My research ranges across a variety of disciplines although topics tend to center on the nature and development of German business or German and American varieties of capitalism. At present I am researching and organizing collaborative projects on family or small and midsize businesses that are global champions in their market niche and, surprisingly often, multinational companies. The main research question is how such companies evolved in developed countries from their small business roots since the 1970s in the teeth of deindustrialization to become world market leaders and why Central Europe (Germany) appears to have a particular strength in this area. These firms are emerging multinationals from wealthier countries rather than emerging market multinationals or established transnationals. This topic bridges history, family business, entrepreneurship, and strategic management studies.
The second ongoing project is an ongoing website regarding German-American immigrant entrepreneurship between the Two World Wars. Based on individual biographies and with a rich documentary basis on-line, this project presents a mosaic of individual immigrants from Germany who helped make modern America “America” or Hollywood “Hollywood” such as Carl Laemmle (Universal Studios) or Albert Lasker (Lord & Thomas), a major advertising executive who created such famous brands as Sunkist oranges, Wrigley’s Gum, or Lucky Strike cigarettes. Such immigrants did not just assimilate but transformed America.