Research Insights TUM-Study Proves Positive Correlation Between Self-reflection and Successful Leadership

Self-reflection is a key factor towards becoming a better business leader. This is the result of a current study completed by the TUM Chair of Research and Science Management. The findings were presented by authors Dr. Kristin Knipfer, Dr. Ellen Schmid, Nadine Ertel and Natascha Kutschenko in a scientific paper titled “The Reflective Leader: Leadership Learning From Developmental Job Challenges”.

One of the most important findings of the study, presented at the EAWOP Congress 2017 in Dublin: Business leaders are able to master the implementation of new training lessons more effectively if they regularly engage in reflection on their successes and opportunities for improvement. This effect is enhanced by soliciting feedback from their employees regarding their performance. As a sobering fact, the study also concluded that, in day-to-day business practice, leaders only seldom find the time to reflect and rarely obtain feedback – a clear message for leadership development programs.

The study conducted at TUM provides scientific proof: Executive MBA participants, who regularly reflect on their leadership skills and business challenges achieve higher median scores regarding their leadership competence. What’s more, the study also identifies self-reflection as a key learning mechanism supporting the development of an effective leadership tool set.

International studies have also confirmed this strong correlation between reflection and successful leadership: In 2014, a study conducted by Di Stefano and colleagues concluded that leaders, who engage in 15 minutes of self-reflection at the end of their work day are able to boost their performance by 25 percent. These findings highlight self-reflection as a highly effective (and entirely free) technique in the training of effective leadership personnel.

Direct Implementation in Executive Education Offering

The latest research findings are already impacting the curriculum at TUM Executive Education, true to our fundamental approach of evidence-based education. Our academic program combines strategies of effective leadership with an emphasis on self-directed learning processes, for instance by providing systematic feedback and encouraging structured self-reflection.

The TUM Chair of Research and Science Management (Dr. Kristin Knipfer, Dr. Ellen Schmid und Prof. Claudia Peus) supports our MBA program participants by offering a series of sessions to focus on personal leadership development. As the central tool in our efforts, participants receive an individual Leadership Profile, providing personal feedback as the basis for structured self-reflection throughout their successful careers.

For further information regarding the new study as well as our evidence-based education approach, please visit the TUM Chair of Research and Science Management’s official website.

Customized Programs: Theme Day “Leadership in the Digital Age“ at Roche Meeting Center

As part of the Strategy Workshop held by the executive team of Roche Germany, TUM experts contributed to the theme day “Leadership in the Digital Age – how are we going to prepare both ourselves and our talents?”. The perfect backdrop for this highly engaging event held on 19 September, 2017 was provided by the Roche Forum Buonas Ltd, the company’s internal training and meeting center in Switzerland.

In her opening keynote, Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus, Senior Vice President Talent Management & Diversity and Vice Dean of Executive Education at TUM, showcased the key challenges posed by digital transformation, which led to highly engaged group discussions on questions including: What are the transformative effects of digital disruption? What are the specific demands posed by generations Y and Z? And what are the consequences for business leaders dealing with young employees?

In an energized working atmosphere, participants completed five workshops on the topic of digitization, three of which were presented by the TUM Chair of Research & Science Management. Under the heading “Changing Values”, the breakout session led by Dr. Armin Pircher Verdorfer encouraged participants to openly voice recent changes in value perceptions and their implementation within the organization.

The panel discussion “Influencing Others” directed by Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus highlighted opportunities for business leaders to have a positive influence on their employees by adopting a self-reflected leadership style. Dr. Ellen Schmid’s panel discussion on “Communication and Feedback“ explored constructive approaches to receiving feedback as well as the role of new digital platforms for evaluating employees.

Digital platforms were also the focus of the workshop “Technical Tools for Collaboration“ headed by Dr. Moritz Marcinowski (Roche), which highlighted tools such as WhatsApp together with their constructive application in a work context. On the subject of “Reverse Mentoring” participants were inspired by Dr. Gabriele Pestlin (Roche) to learn from younger employees and view challenges from their perspective.

