Doing a Doctorate at ZU

Since September 2011, it has been possible to do a supervised PhD program at Zeppelin University. Every academic looks forward to working with interested parties who cannot ignore their vocation, who cannot fight the urge to thoroughly investigate every phenomenon that piques their interest, and who want to forge ahead with their doctoral project at a beautiful lakeside location.

To date, more than 70 co-operative doctorates have been completed at ZU, while at present there are 90 doctorates being supervised. Meanwhile, a good number of ZU's junior academics were appointed to professorships across the globe.

"I chose ZU for my doctoral program because the personal and individual way people dealt with me in my application process has really impressed me. Right from the start I got the feeling that it is exactly here that I get the tools to realize my vision, my doctoral degree, successfully."

Alexander Jaroschinsky | doctoral candidate with Prof Dr Christian Opitz at the ZF Friedrichshafen Chair of Personnel Management & Leadership

With its research profile, ZU offers room for the exploration of interstices, for the conversion of side issues into central questions, and for refreshingly different technical perspectives – all of which on a solid disciplinary foundation.

As a matter of principle, academic orientation (and consequently junior academic staff who want to turn their passion for research into a profession) is at the center of ZU's overall research concept.

In exceptional cases, part-time dissertations which follow an approach which is clearly theoretically modeled or quantitatively empirical, can be supervised – however preferably those with a focus on an academic career.

Additional Features of a Doctorate at ZU

  • a partially-structured doctoral program with plenty of research freedom
  • the doctoral program is need- and demand-oriented and includes alternative attainments
  • independent co-determination of program content (PhD StudentStudies)
  • active inclusion in ZU research groups and clusters
  • inclusion in the teaching and assistance of third-level didactic education
  • honesty regarding interdisciplinary issues
  • second advisor of state and international universities in Quality Assurance and the expansion of academic networks
  • ZU's own research support system ("FUSY") for the subsidization of PhD proposals, if needed

Ideal Conditions for Great Work-Life Balance, with

  • optimal student-supervisor ratio
  • fellow researchers always close at hand to exchange ideas
  • 24/7 access to the library
  • the administration's commitment to excellent service
  • plenty of peace and lots of sport on the lake

Statements by Doctoral Students

Golnaz Sarkar Farshi, former doctoral candidate with Prof. Dr. Baecker at the chair for  Cultural Theory & Analysis:
„I am Iranian and learned about Niklas Luhmann's social systems theory as I was doing my Master's studies in drama. I knew that Germany, the land where the theory had developed, would offer me the optimal academic atmosphere where I could pursue my post-graduate studies. I am specialized in film and drama studies and sought a university which would support the interdisciplinary research that I was heading for: to study cinema as a social system. I corresponded with many universities in Germany, and Zeppelin University (and my supervisor, Prof Dr rer soc Dirk Baecker) was the only university that was open and welcoming to such diversity and interdisciplinarity. Having spent two semesters at ZU, I have enjoyed the kind and unconditional support of ZUGS staff who made it possible for me to stay here and focus on my research despite all the difficulties that I had as an international PhD student."

Selected English doctoral theses

  • Kay Hendrik Hofmann: Co-Financing Hollywood Film Productions with Outside Investors - An Economic Analysis of Principal Agent Relationships in the U.S. Motion Picture Industry

  Thesis defense: 14 June 2012

  • Annette Horváth: Studies on Cross-Industry Innovation. Search, find and apply extra-industry knowledge 

  Thesis defense: 27 February 2013

  • Linn Viktoria Rampl: Branding in complex markets – The role of emotions and trust 

  Thesis defense: 28 February 2013

  • Inga Kristina Wobker: Emotions in economic exchange processes revisited: Systematization and further empirical evidence

  Thesis defense: 29 August 2013

  • Florian Günter Mezger: Business Model Innovation – Empirical Studies from a Dynamic Capability Perspective

  Thesis defense: 09 December 2013

  • Sandra Margraf: Organizational Learning in Innovation Networks: Exploring the Role of Cognitive Distance and Absorptive Capacity. An Agent-Based Model

  Thesis defense: 30 September 2014

  • Sebastian Heil: Cross-industry innovation – A theoretical and empirical foundation on the concept of absorptive capacity

  Thesis defense: 23 April 2015

  • Karoline Bader: Open Innovation – Empirical studies from a resource-based perspective

  Thesis defense: 28 April 2015

  • Malte Christopher Doehne: Quality matters on markets: The use of screwcaps on fine wines, 1970 - 2010

  Thesis defense: 20 May 2015

  • Eva Becker: Knowledge Capture in Financial Regulation. The Role and Nature of Data, Information, and Knowledge Asymmetries in Regulator-Regulatee Relationships in the Context of the US Financial Crisis

  Thesis Defense: 08.09.2015

  • Silvia Eleonora Castellazzi: Employability and Further Training. An Economic-Ethics Contribution to the Implementation of Corporate Responsibility in the Labor Market

  Thesis Defense: 14.10.2015 

  • Martin Navid Siddiqui: Essays on Selected Aspects of European Integration Thesis Defense: 11.12.2015
  • Jiahui Li: Moderators of Automatic and Controlled Processes in Economic Decision Making

