Course MAN 801: PhD Seminar - Topics and Application Period for FSS 2018 Released!

The application period and syllabus details of the PhD seminar MAN 801 in spring term/FSS 2018 are released. The seminar will be held by Prof. Dr. Woywode, Prof. Dr. Dr. Kieser, and AkadR Dr. Ahrens. Full details below.

University of Mannheim - Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences:
Advances in Entrepreneurship and Management Research
MAN 801 Course Program - Syllabus - a.y. 2018

Capsule Course Outline: This research seminar covers current research at the intersection of management and entrepreneurship. A particular focus is put on research on the role of theory in the scientific discourse of the focal research field. The research seminar exposes participants to the rich ecology of theoretical perspectives flourishing in management and entrepreneurship research. This is an advanced course to be taken as part of the Mannheim Master in Business Research or as part of a PhD in business administration, economics or social sciences at the University of Mannheim. It demands a high level of involvement and contribution. Please, do read this syllabus very carefully before the beginning of the course.

Chair Prof. Dr. Michael Woywode, Dipl.-Kfm.

Instructors Prof. Dr. Michael Woywode, Dipl.-Kfm.
Prof. (em.) Dr. Dr. h.c. Alfred Kieser, Dipl.-Kfm.
AkadR Dr. Jan-Philipp Ahrens, Dipl.-Kfm.

Secretary Gabriele Schleicher, E-mail:

Objectives The goal of the course is twofold. First, it is designed to help participants gain access to the current topics and theories intersecting management & entrepreneurship. We will read and discuss seminal articles on theory and current research, and simulate an academic conference in class. This familiarizes participants with the state of the art research, its theories & methods, and the respective current academic debate.
The second goal of the course is to foster students’ familiarity with the core techniques of scientific work in business studies. The course aims at enabling students a.) to understand and criticize concepts in management research, b.) to find appropriate theoretical concepts and lenses, and c.) to apply them properly and in an reflective manner onto their own individual research topics, which is ultimately the basis for a strong dissertation based upon well-grounded theoretical perspectives.
Overall, the course aims at preparing PhD scholars for thorough scientific work.

Contents The course will cover an introduction to theories of science, in particular philosophy of science, and applied management and entrepreneurship research, as well as an extensive discussion of the presented articles and readings.

Format Lectures. Discussions lead by instructors. Student presentations. Self-study.

Prerequisites Recommended: Interest in entrepreneurship and management science (mandatory).

Application Course capacity is limited. Registration via the student portal ( is mandatory (Open from 1-14.2.2018). Additionally, apply to by sending your student ID. Application deadline: 14.2.2018

Grading: The course consists of two components: I. Student presentation, and II. discussion (details below). Each component accounts for 50% of the course grade.
I. Student presentation: For the presentation, each student will be assigned to one seminal article. They will present and defend the assigned article in detail in a graded 40 minute power point presentation as if it was their own (20 minute presentation + 5 minutes discussant comment + 15 (or more) minutes general discussion). Each presentation is flanked by an assigned discussant (student or team of students), the discussant comments 5 minutes on the paper in detail. The course will discuss the presentations and the presenter answers questions.
II. Discussion: All seminar participants are expected to read each article and engage in a vivid discussion.
The following question might be asked:
• What are the central questions addressed? Is the underlying theory and its assumptions consistent?
• What are the core arguments or hypotheses? Are they convincing?
• What is the empirical evidence to support the argument(s)? Is it convincing?
• How could this analysis be improved? Is there a way for a smarter approach? Has the author omitted anything or could adding another angle add new insights? (Be fair and do not make any suggestion that you would not envision to realistically perform yourself.)
Attendance: Attendance of each session is mandatory & signature-based. Exceptions will be made for students having an exam or if a medical certificate is provided. Students must attend for a grade.

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Session 1: Theory I.
Date & venue: February 20th (16:00-18:00), in L9, 1-2, room 210.
Instructor: Prof. Dr. Michael Woywode Introduction to course and distribution of assigned presentations depending on course participant numbers. In this lecture, we will sketch a theoretical overview concerning management & entrepreneurship and start discussing about alternative perspectives on research, methodological issues and empirical challenges.

