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11. January 2017

First-ever Ring Lecture

New year, new ideas and a new format of exchanging information. On January 11th 2017 the first-ever Ring Lecture of the SME Graduate School took place. The lecturers are the dissertation advisors from different departments of the University of Siegen. In short 30-minute presentations, the current state in SME research and relevant neighbouring fields are being introduced. Each of the presentations is followed by a 30-minute discussion.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Nils Goldschmidt (Contextual Economics and Economic Education), Prof. Dr. Karl-Josef Koch (Economics) and Prof. Dr. Arndt Werner (Business administration) introduced a topic closely related to their current research.

Starting with Economics, Ethics and Culture by Professor Goldschmidt, an introduction to a contextual understanding of Market Economies was given. “If we want to understand economy as part of our culture, we have to have a wider look at culture, mental models, interpretation rules et cetera.” He advocated that contextual factors such as an understanding of societal and cultural conditions, adequate political acting, changes in society and the shaping of markets should be added to the research of market mechanisms in order to get a more holistic understanding of economics.

After a vivid discussion, Professor Koch continued on a microeconomic level. By introducing a mathematical model, he aimed at solving the following problem: Segregation versus Inclusion of Skills in a Framework of Team Production – A Challenge for SME’s. When it comes to building teams with workers that have highly different skillsets, should businesses aim for homogenous teams? This means that highly skilled workers are teamed up with other highly skilled workers and low-skilled workers with their low-skilled peers. Or should mixed teams be preferred, where high-skilled workers are matched with their low-skilled colleagues? One of the conclusions was that teams with mixed skillsets tend to be more efficient in general.

The final lecture of the day was held by Professor Werner, who focused on important and positive factors of influence on working conditions and recruitment success in small enterprises. Enriched with his personal experiences from the research activities of his chair he shared valuable tips on how to conduct empirical studies in the field of SME research.

The event was well received and included valuable new ideas, perspectives and approaches for all participants. The next Ring Lecture will take place on January 18th 2017.


Author: Jens Bolay