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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View biography

Assistant Professor Dr. Rainer Michael Rilke

Assistant Professor
+49 (0)261 6509 814

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View biography
 

Benita Otte

Personal Assistant
+49 (0)261 6509 361 

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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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Ann-Kathrin Blanke

External Research Assistant
+49 (0)261 6509 294

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Nicole Gottschalck

External Candidate
+49 (0)261 6509 297

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Sebastian Lehnen

External Candidate

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Alumni

Dr. Philippa-Luisa Harhoff

Alumna

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News and stories

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

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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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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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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Career opportunities for young people often remain undiscovered

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

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On June 15, 2018 more than 50 participants gathered for the third SMEMBA – Networking and Career Event with small and medium-sized enterprises.

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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 MBA Program. Click on the courses below to find out more information:

Fall Term:

Professor Dr. Hagist and Professor Dr. Günther
Demographic Change and its Economic Implications and Business Challenges
5. Semester / 2 SWS / 3 ECTS


Spring Term:

Professor Dr. Hagist and Professor Dr. Günther
Demographic Change and its Economic Implications and Business Challenges
4. Semester / 2 SWS / 3 ECTS


Professor Dr. Günther
Sustainability Lab - Sustainability in Nutrition
6. Semester / 2 SWS / 3 ECTS


Junior 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


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

Professor Dr. Günther
Industrial Organization
1.Semester / 2.5 SWS / 5 ECTS


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

Professor Dr. Günther
Hidden Champions
1. Semester / 2 SWS


Publications

Selected publications –
Our contributions to the field.

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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

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

The Irmgard and Erich Schneider Foundation

The Schneider Foundation –
Supporting research, teaching, and students.

The Chair is supported by the Irmgard and Erich Schneider Foundation. Mr. and Mrs. Schneider's work and commitment was characterized by a strong social motivation. This legacy is continued by their son Peter Schneider who has become the leader of the Foundation’s Board in 2012, and their grandson Axel Schneider who joined the board in 2014.

The foundation was established in April 1998, with the aim of promoting work at WHU in the fields of business informatics and information management. Thus the foundation supports teaching, research, and other projects that deal with the development and use of information and communication systems, as well as new media and their influence on organizations in business and society.

In order to provide ideal conditions for the research projects of WHU students and Doctoral students, the Schneider-Lab has been set up at the Chair of Business Information Systems and Information Management. Among other things, this laboratory offers a video-conferencing system and SmartBoard to enable cooperative work and to test new forms of virtual interaction.

On January 12, 2013, our esteemed donor passed away at the age of 95 years.

For many years, Ms. Schneider has been not only an esteemed donor to us all, who has always remained true to her and her husband's long-term goals, but also a wise counselor and friend. The WHU Foundation and the university it supports have a lot to thank her for.

All previous scholarship holders, students and doctoral students, will also be grateful and respectful of Mrs. Schneider and her continued interest in her scientific and personal advancement.

Mrs. Schneider has been a role model for us, showing us what entrepreneurial spirit and dedication - even to a high and blessed age - can achieve. Her extraordinary personality, her refreshing, subtle humor, her humanity and her optimism will all be greatly missed.

We will always remember Ms. Schneider as a special person and always honor her work.

Univ. Dr. Thomas Fischer, holder of the Chair of Business Administration, in particular Business Information Systems and Information Management at WHU  in January 2013

  • Born November 17, 1911 in Bielefeld
  • Holder of the WHU Medal of Honor

On October 23, 2005 Mr. Erich Schneider died just days before his 94th birthday.

His professional career began with a commercial education in the hotel industry. He experienced the war between 1941 and 1945 as a soldier on the eastern front. The desire to become a journalist since his youth came true after the war. He became sales manager of the "Mittelrhein-Kurier" in Bad Ems and in 1948 co-shareholder of Mittelrhein-Verlag, where he took over responsibility for the company for almost 18 years after being appointed to the management in 1957. During this time, Mr. Erich Schneider promoted, among other things, modern forms of electronic data processing and made a lasting contribution to the positive development of the publishing house. Extra-occupational, he completed the study of business administration at the University of Cologne.

His honorary commitment in the social and social field should be mentioned. Mr. Schneider represented the concerns of the industry as chairman of the regional association of newspaper publishers Rhineland-Palatinate-Saar and in other bodies of the Federal Association of newspaper publishers. He was a member of the board of directors of the supply work of the press, on the board of the general local health insurance funds, advisory board of the pension fund as well as in the ZDF television advice. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the Economic Cooperative of the Press. Mr. Schneider received many honors for this extraordinary effort. A special appreciation of his work was the awarding of the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

On April 1, 1998, Mr. Schneider together with his wife, founded the Irmgard and Erich Schneider Foundation at WHU with the aim of supporting students and postgraduate students in the field of Business Informatics and Information Management. Thus, Mr. Schneider not only made it possible to equip a multimedia laboratory, but also supported a variety of student activities, the implementation of which would not have been possible without the donations made by the foundation of the publishing couple. Particularly noteworthy here are the student projects myWHU, IdeaLab! as well as Eurosport.

As Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Irmgard and Erich Schneider Foundation, he has personally ensured that a large part of the annual foundation funds directly benefits the students. He has always been extremely interested in the development of the university and especially in the department. His open-mindedness for modern information and communication technologies and their importance for the economy and society has always impressed and encouraged us.

We complain about the loss of an outstanding and exemplary man whose commitment to business informatics and information management at WHU will leave lasting traces and that we will always respect and honor beyond death.

Univ. Dr. Thomas Fischer, Chair of Business Administration, in particular Business Informatics and Information Management at WHU, in October 2005

Scholarships

In addition, the Irmgard und Erich Schneider Foundation also awards scholarships. This makes it possible to support individual students.

Please contact Benita Otte for more information.

benita.otte(at)whu.edu

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