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Institute for Strategic Management

ISM is active in three core research and activity fields:

  • strategic alliances

  • business model innovation

  • strategy processes / open strategy

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Inter-firm collaboration has become an indispensable tool to reach corporate strategic goals. The growing number of firms’ simultaneous engagement in multiple strategic alliances poses new challenges for researchers and managers alike. The growing importance of networked platforms for the provision of services and products lies at the heart of ISM's research activities.


Business models have been emerging as a new unit of analysis among strategy scholars: they emphasize the system-level approach to doing and innovating business(es). ISM researches business models from a holistic view on firm-focal activities, their management, and innovation. We equally look into the management of multiple business models.


Organizational, interorganizational, and institutional activities place firms' strategic decision-making into a context within which competing technologies are selected, industries emerge or reform. ISM places its strategy research within the bidirectional firm-policy and firm-institutions interplay. We especially adopt open strategy and open innovation as well as organizational change perspectives.

Our core research fields are threefold: Alliances and Networks, Business Model Innovation, and Strategy processes / open strategy.
The agile ISM team brings interdisciplinary competence and bridges professional with scientific expertise in management and policy arenas.
ISM offers PhD positions, teaches in the Strategy, Innovation and Management Control (SIMC) master's program, and hosts lectures in WU BSc studies.