Prof. Dr. Jochen Schlapp

The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.” (Erich Fromm)

I am an Associate Professor of Operations and Technology Management at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Inspired by the challenges and failures that I encountered in many new product development processes, my work centers on the design of more resilient and flexible R&D and new product/service development processes that ultimately should lead to more successful project outcomes. Over time, I have come to the conclusion that one of the key reasons for frequent project failure is an incorrect approach towards managing uncertainty. All too often do managers try to safeguard their projects from uncertainty; and all too rarely do they embrace uncertainty as a powerful opportunity.

In my teaching, I seek to prepare my students for managing development processes that are shrouded in uncertainty, and I challenge them to become comfortable with processes of extensive experimentation. Likewise, in my research, I develop managerially relevant insights into an effective design of R&D and new product development processes; including the construction of successful R&D portfolios and the acquisition as well as integration of external innovation initiatives.

I firmly believe that strong research findings nurture impactful education, which eventually translates into better decision-making in practice.

What is new?

  • My paper "Sourcing Innovation: On Feedback in Contests" (w. Jürgen Mihm) was selected as one of three finalists for the INFORMS TIMES Best Paper Award 2024
  • I received the 2023 M&SOM Meritorious Service Award "in recognition of my outstanding service provided to support the journal's scholarly mission"
  • My paper "Delegated Concept Testing in New Product Development" (w. Gerrit Schumacher) was selected as INFORMS TIMES Paper of the Month April 2024
  • I am elected to serve on the INFORMS TIMES board from 2024-2028 (currently as Vice Chair Membership)