Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization (ISTO)

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Research Profile

The Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization (ISTO) aims to be an active part of the international research community. Our research covers the areas of strategy, technology and organization and in particular its intersections.

Our approach

Much of our research takes inspiration from economic logic and methodology to tackle managerially relevant questions and to find an economic explanation. Recent projects have used primary data through scraping websites, telephone interviews or even laboratory experiments and have been complemented by secondary data from official and commercial data providers.

Research areas

Among the many possible research fields at the intersection of strategy, technology, and organization, work at ISTO currently revolves around three research areas:

Graphic Research Profile Recent


  • Platform markets. This stream of research addresses some of the phenomena arising when a platform enables the interaction of multiple independent sides. Projects in this research area deal with competitive dynamics in the video game industry, the economics of app stores and social networks, and the recent emergence of sharing platforms such as UBER or
  • Dynamic competition. Firms often maintain their competitive advantage even if an existing technology becomes obsolete, suggesting that decisions and capabilities amassed earlier still have value in later stages of competition. Ongoing research in this area deals with competition across technological generations, market entry in the airline industry and learning from failure in multiproduct firms.
  • Boundaries within and across firms. Organizations increasingly use project-based teams to produce and develop their output. Similarly, work often gets compartmentalized across organizations so that outputs can be exchanged. Both the evolution of cross-firm boundaries and the internal organization of such teams are at the forefront of strategy research. Current projects in this research area study mergers and acquisitions in the global telecommunications industry, the design of strategic alliances, the autonomy of research workers in teams, and the structure of teams facing drastic technological changes.

Scientific Community

We actively connect with the scientific community by (co-)organizing seminars and conferences relating to our core research strategy, technology and organization.

Seminars. ISTO has a strong tradition of running successful seminar series. We have managed to attract both eminent experienced as well as promising younger scholars to present their work and exchange ideas in Munich, with many of these visits having led to successful collaborations. Our current, regular offers includes the ORG seminar and TIME colloquium.

Conferences. Focused workshops and conferences are an important tool to foster international exchange and collaboration. We currently focus our efforts on co-organizing the Munich Summer Institute, a collaborative effort together with the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and the Center of Law & Economics at ETH Zurich. We aim to bring together the leading scholars in the broader field of innovation for a three-day focused conference.

Prior conferences:

  • Munich Summer Institute (June 2018)
  • Munich Summer Institute (June 2017)
  • Munich Summer Institute (June 2016)
  • EARIE (August 2015)
  • IIIrd ICT Conference Munich (October 2013)
  • IInd ICT Conference Munich (February/March 2012)
  • Ist ICT Conference Munich (November 2010)

Scientific output

Journal publications

To partake in the international scientific dialogue, researchers at ISTO aim to publish in the premier journals in management and applied economics.

Conference presentations

Our work is presented at many national and international conferences and workshops, and doctoral students start attending workshops and conferences from early on in their research career.

Academic placements

ISTO provides an inspiring environment for PhD students and junior academics. The success of junior scholars on the academic job market is a key goal in ISTO’s research strategy.