Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Junior Professorship in International Management

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Dauth


Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Junior Professorship in International Management


Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation

Academic Group

Strategy, Leadership and International Management

Junior Professor

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Dauth

Research Associate

Michaela Wrede


Cross-Cultural Management and Communication
International Management
International Management Competencies
Managing Global Corporations
Management Practice in Central and Eastern Europe
Problem Solving and Communication



Research Areas

Corporate governance and board structures
Top management team internationalization and diversity
Internationalization of small and medium-sized firms
German-Polish economic relations


Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW, Leipzig
ESCP Europe: Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmid, Chair for International Management and Strategic Management
FU Berlin: Prof. Dr. Paul Pronobis, Assistant Professor of Accounting, Department of Finance, Accounting and Taxation
Kozminski University, Warsaw: Prof. Mariola Ciszewska-Mlinarič, Ph.D., Department of Business Strategy
Kozminski University, Warsaw: Prof. Izabela Koladkiewicz, Ph.D., Center for Management Studies
Poznan University of Economics: Dr. Piotr Trąpczyński


The Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Junior Professorship in International Management was founded in 2013 and focuses on maintaining and expanding German-Polish scientific relations.

In current research projects we investigate the role and the impact of international top managers in the internationalization processes of firms. A second major research area comprises the internationalization of German and Polish small and medium sized firms.

The Junior Professorship also fosters regional and international partnerships. We collaborate with the Leipzig-based Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW to establish a network and cooperation between the stakeholders of the Central and Eastern European growth markets.

Our teaching activities aim at providing students with state of the art knowledge in international management. To do so, we combine theoretical perspectives with critical thinking and real-life case studies. Ultimately, our courses shall prepare students to effectively deal with the challenges arising from firms’ international activities.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Dauth

Our HHL spirit is a true asset that guides my daily work.

I joined HHL in 2013 as Junior Professor for International Management. In my research, I focus on strategic, organizational and cultural challenges of international firms. For instance, my work investigates the impact of internationalization and diversity in top management teams. The research output is recognized on an international level – e.g., through best paper awards at the Academy of Management Conference (AoM) or at the European Academy of Management Conference (EURAM).

I am member of the German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB), the European International Business Academy (EIBA) and the Academy of International Business (AIB). Moreover, I serve as reviewer for several international academic journals.

At HHL, we combine a meritocratic and challenging working environment with a very warm and cordial personal relationships. To me, this "HHL spirit" is a true asset that guides may daily work.


Currently, we offer courses for the Master of Science and the MBA level:

  • Management Practice in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Problem Solving and Communication
  • Managing Global Corporations
  • International Management

All courses are designed in a highly interactive format where students are asked to share their own practical experience as well as to critically reflect on “best practices” and case studies.

Management Practice in Central and Eastern Europe

In this class we do not only talk about intercultural issues but we also apply tools and concepts from International Management and Strategic Management to real-life cases. A major topic is the internationalization of grocery discounters Aldi and Lidl to Central and Eastern Europe.


Over the last decades, grocery discounters such as Aldi and Lidl have strengthened their position in the grocery retailing industry – especially in Germany and Europe. With their no-frills approach, they have led to significant changes in the industry and have challenged many companies which operate other store formats such as supermarkets or hypermarkets.

We will discuss the internationalization strategies of both grocery discounters and we will elaborate on the difficulties and problems they encountered when entering Central and Eastern European Markets.

International Management Course: Case Study on the Automotive Industry

In one of the key case studies of this course students will investigate how automotive firms can successfully coordinate their value chain activities across borders.


Firms’ expansion into foreign markets continues, and this is particularly true in the automotive industry. Long ago, however, automobile manufacturers stopped focusing exclusively on exports. Instead of merely exporting vehicles and selling them in foreign markets, firms began carrying out a wide range of value activities abroad. These activities are located in or near promising target markets.

Sometimes, for example, companies begin producing an already popular model on site. The result is the development of international value chains, which pose further challenges, for example, for intercultural issues.


Our research projects primarily focus on the following areas:

  • Corporate Governance and Board Structures
  • Top Management Team Internationalization and Diversity
  • Internationalization of Small and Medium Sized Firms
  • German-Polish Economic Relations

Currently, we work on joint research projects with scholars from ESCP Europe, Berlin (Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmid) and FU Berlin, (Prof. Dr. Paul Pronobis) where we investigate the impact of top management team internationalization on firm’s accounting quality.

