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. Today it is the turn of Prof. Dr. Michael Rüdiger, Professor for International Business and Supply Chain Management at Munich Business School, Academic Director of the MBA General Management and trainer in the Certified Strategy Manager and Digital Business Management course.
MBS Insights: Professor Rüdiger, what exciting research projects are you currently working on?
Prof. Dr. Michael Rüdiger: My research forms an exciting combination of Strategic Management, Supply Chain Management and International Management. One research topic I am spending a lot of time on at the moment is the issue of risk management in international supply chains. We can observe that the issue of risk management has been grossly neglected over the past 10 to 15 years by many companies, but also by public institutions. Current supply chain problems in the healthcare sector, in trade, but also in the automotive and electronics industries are good examples for this. I am currently working with a colleague from the USA on an article that aims to provide companies in the aviation industry with practical recommendations on how they can continue to operate in a changed business environment with an increased rate of uncertainty in the future with minimal inventories, without neglecting management approaches such as agility or customer centricity.
MBS Insights: Where do you see the added value of your research for students?
Prof. Dr. Michael Rüdiger: Many of the values that form the basis of a business self-image of companies, but also of individuals, are nowadays portrayed as “bad”, unsustainable or not socially acceptable. These include, for example, internationalization and globalization, but also the outsourcing of activities that companies do not regard as their own core competencies. Especially currently, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for supply chains with a higher regional, national or local focus are becoming louder and louder. Students need to be able to reflect on these issues in an informed and fact-based way. Many of our students are decidedly interested in topics related to sustainability and responsible leadership, but at the same time they want to learn how to address these issues proactively and profitably in a highly competitive environment. Many bachelor’s and master’s theses written in collaboration with companies are a nice confirmation that these topics are also highly important for companies.
MBS Insights: And how does the practice benefit from this?
Prof. Dr. Michael Rüdiger: The starting point for all my research are challenges faced in practice, because the goal of business administration should always be to provide managers with advice and support in making important decisions. This can be achieved in research, among other things, by better systematizing and understanding processes and interrelationships, but of course also by developing new practice-oriented tools that can be easily and quickly applied in everyday business life. As already pointed out by my colleague Prof. Schmid, my work in the Executive Education department at Munich Business School is therefore very important to me; on the one hand, the intensive exchange of experiences and challenges with our course participants allows me to always be up to date on the latest developments, and on the other hand, it gives me the opportunity to identify possible solutions to the problems presented and often to discuss them critically with the participants in our courses.