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Dynamics in Organizational Design: Firm Boundaries and Contractual Agreements

Archive StampAdvanced Seminar Communication Economics

Prof. Dr. Tobias Kretschmer, Christoph Dehne, Christian Peukert

Course Overview

Today's fast changing market environments and consumer behaviors demand organizations to assure a high degree of flexibility. On the other hand, competition among the market actors leads to constantly raising efficiency requirements. More and more, organizations change their design from static to dynamic concepts in order to react adequately to these developments and challenges.

The goal of this seminar is to uncover how organizations change in order to handle the conflicting goals of flexibility vs. efficiency. One important question that needs to be answered in this context is the one regarding the boundaries of the firm, e.g. to what degree firms should own certain functions and process steps in the value chain and to what degree they should rely on arms-length relationships. We address this question from two different perspectives: horizontal mergers and acquisitions as well as vertical integration. Common to both research fields is the question of how far the boundaries of a firm should go.

Course Structure

To answer the mentioned questions, we first need to obtain a clear picture of the relevant research fields through the review of related academic papers. The assignment for this course will be to critically review the research literature on a specific topic within the foregoing research themes. Students will be asked to participate actively in class and discuss their selected topics.

This course aims, firstly, at preparing students to writing the Bachelor thesis and, secondly, at sharpening their analytical skills by learning to grasp and evaluate existing research literature on a given topic.



  • The course is taught in English
  • The seminar qualifies for a Bachelor thesis according to the examination regulations
  • Max. number of participants: 16
  • To apply, please send your CV, a recent transcript and an e-mail motivating your application to Christoph Dehne (E-Mail schicken an


  • Presentation + term paper
  • 6 ECTS in module V/VII (PO 06) or M-BWL (PO 08)
Venues: Tuesday, 10.05.2011, 1:30-7:00 pm, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307 (Kick-off)
Wednesday, 08.06.2011, 12:00-6:00 pm, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307 (Presentations)
Deadlines: Friday, 22.04.2011 (Application)
Friday, 24.06.2011 (Term paper)