Top Management Internationalization and Accounting Quality

Upper echelons theory suggests that top management composition creates the basis for managerial decisions and ultimately firm behavior. Over the last decades upper echelons research has provided coherent evidence for a link between top management characteristics and firm strategy/firm performance. More recently, scholars have investigated the contributions that international top managers make to firm value and performance. Despite the increasing interest in top management internationalization it remains unclear if and how international top managers affect firms’ financial reporting processes. Our joint research fills this gap by combining top management team literature and accounting research. We draw on a sample of firms listed in the German DAX-30 index and analyze the impact of international supervisory board members and international management board members on firms’ accounting quality.

Does Internationalization Make a Difference?

In recent years, there has been an increasing scholarly and practical interest in the internationalization of top management teams. It is argued that international firms need international top managers to meet the challenges arising from operating across borders. However, the few existing studies that focus on the link between top managers’ internationalization and firm performance yield inconclusive results. Thus, it is an open question if and to what extent international firms can benefit from international top managers. Drawing on upper-echelons theory, resource-dependence theory, and signaling theory, this paper examines how the stock market reacts to the appointment of an international top manager. Our empirical study of German firms employs an event study to analyze the direct impact of internationalization on a firm's stock price. Piecewise regression analysis reveals that a top manager's internationalization needs to exceed a certain threshold before investors incorporate this individual characteristic into their investment decisions. Furthermore, our analysis shows an inverted U-shaped relationship between internationalization and abnormal returns, suggesting that internationalization may have both positive and negative effects on a firm's stock price. We present several explanations for our empirical findings and discuss future research directions.

Dauth, Tobias; Schmid, Stefan:
Does internationalization make a difference? Stock market reaction to announcements of international top executive appointments
In: Journal of World Business, 49 (2014), 1, 63-77

De-Internationalization in Retail Banking (External Doctoral Project)

During the last decade of the twentieth century the vast majority of international business research has primarily focused on the growth (e.g. positive development) of international business operations. However, most firms do not always experience growth and may decide to reduce their international engagement or even leave a foreign market completely. This phenomenon, defined by us as “de-internationalization” has not been extensively researched yet and needs further conceptualization efforts. Our external doctoral candidate Pascal Lehnen draws on a sample of internationally active retail banks and analyzes why and how these banks tend to de-internationalize from their international operations.

De-internationalization decision processes

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Dauth and Dr. Piotr Trąpczyński, Assistant Professor at the Poznan University of Economics (Poland), are cooperating within a research endeavor to explore the triggers and consequences of de-internationalization.

While the debate regarding the “big question” driving international business research is ongoing, the internationalization of firms, its motives, patterns and processes have been unanimously recognized as one of the major themes in international business research. This unidirectional assumption remains in striking contradiction with the fact that actions such as divestments or downsizing foreign operations are commonplace. However, research on different forms of de-internationalization and their consequences for firm performance has remained scarce. Particularly, little is known about the consequences for the international competitiveness of firms, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs). At the same time, despite the vital importance of processes, the process perspective has always played a minor role in research on international management as compared to the static view.

Therefore, the objectives of the project are:

  • to explore the role of Top Management Teams (TMT) in de-internationalization processes
  • to identify the formalization degree of the related decision processes
  • to explore factors affecting the shape of decision processes
  • to explore the learning consequences for Western and Central Eastern European firms depending on the type of de-internationalization processes

Thereby, the research design of the planned first phase of cooperation relies on qualitative research design based on in-depth interviews with Top Management Teams (TMT) of firms identified to have limited their international operations.

Knowledge Transfer

Together with the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW, we focus on strategic, organizational and cultural problems of international firms.

Our goal is to provide practical solutions to current international challenges and to ultimately enhance firms’ innovative and competitive capacity. For example, we analyze political structures as well as economic and structural conditions in international markets.

Based on these analyses we derive sound scientific recommendations for the business plan development process and firms’ market entry strategies. Furthermore, we serve as a strategic partner in the internationalization process of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

We support SMEs in their innovation management and internationalization efforts. Our work shall enable firms to expand their value creation chains globally and market their products internationally.


Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Dauth
Junior Professor
T +49 341 9851-758
F +49 341 9851-899
Michaela Wrede, M.Sc., MIB
Research Associate
T +49 341 9851-824
F +49 341 9851-899
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