Focus in Business Innovation

The specialisation in Business Innovation of the Ph.D. in Management Programme (PMA) is concerned with the design of change and innovation in organisations. Track-specific courses are conducted partly in English and partly in German language.

Research in the field of the business innovation track targets towards the following overarching objectives:

From a process perspective, business innovation is the systematic planning and control of innovations in organisations or in networks of organisations. The primary objects of business innovation are products and services, business processes and business models. Business innovation differs from other management tracks with regard to its orientation towards change the business – and not towards run the business. As a consequence, research is not restricted to exploring and describing existing real-world phenomena, but also covers the design and engineering of innovative artefacts. It’s about Building a better world through Design and Technology. 

Prospective Ph.D. Students for the business innovation track distinguish themselves ideally with the following profile:  

Prospective Ph.D. students in business innovation should generally be interested in “changing the business”, should be design and / or technology affine and should be interested to study enterprises and other organisations not only from an independent observer position, but also get actively involved in business innovation. The specialization is closely linked to the applied research programmes of the HSG Institutes of Information Management, Technology Management, Media and Communication Management, and the Logistics Management group. 

Among others, the following scientific theoretical approaches and practical procedures are relevant in the business innovation track: 

There are two main differences between this specialization and other specializations of the Doctoral Programme in Management: First, there are specific theoretical lenses and domain aspects in business innovation that are taught in the compulsory Theories of Business Innovation course. Second, the specific scientific approach of designing, constructing and evaluating innovative artefacts is taught in the compulsory Design Science Research course.  


Out of the two track-specific compulsory courses, at least one needs to be attended. The second compulsory course may also be selected from the set of compulsory courses of other tracks of the PMA programme. In addition to some track-specific method courses, the method courses offered by HSG’s Global School in Empirical Research Methods (GSERM) are recommended.


Winter, R., Aier, S., Design Science Research in Business Innovation, in: Hoffmann, C., Lennerts, S., Schmitz, C., Stölzle, W., Uebernickel, F. (Eds.), Business Innovation: Das St. Galler Modell, Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden, 2016, pp. 475-498.
DoI 10.1007/978-3-658-07167-7_25 

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Jan Marco Leimeister

Prof. Dr.

Full Professor of Information Management

Office 52-6020
Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 6/8
9000 St. Gallen
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Office 52-6020
Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 6/8
9000 St. Gallen