Advanced Seminar:

Building Theory for Innovation & Strategy Research

Course Overview

The process of building on the extant knowledge by developing and testing theories has been a critical part of academic research. This course provides an introduction to theory building in Innovation Strategy research, with a particular emphasis on the topics of Strategic Human Capital. By discussing the fundamental issues, the course provides guidelines for framing a research problem, theory development, theory testing and writing an academic research piece.


The purpose of this course is to prepare students to master the process of applied theory development on the basis of current Innovation Strategy literature. Since conducting a robust academic research involves various interdependent stages, the course will also discuss the implications and requirements of theory building on every stage of an academic project. The full cycle of a research project, from design, connecting to the literature, theorizing and analysis to reporting will be covered. Also by discussing the recent developments in Strategic Human Capital literature, the course provides potential research ideas and opportunities for interested students in writing a bachelor thesis on related topics. By the end of the course, the students will gain the required skills, knowledge and strategies in developing applied theory and executing a research project.


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  • The course will be held as a block seminar in English.
  • The term paper is a prerequisite for writing a Bachelor thesis at the ISTO.
  • This seminar qualifies for a Bachelor thesis according to the examination regulations (PO 2008) and examination regulations (PO 2015).
  • The number of participants is limited to 20.
  • Attendance to all sessions of the course is mandatory.
  • The application process is centrally organized.



  • 22.04.2024: Kick-off
  • 06.05.2024: Session I
  • 17.05.2024: Session II
  • 28.06.2024: Presentations


  • Kaulbachstraße 45, Raum 202


  • Written Introduction
  • Seminar paper

Further Information

Alexey Rusakov: