TUM School of Management


Prof. Dr. O. Alexy: How Business deals with unsolicited idea submissions


TUM School of Management
Professor Strategic Entrepreneurship

Oliver Alexy joined TUM School of Management in July 2012 as Professor of Strategic Entrepreneurship. Previously, he held several roles in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Group at Imperial College Business School in London, England. Oliver’s teaching encompasses lectures and seminars on topics such as organizational renewal, business models, open innovation, and entrepreneurial growth. He currently teaches on the undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs at TUM School of Management and furthermore offers courses to students of other departments, such as Informatics. Oliver‘s research revolves around the design of organizations in general, and of R&D organization in particular, and how this relates to the innovative success and strategic renewal of established companies and the establishment and growth of start-ups. In this context, he particularly focuses on the role of open and distributed innovation processes and networks, topics which are of high interest and relevance to academics and practitioners alike. His research has been published or is forthcoming in leading international academic journals, such as the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies, Research Policy, and Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, as well as practitioner-oriented outlets such as Harvard Business Review, California Management Review, Sloan Management Review, and McKinsey Quarterly.

Selected current research projects

Origins of organizing: In cooperation with INSEAD and the University of Vienna, we enquire how young firms go about designing their fledgling organizations. The insights we develop will help start-ups organize better, and shed new light on the path-dependent processes by which firms are shaped.

Harnessing External Innovations Project (HEIP): Together with partners from Imperial College and the University of Bath, we seek to understand better how firms can successfully innovate together with agents and entities outside the firm. In doing so, we want to improve our understanding of why, when, and how firms can successfully engage in more open and distributed forms of innovation.

Key Publications

  • Dattée, Brice;Alexy, Oliver;Autio, Erkko: Maneuvering in Poor Visibility: How Firms Play the Ecosystem Game when Uncertainty is High. Academy of Management Journal forthcoming, 2017
  • Ter Wal, A. L. J.;Alexy, O.;Block, J.;Sandner, P. G.: The Best of Both Worlds: The Benefits of Open-specialized and Closed-diverse Syndication Networks for New Ventures Success. Administrative Science Quarterly 61 (3), 2016, 393-432
  • Puranam, Phanish;Alexy, Oliver;Reitzig, Markus: What's "New" about New Forms of Organizing?. Academy of Management Review 39 (2), 2014, 162-180
  • Alexy, Oliver;George, Gerard;Salter, Ammon: Cui Bono? The Selective Revealing of Knowledge and Its Implications for Innovative Activity. Academy of Management Review 38 (2), 2013, 270-291
  • Alexy, Oliver;Criscuolo, Paola;Salter, Ammon: Does IP Strategy Have to Cripple Open Innovation?. Sloan Management Review 51 (1), 2009, 71-77

Areas of interest

  • Growth & renewal of firms
  • Ecosystems
  • (Innovation) strategy
  • Open innovation
  • Organization design


  • Finalist (one of three), Past Division Chairs’ Emerging Scholar Award, Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) Division, Academy of Management Conference 2013, Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • Finalist (one of four), Best Paper Award, DRUID Conference 2013, Barcelona, Spain
  • Best Reviewer Award Academy of Management Journal 2014
  • Best Teaching Award, TUM School of Management, 2013

Editorship (2013-2016)

  • Academy of Management Journal, Member of the Editorial Review Board
  • IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Member of Board of Reviewers

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