  Thesis Defense: 18.03.2016

  • Johanna Rahn: Mindset Dynamics in Risk Taking – How Decision Making and Performance can Profit from Deliberative and Implemental States of Mind Thesis Defense: 08.06.2016
  • Jana Hauck: Toward Understanding Heterogeneity among Family Firms: Studies on Innovation, Succession, and Non-Economic Goals

  Thesis Defense: 15.09.2016

  • Jonas Kaiser: Spheres of Skepticism – The Integration of the Climate Skeptic Counterpublic Within the German Networked Public Sphere

  Thesis Defense: 05.10.2016

  • Susanne Beck: The Family Firm Status as Part of the Brand: Relevance and Empirical Evidence for a Potential Competitive Advantage

  Thesis Defense: 05.10.2016

  • Monika Hengstler: Radical innovation by means of open innovation: Empirical studies on ecosystems, capabilities and trust

  Thesis Defense: 06.12.2016

  • Annika Kathrin Maria Dingler: A knowledge-based perspective on open innovation: The role of social integration

  Thesis Defense: 06.12.2016

  • Tim Weiss: Behind the Scenes of Technology Entrepreneurship in Kenya:
    A Rich Microcosm for Contextualizing and Advancing Global Organization Studies

  Thesis Defense: 15.02.2017

  • Aline Margaux Laucke: Cross-Sectoral Hybridization as a Strategy to Turn Institutional Voids Into Opportunity Spaces
    The Case of Hybrid Organizations Providing Health Care at the Base of the Pyramid

  Thesis Defense: 28.02.2017

  • Johanna Christina Schindler: On Subjectivity and Synchrony in Artistic Research. Ethnographic Insights

  Thesis Defense: 18.09.2017

  • Anne Sosna: A new approach to develop a decision-making process for corporations' internationalization and market exploitation strategies

  Thesis Defense: 05.10.2017

  • Martin Hülsen: An experimental economic analysis of banker behavior

  Thesis Defense: 01.12.2017

  • Manuel Molterer: Specialized Financial Intermediation – Stability Implications For Financial Systems and Real Estate Markets

  Thesis Defense: 15.06.2018

  • Anja Höft | Structuring the Front-End of Innovation: An Empirical Analysis of the Role of Perceived Contextual Factors on Intended Applications and Proficiency of Innovation Fields

  Thesis Defense: 25.06.2018

  • Katja-Maria Prexl: Contextualization of Individual Absorptive Capacity: Exploring Corporate Engagement Activities in Innovation and the Empirical Evidence of Individual Capabilities for New Knowledge and Innovation 

 Thesis Defense: 03.07.2018

  • Michael Kusi Appiah: Promoting Small-Scale Mining Sector Businesses And The Role Of Institutions – A Conflict Prevention and Resolution Study In Ghana

  Thesis Defense: 17.07.2018

  • Maximiliano Boada: On the Myth of Tax Neutrality
    A Study on the Appropriateness of the Usage of the Principle of Tax Neutrality in the OECD Framework

  Thesis Defense: 19.09.2018

  • Maximilian Lude: The Family Firm Effect
    Unraveling the Effects of the Family Firm Signal on Various Stakeholders

  Thesis Defense: 19.09.2018

  • Carla Rostásy: European Integration and Cross-Border Financial Governance in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis
    Challenges and Prospects of Post-Crisis Policy Responses to Systemic Risk in the European Union

  Thesis Defense: 10.05.2019

  • Katharina Steinbach: On the persistence of relationship banking within a bank-based financial system: Post-crisis evidence from German SMEs

  Thesis Defense: 24.05.2019

  • Isabella Geis: Economic Essays on the Framework Conditions for the Deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

  Thesis Defense: 06.06.2019

  • Jennifer Willoh: Gender Differences in Self-Enhancement and Impression Management Strategies: Evidence From Field Studies in Female- and Male-Dominated Environments

  Thesis Defense: 20.08.2019

  • Veronika Sagmeister: Strategic renewal through corporate entrepreneurship – empirical studies from a dynamic capabilities and absorptive capacity perspective

  Thesis Defense: 27.09.2019

  • Laura Seibold: Family Businesses’ Growth: Unpacking the Black Box

  Thesis Defense: 30.09.2019

  • Leticia Labaronne: (Re-)Presenting Artistic Performance: A Contextualized Framework for Evaluating Performance Arts Organizations

  Thesis Defense: 02.10.2019

  • Angela De Martiis: Three Essays on the Financial Distress of Firms and Banks
    Thesis Defense: 19.10.2019
  • Dominik Fischer: Governance as Strategy in Global Value Chains:
    Relationing Formal and Informal Mechanisms of Governance for Cooperation | Thesis Defense: 12.12.2019
  • Jan Sebastian Zipp: Programming Creativity - Semantics and Perception of Creativity within the IT Sector

  Thesis Defense: 03.03.2020

  • Anna Dorota Eckardt: Banking for a low carbon future: A multi-stage model of corporate climate change responses in a low-salience industry 

