In this interview series, MBS lecturers who also teach in the field of executive education give an insight into their research projects and explain how corporate practice and students benefit from it. Prof. Dr. Carsten Rennhak, lecturer for International Management and Marketing at MBS as well as trainer in the Certified Strategy Manager course, kicks off the series.
MBS Insights: Professor Rennhak, what exciting research projects are you currently working on?
Prof. Dr. Carsten Rennhak: On the one hand, I am working together with a German car manufacturer and my partners at Dublin City University (DCU) on business model transformations and the management of the extended enterprise or the ecosystem of companies. The focus is on product-to-service and the transformation of car manufacturers into software companies.
On the other hand, I am working together with a colleague from ESB Reutlingen and a well-known IT company as well as various financial service providers on a large study on the acceptance of Robo Advisory, i.e. financial advice through artificial intelligence.
MBS Insights: Where do you see the added value of your research for students?
Prof. Dr. Carsten Rennhak: The students benefit in many ways: Research-driven lecturers deal with the state of the art in the respective research field as a conditio sine qua non, so they know all the current developments, trends and discussions, which then directly flow into teaching. One output from the project on business model transformations in the automotive industry, for example, was a journal article that I will discuss with my students as a case study in the coming semester.
In addition, research today no longer takes place at the individual researcher’s table, but in networks with partners from research and practice. Here, students are often involved (e.g. in the context of final theses) and can thus benefit from these structures.
MBS Insights: And how does the practice benefit from this?
Prof. Dr. Carsten Rennhak: In many cases, business practice directly uses the know-how generated in the research projects – in my two current research projects, partner companies are directly involved. As a result of the research projects, urgent business questions are answered directly.
In addition, the various knowledge transfer activities (executive trainings, practical seminars, panel discussions, etc.) provide a close exchange with business practice, which continuously gains insights into the current state of research in the various topics.