This page provides a brief overview of my research work, which contributes to three different strands of academic inquiry: (i) the sourcing of external innovation, (ii) the construction and evaluation of R&D portfolios, and (iii) operations and supply chain management.

Sourcing of External innovation


Delegated Innovation Scouting when Success is Rare: A Behavioral Investigation
(with Mirko Kremer)
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Firms that seek external innovation oftentimes engage in innovation scouting to screen potential innovators and to assess whether some of those innovators’ innovation projects might be valuable additions to their own innovation portfolio. But they also face a crucial challenge during the scouting process: How to motivate innovation scouts to engage in extensive search for innovative projects given that search success oftentimes eludes them?

Sourcing Innovation: When to Own and When to Control your Supplier?
(with Zhi Chen and Jürgen Mihm)
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Many firms rely on their suppliers as a major source of innovation, and they harness the innovation potential of their supplier base by organizing innovation contests in their procurement efforts. In those contests, buyers frequently hold an equity position in some of the competing suppliers. But do ownership and control of a supplier increase the buyer’s profits? And does it promote or hinder supplier innovation?

Sourcing Innovation: Integrated System or Individual Components?
(with Zhi Chen and Jürgen Mihm)
Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 2022, 24(2), 1056-1073. Download Paper
Most industrial innovations consist of multiple interacting components that must be combined into a final product to form an integrated system. When procuring such complex innovations from their suppliers, buyers face a substantial challenge: Should they tender the integrated system as a whole or, instead, procure the system’s components individually from (possibly) different suppliers?

Sourcing Innovation: On Feedback in Contests
(with Jürgen Mihm)
Management Science, 2019, 65(2), 559-576. Download Paper
Contests have been shown to be an effective mechanism to provide external parties with adequate incentives for innovation. During such a contest, performance feedback is a means by which a contest holder can systematically affect the amount of information held by each contestant and thereby influence contestant behavior during the rest of the contest. But which solvers should receive feedback? And what should be the information content of the performance feedback?

Construction and Evaluation of R&D Portfolios

Composing New Product Development Portfolios with Internal and External Projects
(with Hossein Nikpayam and Moritz Fleischmann)
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The process of building portfolios with competing internal and external new product development projects comprises two daunting challenges: (i) the collection of relevant information about the projects under consideration and (ii) the selection of the most promising projects under uncertainty. But which project selection policies can best align a firm’s (ex ante) information acquisition efforts with its (ex post) project selection decisions when the firm contemplates investing in competing internal and external NPD projects?

Delegated Concept Testing in New Product Development
(with Gerrit Schumacher)
Operations Research, 2022, 70(5), 2732-2748. Download Paper
The testing of different product concepts is an integral part of any new product development initiative, as companies seek to identify the most promising concept for further development. In technologically complex industries, such as high-tech or pharma, testing efforts are typically delegated to testing experts. But how to coordinate the experts’ testing efforts? And which product concepts should be given testing priority?

Resource Allocation Decisions under Imperfect Evaluation and Organizational Dynamics
(with Nektarios Oraiopoulos and Vincent Mak).
Management Science, 2015, 61(9), 2139-2159. Download Paper 

Given the high uncertainty embedded in many new product development projects, identifying the “winners” up front is rather unlikely, and as such, allocating resources to the best projects is a daunting task even for the most successful organizations, particularly so when many projects compete for the same scarce resources. That is, how do you make good resource allocation decisions in a high-risk, technically complex business when the information you need to make those decisions comes largely from the project champions who are competing against one another for resources?

Operations & Supply Chain Management

Inventory Timing: How to Serve a Stochastic Season
(with Moritz Fleischmann and Danja Sonntag)
Production and Operations Management, 2022, 31(7), 2891-2906. Download Paper
Firms that sell products over a limited selling season (such as manufacturers of agrochemical products) often have only imperfect information about the exact timing of that season, the demand volume to expect, and the temporal distribution of demand over the selling season. Given these significant uncertainties, firms must determine not only how much inventory to stock but also when to make that inventory available to their customers. We thus ask: What is a firm’s optimal inventory quantity and timing for products sold during a stochastic selling season?

Multiproduct Inventory Management Under Customer Substitution and Capacity Restrictions
(with Moritz Fleischmann)
Operations Research, 2018, 66(3), 740-747. Download Paper
Inventory management under customer-driven substitution is a daunting, yet practically highly relevant challenge. Firms that offer multiple partially substitutable products must account for complex substitution dynamics when deciding on their inventory levels, but oftentimes their decision flexibility is severely constrained by tight capacity restrictions. Thus, what is the optimal inventory policy for a capacity-constrained firm selling multiple partially substitutable products over a finite season in a market with stockout-based customer substitution?