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Doctoral Student


About me

As a student, I have very much enjoyed navigating through the diverse courses offered in the mechanical engineering and business school departments. I imagined my first job after graduation to be one where I narrow down and focus on a specific discipline. When I started this first position I realized that I am much more interested in moving between the abstract and concrete to better understand how organizations in different domains function and retain their competitive position.

I’m fascinated by the underpinnings of incremental versus disruptive advances and how firms organize contextual parameters to support both, on the one hand the formation of routines, formal structures and on the other hand informal mechanisms and conditions that fuel the generation of unconventional output.

Being a doctoral student enables me to take on an unobtrusive point of view to study these phenomena in real-life scenarios. I tremendously enjoy this vantage point and feel extremely grateful to be in this position (I truly am! Looking back to the many insightful conversations from my field studies, I’m getting a bit sentimental. Ignore me.).

Please reach out to me, if you would like to learn more about my current projects.

Click here to download my CV.

Research interests

Blending the Front-End of Innovation with Design Principles

Over a decade ago, companies in the consumer goods industry initiated the immersion of Design principles into their R&D structures. Corresponding activities did not only include the remodeling of physical work space and the way market research was conducted, but the creation of design functions within business units as opposed to the traditional introduction of a central function. This choice led to the infusion of design principles into the everyday decision-making process through the participation of designers to business unit specific routines ensuring a designer’s voice is present and continuously molding organizational structures and processes. We started to observe companies in supplying positions who began to pick up Design Thinking as their new lever for radical advances. Besides the immediate effect on product and process innovations, we track the influence on contextual aspects, such as network structures. For this, we experiment with wearable sensors to add a real-time metric in addition to interviews as retrospective, self-reported format.

Teaching assistance

Fall 2017/2016/2015: Presentation Skills
Instructor: Thomas Skipwith

Spring 2017: Innovation Leadership
Instructor: Claude  Siegenthaler, Daniella Laureiro-Martinez, Stefano Brusoni

Fall 2014/2013: General Management I: Introduction to Management
Instructor: Stefano Brusoni and Nicole Rosenkranz

Journal articles

Förster, S., Tuna, S. 2014. How Japanese companies transform and utilize their employees’ knowledge. KMU Magazin, 5: 95-99
Schulze, A, Angstmann, F., Förster, S., Schwärzler, S., Shekari, O., Tata, A., Zimmermann, N. 2013. The Automotive Industry in Switzerland: Industry Analysis 2013 . ETH Zürich