  Thesis Defense: 10.03.2020

  • Simon Behrendt: Investigating New Sources of Information and Nonlinearities on Financial Markets

  Thesis Defense: 04.05.2020

  • Jonas Ludwig: Motivation and Volition in Economic Decisions

  Thesis Defense: 13.05.2020

  • Julia Felfeli: Confidence Judgments and Rational Decision Making: An Investigation of Cognitive Processes and Possible Interventions

  Thesis Defense: 25.06.2020

  • Dinah Spitzley: The next Generation in Enterprising Families: Studies on Entrepreneurial Roles

  Thesis Defense: 07.10.2020

  • Benedikt Federspiel: Investment asymmetries and corporate governance at company level - a European profile

  Thesis Defense: 22.10.2020

  • Eva Katharina Zepp: Use school buildings. Space appropriation and its representations from 1968 to the present day

  Thesis Defense: 16.11.2020

  • Neele Hiemesch-Hartmann: Factor Point of Sale influencing success:
    Product innovations in medium-sized companies in the food industry - an empirical analysis

  Thesis Defense: 08.12.2020

  • Isabel Jandeisek: Corporate responsibility in supply and value chains
    A relational perspective

  Thesis Defense: 04.02.2021

  • Philippe Oster: Three Essays on Contingent Convertible Bonds

  Thesis Defense: 12.02.2021

  • Fabian Simmank: Reputation, Self-Concept, & Profit: Neural Value Representation and Bounded Ethicality as Constituent Concepts in Moral-economic Relations

  Thesis Defense: 24.02.2021

  • Swen Nadkarni: Organizational Transformation in the Context of Disruption: Studies on Digital Transformation, Identity Struggles and Disruption Sensitivities

  Thesis Defense: 07.04.2021

  • Florian Keppeler: Perspectives on an Integrated Steering of Human Resources of Public Administration and State-Owned Enterprises

  Thesis Defense: 02.07.2021

  • Sebastian Scheler: Economic Essays on Road Traffic Safety

  Thesis Defense: 14.09.2021

  • Philipp Dirkx: Three Essays on Asset Pricing and Factor Investing

  Thesis Defense: 22.10.2021

  • Henning Wirth: Managing Innovation in the Context of Corporate Entrepreneurship                                                                                       

  Thesis Defense: 15.02.2022

  • Christina Edye: Strategic Analysis of an Accelerated Introduction of Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM)

  Thesis Defense: 01.03.2022

  • Natalie Rauschendorfer: Stereotype “family firm”?

    Studies on the judgement of family firms in different contexts                            Thesis Defense: 11.03.2022

  • Christian Schmidt: Instrumental and Personnel Governance of Executive Directors in Corporatized Public Service Provision                                    

  Thesis Defense: 18.03.2022

| Sabine Wiesmüller: Forms and Interactions of Relational AI Governance

  Thesis Defense: 28.09.2022

| Fabio Franzoi: The Influence of Family Blockholders on the Financial Behavior
  of Listed Family Firms
  Thesis Defense: 14.10.2022

| Philipp Prange: Investigating Market linkages and investor behavior in times

  of turmoil and uncertainty

  Thesis Defense: 03.02.2023

  • Caroline Heins: New Concepts for Efficient Consumer Response in Retail Influenced by Emerging Technologies and Innovations
    Thesis Defense: 16.02.2023
  • Fabian Reck: Studies about the Role of Governance and Violent Conflicts in Society and Economics
    Thesis Defense: 22.02.2023
  • Leander Kauschke: The transition to smart mobility. Acceptance and roles in future transportation.

    Thesis Defense: 18.04.2023

  • Maximilian Lantelme: The Continuity and Discontinuity of the 250 Largest Enterprises in Germany. A History-Based Analysis of Family Influence, Corporate Development and Ownership Transactions                                Thesis Defense: 19.04.2023

  • Jessica Geraldo Schwengber: Organizational Learning: A Conceptualization in the Framework of the Relational Economics Theory
    Disputation: 31.05.2023
  • Francesca Brusa: Unveiling the Invisible. Artistic production and non-artistic labour in the works of Maria Eichhorn, Maja Bajevic, and Otobong Nkanga.
    Disputation: 27.06.2023

Work as a Research Fellow

Should you be interested in working as a research fellow at ZU, you can find up-to-date information here on requests for proposals in various (post-)doctoral positions.

Vice President Research

Achtziger, Anja
Achtziger, Anja Prof Dr
Vice President Research |
Head of Center for Consumer, Markets & Politics | CCMP
Phone:+49 7541 6009-1376
Room:Semi 1.05

ZU Graduate School | Team

Ettensperger, Felix
Ettensperger, Felix Dr.
Head of ZU Graduate School | ZUGS
Phone:+49 7541 6009-1206
Room:FB3 | Office 051
Roth, Simone
Roth, Simone
Management ZU Graduate School
CMS Key User | ZUGS
Phone:+49 7541 6009-1208
Room:FAB 3 | 0.51
Brugger, Kamila
Brugger, Kamila
Admissions & Examinations | Examination Office
ZU Graduate School
Phone:+49 7541 6009-2114
Room:FAB 3 | 0.59
Time to decide

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