Supporting the panel discussions, an online tool provided a chance to “tweet” questions live into the panel, which proved a productive addition to a fruitful theme day. We would like to take the opportunity to thank the leadership team at Roche Germany for this successful event.

Our Customized Programs are company-specific executive education initiatives developed in close cooperation with HR professionals to meet specific client requirements. Our Customized Programs for 2017 include the continuation of established programs as well as new offerings. For additional information regarding our tailor-made Customized Programs for some of the world’s leading organizations, please visit the program page

Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation Class of 2019 Completes Module “Entrepreneurial Finance & Accounting”

What are the key business performance metrics that entrepreneurs need to watch while growing their business? And which strategies and criteria are especially relevant to innovation-based start-ups and young enterprises? Drawing on success stories and current business practice, the answers were provided in our Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation Module “Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting”.

From 26 – 29 October, 2017, TUM experts Prof. Dr. Gunter Friedl and Prof. Dr. Christoph Kaserer communicated the tools for efficient financial planning from an entrepreneurial perspective. In courses on Management Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis, and Corporate Finance & Valuation, our Class of 2019 learned to analyze financial statements and corporate accounting, and how to leverage these insights into informed strategic decision making.

As a special treat, the module included an Alumni Event on 27 October, 2017, at the IBM Watson Highlight Towers. In the ambiance of the Towers’ community space, our participants and alumni had ample opportunity to network and discuss the city’s vibrant start-up scene. Completing a successful evening, participants in the second round of the XPRENEURS Incubator Series shared their experiences from developing their own start-up business models.

Joining the event as a guest speaker was Prof. Jerry Engel of UC Berkeley, who had already provided many of our participants with important feedback on their business ideas during their tour of the Bay Area’s entrepreneurial scene a few weeks ago.

More Information about the Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation!


Executive MBA in Business & IT Preview: Module “Finance & Accounting” Kicks Off in December

What are the best practices for making strategic financial decisions aligned with overall company goals? And how can business leaders identify lucrative investment opportunities? The necessary leadership skills for efficient corporate financing will be presented in our Executive MBA in Business & IT Module “Finance & Accounting” from 11 – 15 December, 2017 at the TUM School of Management.

TUM experts Prof. Dr. Gunter Friedl and Prof. Dr. Christoph Kaserer will provide participants with the necessary skills for effective financial management. Focus areas of the module include “Financial Statements and Analysis”, “Management Accounting”, and “Corporate Finance and Evaluation”.

Participants also have a chance to acquaint themselves with the pros and cons of a wide range of investment categories such as real estate, loans, stock options, bonds, etc. Supplementing these insights with current cases from business practice, the five-day module also provides a sense of financial risk management, together with proven approaches towards estimating enterprise value based on key performance indicators from financial statements.

For further information regarding the upcoming module “Finance & Accounting”, which can also be booked as a stand-alone Certificate Program, please visit the official module web page

Executive MBA in Business & IT Module “IT-Security & Privacy Management” Confronts Cyber Risks

The rising threat of cyber crime on an enterprise level was at the focus of the Executive MBA in Business & IT Module “IT-Security & Privacy Management” from 9 – 13 October, 2017. Headed by Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar, TUM Chair for Information Systems, the module presented the latest research findings and corporate strategies in dealing with cyber risks.

Participants obtained a view of the alarming scope of IT threats in an opening presentation by TUM experts Prof. Dr. Krcmar and Prof. Dr. Jens Grossklags, Chair of Cyber Trust. One of the most important take-aways of the module: Cyber crime threatens every segment of an organization and calls for coordinated risk management across departments – not just the IT-sector.

This assessment was confirmed by practical lectures from experts involved in IT security at global enterprises: Dr. Henriette Picot (Bird & Bird) outlined the legal ramifications of safekeeping customer and employee data. Steffen Siguda (OSRAM) shared his experiences from moving towards a cloud-based data architecture in his presentation “One Year in the Cloud – Lessons Learned and Outlook”.

