A department is composed of several (three or more) scholars with autonomous research and teaching activities within a single subject area or in closely related subject areas. The members of a department share responsibility for all of the department’s course offerings, and the faculty and staff of the department work closely together on their research and teaching activities.
The Marketing Department at Freie Universität Berlin was established to bring together the professors and all other faculty and staff members working in the field of marketing within a single department structure. This structure offers a number of advantages over the previous chair structure in terms of teaching, research, and continuing education activities.
The Marketing Department is home to two professors, Dr. Kleinaltenkamp and Dr. Kuss, Junior Professors Pick and Kreis as well as Dr. Haase, a lecturer. The department’s large number of fully trained marketing scholars enables the department to offer an even broader spectrum of courses even as these scholars conduct research in various specialty fields. The department structure also allows for more efficient use of technical and staffing resources for teaching and research activities.
The chair structure, which had previously been customary at the university, is still commonly found elsewhere, especially in the German-speaking countries. At leading international universities, however, the department structure has been an established feature for decades. The success of this department structure is based on a number of factors, including the intensified communication among faculty and researchers, which lends vigor to the department’s research and teaching activities.
By having researchers with different specializations, the Marketing Department makes it possible for scholars and students to pinpoint specific areas of specialization in their research, while at the same time offering teaching activities that cover an appropriate range of all areas of research, providing students with an in-depth orientation in the field for future professional activities. Thus, research and teaching are combined, forming a “research-based teaching” approach.
Because it comprises multiple academically autonomous instructors, the department structure allows for expanded course offerings, with multiple parallel courses and specific courses being offered more frequently. This should lead to a reduction in the size of classes and enable students to finish the program sooner.