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Chair for Inter-firm Cooperation

Research and Teaching

Universities are characterized by the Humboldtian ideal of the unity of research and teaching. In this sense, a (teaching) chair at a univeristy is always also a ‘research chair’. The same applies to the Chair of Inter-firm Cooperation, which is a specific feature of the School of Business & Economics at the Freie Universität Berlin, with its unique – in the German-speaking countries – Department of Management. This uniqueness is due to the fact that at the Freie Universität Berlin not just one or two chairs in the field of management exist, but – besides the Chair for Inter-firm Cooperation – there are three other chairs in this field: the Chair for Organization and Leadership, the Chair for Human Resource Management, the Chair for Strategic Management. In addition, there are various junior professorships, e.g. for Corporate Strategy, as well as Organizational Theory.

The research at the Chair for Inter-firm Cooperation mainly covers the development and management of inter-firm networks, especially in the service sector and science-based fields. For more information, please visit our ‘Research’ pages. This research also provides the basis for the teaching program of the Chair within the Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degree programs at the School of Business & Economics. With regard to contents, the focus of academic teaching – following the research program – is likewise the field of inter-firm cooperation and networking. From a didactic-methodical perspective, rather conventional lectures and seminars as well as more participatory tutorials and case-study based courses are offered to the students. More information regarding the teaching program can be found under ‘Courses’.


Crucial to the international orientation of research and teaching at the Chair for Inter-firm Cooperation from the beginning have been the international nature of the subject and the orientation of the chair holder. The development of management theory in general and the field of inter-firm cooperation in particular are decisively influenced by the developments in the Anglo-Saxon countries, especially in the United States. After having finished his degree in Business Administration at the Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Jörg Sydow acquired a Master of Science (M.Sc) in Management Science / Operations Research at Imperial College of Science & Technology, London. Besides the participation in international conferences and congresses that is common practice for scholars at universities, Prof. Sydow was appointed to the advisory board of editors of international Journals like Academy of Management Journal (AMJ), Academy of Management Review (AMR), Organization Studies (OS), Organization Science (OSc) and the Scandinavian Journal of Management (SJM). Furthermore, he has acted as an external evaluator on doctoral committees at the University of Cambridge, the Universiteit Leiden, Tilburg Universiteit, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and the University of Sussex (SPRU) as well as a visiting professor, for example, at Vienna University of Economics and Business, University of Arizona in Tucson, University of New South Wales in Sydney, and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. From 2005 to 2007 he was International Visiting Scholar of the Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM) in London, an excellence initiative about management research of the British government. In recent years, Prof. Sydow was involved in the organization of thematic tracks of international conferences (including EGOS 1998 in Maastricht, EGOS 2004 in Copenhagen, EGOS 2007 in Vienna, EGOS 2010 in Lisbon, EGOS 2011 in Gothenburg, EGOS 2012 in Helsinki, EGOS 2013 in Montreal, EGOS 2014 in Rotterdam, and EGOS 2015 in Athens). In addition, he was responsible for the organization of small and large international conferences held at the Freie Universität (incl. IIRA 2003, EGOS 2005, EIASM 2006, International Path Conference 2008, 2011 and 2014). Through these international activities, long-term research collaborations have developed. These include collaborations with Profs. Steve Frenkel (University of New South Wales, Sydney), Chris Huxham (University of Strathclyde), Keith Provan (University of Arizona, Tucson), Udo Staber (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Marius Meeus, Leon Oerlemans and Patrik Kenis (Tilburg University), Bob DeFillippi (Suffolk University, Boston), Rolf Lundin (Jönköping University) and Christian Bergren, Lars Lindkvist and Fredrik Tell (University of Linköping). A siginificant foundation for these diverse international activities is, however, working closely together with graduate students, postdoctoral students and professors here at the Freie Universität Berlin, which fills the concept of an international network university with life. 

Organized Creativity