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 Founding 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 and Academic Co-Director of the IESE WHU High-Performance Board Member Program.

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
+49 (0)211 44709 250
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Shelley Steinhorst

Personal Assistant
+49 (0)211 44709 252
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Onur Eroglu

Research Assistant
+49 (0)211 44709 252
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Christina Brunner

External Doctoral Student
+49 (0)211 44709 252
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Anja Wintermeyer

External Doctoral Student
+49 (0)211 44709 252
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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

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, Forthcoming


Feldman, M., 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 2020. ProSiebenSat.1 Media: Digital Diversification & Platform Wars

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, 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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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)


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

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

Campus for Corporate Transformation Event: Agility and Growth in Volatile Times

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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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Prof. Ozcan discusses Chinese M&As and Mittelstand Expansion to China

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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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Brand new program led by Professor Ozcan

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

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Get in touch

Stay connected –
We look forward to hearing from you.

Prof. Dr. Serden Ozcan

Associate Dean

Tel.: +49 (0)211 44709 250