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Why did we found the DCR Doctoral Program?

In the 19th century Karl Marx claimed in his eleventh thesis on Feuerbach: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”

Today´s world, though, is changing rapidly. It is changing at such a speed that it appears hard for politicians, managers, and other decision makers to stay oriented and to keep pace with the changes. What appears to be of outmost importance - not only for philosophers but for any decision maker - is to sense, understand, and interpret this change in order to actively shape the process of change and our future.

This challenge occupies center stage in the joint doctoral program “Dynamic Capabilities and Relationships” of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) and the German Graduate School of Management and Law in Heilbronn. Building on the work of David Teece, Kathleen Eisenhardt, Jeffrey Martin, and others we use the concept of dynamic capabilities in order to better understand and to further the proper handling of a rapidly changing world. Dynamic capabilities refer to a firm’s, organization´s or society´s abilities to deal with high velocity. Relationships among individuals and groups have a strong impact on these capabilities. Therefore we are keen on understanding the foundations of dynamic capabilities and how relationships affect their development.

Funded by the Dieter-Schwarz Foundation an international group of scholars – striving for scientific excellence – is working on this challenge of developing capabilities to cope with change, stay competitive, and make this world a place worth living. More About Us ...

Our approach is a very open one and we invite you to get involved in our exchange of ideas!

The program has meanwhile reached its final period (ending March 2020). The last group of PhD candidates has started their projects in April 2017 and there will be no further intake.


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Prof. Dr. Albrecht Söllner
European University Viadrina
Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
- Spokesperson of the DCR-Program -    
Prof. Dr. Tomás Bayón
German Graduate School of Management and Law,
Heilbronn, Germany
- Spokesperson of the DCR-Program -   



Dr. Sadrac Cénophat presenting at the 40th ISMS Marketing Science Conference

DCR-member Dr. Sadrac Cénophat cherished his time at the 40th ISMS Marketing Science Conference, which took place in Philadelphia from June 13 - 16. The event brought together leading marketing scholars, practitioners, and policy makers with a shared interest in rigorous scientific research on marketing problems. Topics included (but were not restricted to) branding, segmentation, consumer choice, competition, strategy, advertising, pricing, product, innovation, distribution, retailing, social media, internet marketing, global marketing, big data, mobile targeting analytics, machine learning and algorithm, artificial intelligence, choice models, game theory, structural models, randomized control trials. Dr. Cénophat was not only invited to present his paper on the "moderating role of marketing channel innovation on the relationship between industry informality and sales performance", which led to encouring feedback and fruitful discussions. He also took the opportunity to exchange with luminaries like Roland Rust on the importance of artifical intelligence on costumer relationships in the future. The conference, Cénophat says, enabled him to form an idea of the quite promising future of relationship marketing.

Dr. Giorgi Shuradze takes a new path

After successfully defending his thesis titled “Strategic Capabilities for Innovation in the Digital Economy: A Data Analytics Perspective”, Dr. Giorgi Shuradze accepts an industry position in Berlin and he will working as a Digital Business Consultant at the Big Picture GmbH, a Berlin-based digital agency providing digital solutions to companies in their digitalisation projects. Giorgi was one of the fellows of the third cohort in the DCR Program. He joined the program as a doctoral researcher in April 2014 and after receiving his doctorate degree in 2017, continued to work in the program as a postdoctoral researcher until April 2018. We thank him for his outstanding scientific performance and wish him all the best.

AoM 2018: A Showcase Symposium for the DCR Research Group

True to the motto ‘the same procedure as every year’, the DCR program is again invited to participate in the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, one of the most prestigious and important conferences in the field of management studies. This year’s meeting will take place in Chicago from August 10 - 14 and has lured thousands of scholars to submit their applications. Also Sarah Stanske, our third year doctoral candidate, has submitted a proposal for a professional development workshop which aims at supporting other students to understand the essence of process studies (together with Michael Hartmann, Markus Vodosek, and Heinz-Theo Wagner), a paper (together with Madeleine Rauch), and a symposium, also focused on the nature of process studies (together with Eric Knight, Jane Lê, Matthias Wenzel). While all of her submissions were accepted, it is especially the symposium submission which is currently in the limelight. Being among the top submissions, this proposal has been selected as a Showcase session by the OMT and the SAP divisions. Showcase sessions are expected to attract a great number of scholars and are additionally mentioned in the conference program as highlights. We are looking forward to inspiring discussions with Raghu Garud, Paula Jarzabkowski , Ann Langley, and Andy van de Ven.