The Business Ecosystems Research Group (BERG) is dedicated to researching innovation, strategy, business relationships, entrepreneurship, operational management and supply chains, and sustainability within inter-organisational networks.
BERG’s research focus is to understand how value is created, captured, distributed, and appropriated across ecosystems surrounding particular projects, technologies, innovations, and generally interaction processes.
Vision and Mission
BERG is meant to be a platform for research on business ecosystems, particularly with regard to systemic and interactive phenomena of business life. As such, research in BERG emphasises the spatial and temporal dynamics around managerial decisions within business systems. Research issues include the capabilities needed to manage in business relationships and networks, aspects of path dependencies in business systems and innovation activities, or the interplay between inter-organisational and social relationships between actors. Furthermore, ethical aspects of managing in business networks (e.g. how activities around corporate social responsibility affect business relationships as well as the overall business ecosystem) and issues around sustainability of actors and systems are a focus of BERG.
Specific research projects cover different industry ecosystems surrounding business networks in healthcare, energy, manufacturing and services, urban and transportation systems, inventor networks, science and technology parks, accounting regulations, and natural resource industries.
BERG has three main streams of research:
- Business relationships and networks
- Innovation and entrepreneurship systems, and
- Sustainable systems
What We Do
“BERG provides a platform for scholars including academics and PhD students at Queen Mary University of London who are interested in understanding systemic and interactive phenomena in business life. We believe that actors, such as business organisations and managers, are not acting and deciding independently of their environment but that an understanding of the embeddedness of such actors in their systemic environment is providing important insights into understanding managerial and business phenomena.” Prof Stephan Henneberg – BERG Director
For general enquiries, please contact BERG@qmul.ac.uk
The Business Ecosystems Research Group (BERG) brings together academics and senior professionals with extensive experience of researching and leading some of the world's top businesses firms.
Director of BERG
Professor of Marketing and Strategy
Professor Henneberg joined the School of Business and Management in summer 2013. He is the Chair Professor of Marketing and Strategy and Director of BERG. Previously, he held academic appointments at Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, and at the School of Management, University of Bath. He has degrees in Management Studies, Philosophy, Political Sciences, and Economics, and obtained his PhD in Marketing from the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Before coming back to academia, he worked in senior positions as a management consultant with A.T. Kearney and McKinsey & Co.
Professor of Innovation Studies
Head of the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London
Frances Bowen is Head of the School of Business and Management, and Professor of Innovation Studies. Prof Bowen specialises in corporate strategy and environmental governance. Originally from Wales, she returned to the UK in 2011 after eight years at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary (Canada). There she had served as Associate Dean (Research) and as Director of the International Resource Industries and Sustainability Centre (IRIS). She previously served as Deputy Head of School and Director of Research at SBM. Prof Bowen is often asked to provide advice on regulating for a sustainable economy to companies and to regulatory bodies such as the Environment Agency, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the National Audit Office and the Department for Business, and Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Lecturer in Information Management
Dr Panos Panagiotopoulos is a Lecturer in Information Management. His research examines the impact of information technology on political and administrative processes, with focus on public engagement, social media, and digital research methods. He has collaborated with central and local government organisations, including the Food Standards Agency, local authorities and DEFRA on issues of social media monitoring, government responsiveness and information flows around regulatory decisions.
Lecturer in Marketing and Innovation Strategy
Dr Nima Heirati is a lecturer in Marketing and Innovation Strategy at the School of Business and Management. Previously, he held an academic appointment at Newcastle University Business School and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tasmania. Before joining academia, Dr Heirati held senior positions as a marketing and business development manager at several Middle-Eastern manufacturing firms. His research relates predominantly to the field of Product/Service Innovation, Strategic Marketing, Service Marketing, Business Relationships and Networks, Customer Engagement, and International Marketing Strategy.
Lecturer in Entrepreneurship
Dr Thomas Zhang is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the School of Business and Management. He conducts research in markets with substantial business challenges, often in developing countries, as well as research on household, entrepreneurial, and corporate finance. Prior to PhD studies at London Business School, he worked globally in finance and management consulting.
Dr Lutao Ning
Reader in International Business
Dr Lutao Ning is a Reader in International Business at Queen Mary, University of London. Previously he served as Director of International Learning at Queen Mary and was a Lecturer in International Business at Durham University. He holds a PhD degree from the University of Cambridge (Queens’ College), together with an MBA from the University of Liverpool and an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He provides advice to the research centre of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council of China (the governing body of 150,000 state owned firms). He is an expert on Innovation, Foreign Direct Investment, and State Owned Enterprises.
Dr Samuel Tang
Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Regulation and Innovation
Dr Tang specialises in research looking at corporate environmental management, climate change regulation and policy, and the science-policy interface. His Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded PhD at King’s College London investigated the effects of climate change regulation on the business performance and management of multinational corporations.
