Research Center Strategic Leadership, Innovation and Branding


Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Kffr. Dr. Nicola Stokburger-Sauer, MBA (Institute of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism)

Research Objectives

Continuous innovation and a clear differentiation from competition through attractive brands is becoming crucial for the long term success of organizations of any kind and thereby a requirement for sustaining societal wealth. Continuous innovation and development of strong brands are only possible if organizational leaders create the necessary organizational environment. Innovativeness and brand building require for example appropriate leadership styles, management systems, values, and an efficient and effective resource allocation. Leadership plays a driving and coordinating role for innovation and brand building. Therefore, the research center Strategic Leadership, Innovation and Branding studies the relationships among leadership, innovation and brands. 

We focus on the following research questions:

  1. How can companies, embedded in a network of stakeholders, increase their innovativeness?
  2. How can organizations positively influence brand building processes so that enduring relationships with external stakeholders emerge that increase the organization’s innovativeness?
  3. How can leadership contribute to increasing the organization’s innovativeness and to building long term relationships with important stakeholders?

The objective of this research center is (among others) to study and to explain how companies can increase their innovativeness, how they can renew and innovate their business models, how external stakeholders can be integrated into innovation processes, how brands as complex social phenomena are constituted as complex social networks of brand stakeholders, who engage in co-creative practices of meaning construction and brand development, how brand meaning emerges in social networks, which role aesthetics plays in marketing and consumer decisions and which role emotional contagion in customer-employee-relations plays.

 Interview with Kurt Matzler (Video)

Affiliated Organisational Units

Homepage of the Research Center