Team:

Professor Dr. Serden Ozcan

Associate Dean
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Shelley Steinhorst

Personal Assistant
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Christina Wiedemann

External Doctoral Student
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Ulrich Mechau

External Doctoral Student
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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?

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, Hong Kong (2017) (Prof. Ozcan)
  • The Danish Society for Education and Business Prize for Excellence in Teaching in Denmark (2012) (US$ 9000) (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)


Campus for Corporate Transformation 2019


25. September 2019 | Agility and Growth in Volatile Times | WHU Campus Düsseldorf

Campus for Corporate Transformation is a WHU forum dedicated to exploring the challenges and opportunities of corporate transformation.




Campus for Corporate Transformation 2019


25. September 2019 | Agility and Growth in Volatile Times | WHU Campus Düsseldorf

Campus for Corporate Transformation is a WHU forum dedicated to exploring the challenges and opportunities of corporate transformation.



News and Stories

Read the news from our Chair –
Keep up with the latest events and activities.

Professor Ozcan travels to Silicon Valley with group of twenty CIOs/CTOs as part of the WHU CIO Leadership Excellence Program.

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Professor Ozcan and Patrick Siebert author study on how Germany’s leading companies are handling disruption.

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Some of Germany's most prominent business leaders offered their insights into digital transformation to a group of around 100 business professionals at the first Campus for Corporate Transformation in Düsseldorf.

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Professor Serden Ozcan has received the Best Teacher award from WHU's Full-Time 2018 II Class. WHU's Program ranks as #1 Full-Time MBA Program in Germany.

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The Executive Education program at WHU has been listed in the Financial Times Executive Education Open Programs ranking for the first time.

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The 2019 Global MBA Ranking sees WHU reach prestigious position as #1 amongst the German business schools

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Professor Ozcan and Dr. Sassmannshausen publish teaching case on Chinese venture capitalists in Germany.

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Get in touch

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

Prof. Dr. Serden Ozcan

Associate Dean

Tel.: +49-211-44709-250