David K. Reetz

Office hours: upon appointment

Research Interests

Organization Design, Decision Making, Behavioral Strategy

I study the emergence of new organizations under high uncertainty. These settings are especially important, because they challenge actors to manage ambiguous information. At the same time, they provide the opportunity to generate novel outcomes. Through the detailed study of the inception of new business ventures across industries and the creation of new technology ecosystems, I seek to improve our understanding of why some organizations are more successful than others in mastering this challenge and why some of them produce more original solutions. I examine, empirically and conceptually, (1) the relationship between agentic search and organizational structure, (2) study in depth the origins of organizational structures, and (3) seek understanding of how actors interact within these structures. My research is at the intersection of entrepreneurship and innovation, with a focus on organization design theory and strategy. Early stages of organizational development (i.e., entrepreneurial ventures) are valuable contexts, because they may allow me to find new insights for behavioral and contingency theories of the firm. For practice, my research provides strategic recommendations for how to organize when commercializing new technologies, creating new markets, or tackling grand challenges—when uncertainty is high—and how to increase the likelihood of achieving innovative outcomes.

Academic Background

Since 02/2013
Ph.D. in Management, TUM School of Management, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany

08/2017 - 12/2017
Visiting PhD, INSEAD (Asia Campus), Singapore

09/2011 - 09/2012
Master of Science, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Manchester Business School (MBS), United Kingdom

10/2003 - 09/2009
Master of Arts, System- and Industrial Design at the University of Kassel, Germany

01/2006 – 12/2007
Research Assistant, BMBF funded Project: "Digitalization of Public and Private Life", University of Kassel, Germany


Catalyst organizations as a new organization design for innovation: the case of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. (with Majchrzak, A., Griffith, T.L., & Alexy, O.), 
Academy of Management Discoveries (forthcoming)

Working Papers

Search modes, temporal reference points, and organizational development. Presented at: Babson Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Bodø, Norway, June 2016;
SMS Strategic Management Annual Conference, Houston, September 2017, 
Best Conference Paper - Behavioral Strategy IG.

Creating true novelty through co-evolutionary search. (with MacAulay, S.)
Presented at: SMS Strategic Management Annual Conference, Berlin, September 2016;
Open- and User Innovation Conference, Harvard Business School, August, 2016;
SEI Doctoral Consortium, Zurich, October 2016;
Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Atlanta, 2017.

The emergence of organizational configurations. (with Leppänen, P.)
Presented at: Babson Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Bodø, Norway, June 2016;
SMS Strategic Management Annual Conference, Houston, September 2017. 

Professional Background

Since 02/2013
Research and Teaching Associate, Professorship of Strategic Entrepreneurship, Prof. Dr. Oliver Alexy, TUM School of Management, Technische Universität München, Germany

05/2012 - 08/2014
Co-Founder of Kaffeination Ltd, Manchester, United Kingdom 
Winner, Venture Further Business Plan Competition 2012 at The University of Manchester and TiE International Business Plan Competition 2013, Brussels; Finalist, Rice Business Plan Competition 2013, Houston

09/2007- 08/2011 (full and part time)
Product and Business Development Consultant, chilli mind GmbH
Honors: iF Design Award, 2009

10/2009 - 04/2010
Innovation Management at biond GmbH

Internships at Bayer Material Science AG, Miele & Cie KG, Meyer Werft GmbH, etc.