1. Astley G. W. & Van de Ven, A. H. (1983). Central Perspectives and Debates in Organization Theory, Administrative Science Quarterly, 28(2), 245-273.
2. Abrahamson, E. (1996). Management Fashion, Academy of Management Review, 21(1): 254-285.
3. Welter, F. (2011). Contextualizing Entrepreneurship: Conceptual Challenges and Ways Forward, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1), 165-184.
4. Wang, X., & Jessup, L. M. (2014). A Review and Synthesis of Entrepreneurship Research: Towards an Integrative Model of Dependent Variables, Journal of Entrepreneurship, 23(2), 163-199.

Session 2: Theory II.
Date & venue: March 6th (16:00-18.00), in L9, 1-2, room 210.
Instructor: Prof. (em.) Dr. Dr. h.c. Alfred Kieser
In this part of the course we will discuss to what an extent theoretical contributions in management studies are influenced by fashion. In addition, we will discuss the problem of ideology in management theory, taking publications on entrepreneurship as an example. Finally, the relationship between scientific rigor and practical relevance in management studies will be a topic of this part of the course.

5. Kieser, A., Nicolai, A., & Seidl, D. (2015). The practical relevance of management research: Turning the debate on relevance into a rigorous scientific research program. Academy of Management Annals, 9(1), 143-233. Please read: pp. 143-161 and pp. 171-180.
6. Bort, S., & Kieser, A. (2011). Fashion in organization theory: An empirical analysis of the diffusion of theoretical concepts. Organization Studies, 32(5), 655-681.
7. Gerpott, F. H., & Kieser, A. (2017). It's not charisma that makes extraordinarily successful entrepreneurs, but extraordinary success that makes entrepreneurs charismatic. Managementforschung, 1-20.

Session 3: Theory III.
Date & venue: March 13th (16:00-18:00), in L9, 1-2, room 210.
Instructor: AkadR Dr. Jan-Philipp Ahrens
From strategic management to strategic ownership: Is the current focus of business policy research on the management and CEOs of firms the right unit of analysis? What propositions can be derived if we model fundamental decision processes of firms as that behavioral owners? How does ownership influence organizational behavior?

8. Ahrens, J.-P. (2018). The Succession Question and the Family Firm: A Theory of Behavioral Ownership of the Firm and Decision. Unpublished essay. 1-36.
9. Ahrens, J.-P., Uhlaner, L., Woyowde, M., & Zybura, J. (2018). “Shadow emperor” or “loyal paladin”? - The Janus face of previous owner involvement in family firm successions. Journal of Family Business Strategy (forthcoming).
10.March, J. G. (1978). Bounded rationality, ambiguity, and the engineering of choice. The Bell Journal of Economics 9(2): 587-608.

Session 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8: Conference simulation I.
Date & venue: April 13th (09:00-18:00), in L9, 1-2, room 210.
In these sessions we will simulate an academic conference in class. There will be a joint lunch break and coffee provided in class.
Student presentations & discussion, 40 minutes each.

Readings, question hand-in, & student presentation order:
11.Polat, E. (2018). Recruiting Refugees for Self-Employment Incubators: Best-Practices from the German-speaking Realm
12.Hartmann, C. (2018). Startup consulting concepts for newcomers: a resource-based perspective.
13.Schilling, K. (2018). Female migrant entrepreneurship in Germany - determinants and recent developments.
14.Tshikovhi, N. (2018). Economic Empowerment Policy And Entrepreneurship Practice Gap In South Africa And Zimbabwe.
15.Strohmeyer, R. (2018). Jacks-(and Jills)-of-all-trades: On whether, how and why gender influences firm innovativeness.
16.Berwing, S. (2018). Migrant Self-Employment in Germany: On the Risks, Characteristics and Determinants of Precarious Work.

Session 9-19: Conference simulation II.
Date & venue: April 20th & 21th (09:00-18:00), in L9, 1-2, room 210.
In these sessions we will simulate an academic conference in class. There will be a joint lunch break and coffee provided in class. Depending on participant numbers, there will also be a Saturday session.
GESS & MMBR student presentations & discussions, 40 minutes each.

Readings, question hand-in, & student presentation order:
17. Isaak, A. (2018). Factors of success in crowdfunding.
18. Istipliler, B. (2018). On the Goals of Family Firms: From Family Involvement to Sovereignty and Social Responsibility.
19.-25. MMBR & GESS student presentations.

Further readings and topics will be assigned depending on participant numbers in session 1.

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