The keys to achieving company-wide privacy management were presented by Bettina Robrecht (Deutschen Bahn) in her lecture “Securing Privacy Compliances at DB”. During a company visit at the offices of insurance provider Munich RE, cyber risk consultant Oliver Lenze and IT architect Florian Wittemann shared their insights from managing cyber risks at a major insurance provider.

Rounding out the module, participants not only familiarized themselves with the latest laws, rules, and concepts for safeguarding employee data. They also had an opportunity to work on their own professional development. A Business Etiquette Dinner provided a chance for participants to fine-tune their social skills in dealing with the cultural dimension of dining with (international) business partners. Furthermore business coach Dr. Martin Stellmacher provided hands-on advice on story-lining.

For further information regarding the module IT-Security & Privacy Management, please visit the module web page.

Executive MBA Class of 2019 Completes Module “Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Digital Transformation”

What are the challenges facing entrepreneurs and business leaders related to the ongoing process of digital transformation? These questions were at the center of the Executive MBA Module “Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Digital Transformation”, which our Class of 2019 completed from 19 October, 2017 onwards here at the Executive Education Center in Munich.

This was the first module for all participants who began their journey towards Executive MBA certification in autumn 2017. In his introductory keynote, Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar, TUM Chair for Information Systems, outlined the massive economic disruptions caused by digital technologies over the past few years. Drawing on multiple examples from business practice, Prof. Dr. Joachim Henkel emphasized the role of innovation management as a key to maintaining a competitive edge in the digital age.

For a hands-on perspective on digitization and innovation management at a globally positioned enterprise, the Class visited international lighting solutions manufacturers OSRAM. Highlights of the tour included a visit to the brand-new OSRAM showroom “room of light”, which our delegation visited as one of the first trial groups.

Our Class of 2019 was then invited to further expand their horizons at the TUM Entrepreneurship Center in Garching and the UnternehmerTUM’s Maker Space innovation workshop. Participants received valuable business insights on how to create prototypes. They also developed new business ideas by applying the Business Model Canvas method in an Entrepreneurship class with Prof. Dr. Dr. Holger Patzelt. Completing the courses in Garching, participants were given an opportunity to network with EMBA alumni and successful founders, and share experiences on building start-up companies.

At the end of November, the next module on “Stakeholder Management” will provide participants with the necessary tools to effectively communicate with stakeholders. Focus areas will consist of Marketing, Business Law, and Business Ethics.

Would you like to learn more about the Executive MBA program here at TUM School of Management? For detailed information, please visit the Executive MBA program page.


Research Insights TUM-Study Explores Economic Impact of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is widely known as the foundation for so-called cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The term “Blockchain” refers to decentralized, encrypted networks, which offer a high level of data security via deeply integrated verification processes. Actually, the potential ramifications of Blockchain extend far beyond the realm of cyber currencies, as the technology could radically disrupt various market segments and industries.

This assessment is scientifically confirmed by a recent TUM School of Management study, with results recently published in a research paper. Under the title “Disrupting Industries With Blockchain: The Industry, Venture Capital Funding, and Regional Distribution of Blockchain Ventures”, TUM authors Maximilian Friedlmaier, Dr. Andranik Tumasjan, and Prof. Dr. Isabell M. Welpe of the research group Blockchain Research outline the full disruptive potential of the technology.

As the basis of the study, one of the first empirical analyses of the subject, the authors drew on four company databases containing start-up ventures with a Blockchain focus. The authors compiled these four databases into one singular repository, allowing for qualitative evaluations such as the geographic distribution of blockchain-based start-ups, coverage of different economic sectors, and share of venture capital funding.


Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation “Class of 2019” Visits UC Berkeley and Innovative Enterprises in the Bay Area

Highly motivated and full of inspiration, our Class of 2019 in the Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation returned from their study trip to California including visits to Berkeley, San Francisco and the Bay Area. From late August until early September, participants had a direct opportunity to explore the unique innovation culture and entrepreneurial environment of the region. Joining the group were participants of our EMBA BIT and EMBA programs, which created a motivated atmosphere during a memorable visit.

The group spent five days studying the lean innovation approach and start-up ecosystem of the Bay Area on the UC Berkeley campus. Then it was time to demonstrate some practical skills: Participants had brought their team projects with their unique business concepts in the areas of Wearables, MedTech and Food, on which they had been working for the past months. The trip brought a unique opportunity to present these concepts in front of a jury of seven investors including partners in venture capital funds and a few business angels. The result? Lots of positive feedback, valuable advice, and a wide range of exclusive contacts for our executive MBA participants.

The group also used an extended Labor Day weekend to explore the Bay Area while enjoying the wonderful late summer weather. The last two days of the study trip were dedicated to company visits: In San Francisco, the Class of 2019 toured the headquarters and spoke to key personnel at and The excursion to Silicon Valley brought the group face-to-face with international innovation trailblazers such as Google and Carbon, with an exclusive chance to speak with founders and key executives.

We would like to use this opportunity to thank all participating companies, as well as UC Berkeley and Prof. Jerome Engel for their hospitality and support. Prof. Engel will also be our guest in Munich on 28 October during the Executive MBA Day in Innnovation & Business Creation where he will be featured as a guest lecturer.

For further details on our Executive MBA Day in Innovation & Business Creation please visit the official event page.

Executive MBA in Business & IT Preview: Module “IT-Security & Privacy Management” at TUM in October

Cyber crime, espionage and data leaks: The upcoming Executive MBA in Business & IT Module will introduce participants to the current IT-risks and online threats facing today’s organizations. From 9 – 13 October, 2017, our module “IT-Security & Privacy Management” will provide the necessary tools for making strategic leadership decisions in dealing with the rise of cyber threats.

These threats can affect every segment of an organization and require integrated approaches far beyond the realm of IT. Current research findings will be presented by TUM experts Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar and Prof. Dr. Jens Großklags, TUM Chair of Cyber Trust.

One of the module’s main focus area includes best practices in safekeeping customer and employee data. The module’s privacy management segment will teach participants to implement the latest laws, rules, and concepts for the protection of sensitive personal data. These insights will be supplemented by experts from organizations such as Bird & Bird, Osram and Deutschen Bahn, who share hands-on advice on implementing a company-wide risk management approach in close cooperation with IT-experts.

The curriculum also includes an on-site visit at the offices of insurance provider Munich RE: Cyber risk consultant Oliver Lenze will provide practical examples from the management of cyber risks in a major insurance provider. It’s also worth noting that “IT-Security & Privacy Management” will be the very first module for all participants starting their Executive MBA in Business & IT program this Winter Semester.

For further information regarding the module “IT-Security & Privacy Management”, which can also be booked as a stand-alone Certificate Program, please visit the module web page.

Executive MBA in Business & IT Module “Ownership of Enterprise & Corporate Governance” in St. Gallen

Participants obtained a comprehensive perspective on the impact of IT on business leadership in their recent Executive MBA in Business & IT Module in Switzerland: The module “Ownership of Enterprise & Corporate Governance” showcased the latest findings in corporate analysis from 11 – 15 September, 2017 at the Institute of Information Management of the University of St. Gallen.

The highly practical module, which can also be booked as a stand-alone Certificate Program, explored the positioning of organizations in the context of business and society, as well as the dynamic forces shaping the evolution of companies. Drawing on the practical example of autonomous driving, Prof. Dr. Walter Brenner, professor of Information Management, University of St. Gallen, outlined the power of innovation and IP to shape entire business models.

Participants also used the module as an opportunity to ask questions and draw on the experience of practical guest lecturers. These lecturers included Andrea Weierich of Allianz Group, who shared her experience in taking on a new role in a large organization and the related challenges and opportunities.