Professor Björn Ivens
Professor of Marketing
Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg (Germany)
Professor Björn Ivens visited the School of Business and Management at QMUL from February – July 2016 as part of his sabbatical. Professor Ivens worked with Professor Stephan Henneberg and Dr Sebastian Forkmann (both members of BERG) on research projects in the area of Key Account Management, Pricing, and Ethicality in Business Relationships. Professor Ivens is the author or editor of fi ve books, and has published more than 50 refereed articles and about one hundred conference papers. His expertise in consulting comprises a strong focus on key account management. He is a regular visiting professor at WU Wien, EM Lyon, and the Universities of Geneva and Lugano.
Professor Lars Witell
Professor at the CTF-Service Research Center at Karlstad University (Sweden)
Professor Lars Witell, visited the School of Business and Management at QMUL in September 2015. He worked with Prof Stephan Henneberg, Dr Luato Ning and Dr Sebastian Forkmann (all members of BERG) on research projects in the area of service infusion in business relationships. Lars conducts research on service innovation, customer co-creation and service infusion in manufacturing fi rms. Since 2011, Lars is responsible for an 8-year research program on Service Innovation (6 million USD) that is run in co-operation with companies such as IKEA, Ericsson and Volvo. He has published about 50 papers in scholarly journals as well as in the popular press, such as The Wall Street Journal.
Dr Sebastian Forkmann
Assistant Professor of Marketing
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa (USA)
Dr Sebastian Forkmann’s research primarily focuses on business relationships, in particular with business customers or suppliers, and how firms can leverage these relationships in order to stay competitive in fast changing business environments. A main strand of his research focuses on industrial services in the context of innovative business models of traditionally manufacturing-oriented firms, while a second major area of his research is devoted to firm capabilities associated with reconfiguring business relationship portfolios. Sebastian was a member of BERG and Lecturer in Marketing at Queen Mary University of London between 2013-2016.
Dr Daniela Corsaro
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Catholic University of Milan (Italy)
Dr Daniela Corsaro visited the School of Business and Management at QMUL in October 2015 and March 2016. Daniela worked with Prof Stephan Henneberg and Dr Sebastian Forkmann (both members of BERG) on research projects in the area of transformative services and service networks. Dr Daniela Corsaro’s key research topics include value processes in business-to-business marketing, sense making and managerial cognition, and inter-organizational innovation processes. Prior to her academic career, she worked for several years at Accenture as well as with merchant banks.
Dr Carla Ramos
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Dr Carla Ramos visited the School of Business and Management at QMUL in March/April 2016. Carla worked with Prof Stephan Henneberg and Dr Sebastian Forkmann on research projects in the area of networking capabilities, network pictures, and innovation networks. Dr Carla Ramos’s current research interests are in the area of business-to-business marketing, cognition in business markets, business and innovation networks, sales, services marketing, strategy and entrepreneurship.
Dr Espen Gressetvold
Associate Professor of Marketing and Innovation
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)
Dr Espen Gressetvold visited the School of Business and Management at QMUL in February to June 2016. Espen worked with Prof Stephan Henneberg and Dr Sebastian Forkmann on research projects in the areas of technology-based companies, innovation, as well as supply and business networks. His research interests cover innovation in technology-based firms, B2B marketing, supply management, inter-organisational relationships and business networks. In addition, he has worked with start-up companies and commercialisation of university research.
BERG is characterised by research that is:
- Inter-disciplinary, covering business marketing, supply chain management, strategy, organizational behaviour, innovation, and entrepreneurship, to mention only some of the relevant sub-disciplines.
- Inter-organisational as well as intra-organisational, covering systemic phenomena within and between organisations.
- Descriptive/empirical as well as normative, thus ensuring rigour and relevance as well as impact on academic discussion, managerial practice, and policy-making.
- Methodologically pluralistic, covering the application and development of new qualitative as well as quantitative research methods to understand systemic and interactive phenomena.
BERG academics are involved in many research collaboration and are taking leadership positions in the dissemination of scholarly knowledge. Furthermore, we collaborate on research with many world’s top businesses, including strategic research collaboration with Hilti, International Hotel Group, and Hatteland.
1. Business Relationship and Networks
Mitrega, Forkmann, Zaefarian, Henneberg (forthcoming) "Networking Capability in Supplier Relationships and its Impact on Product Innovation and Firm Performance", International Journal of Operations and Production Management
Heirati N, O'Cass A, Siahtiri V, Schoefer K. (2016) Do professional service firms benefit from customer and supplier collaborations in competitive, turbulent environments?, Industrial Marketing Management, 55, 50-58.
Heirati N, O’Cass A. (2016) Supporting new product commercialization through managerial social ties and market knowledge development in an emerging economy, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 33/2, 411-433.
Najafi-Tavani, Zaefarian, Henneberg, Naude, Giroud, Andersson (2015) "Subsidiary Knowledge Development in Knowledge Intensive Business Services: A Configuration Approach", Journal of International Marketing, 23/4, 22-43.
2. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Systems
Zaefarian, Forkmann, Mitrega, Henneberg (2016) "A Capability Perspective on Relationship Ending and its Impact on Product Innovation Success and Firm Performance", Long Range Planning (doi:10.1016/j.lrp.2015.12.023)
Sebastian Forkmann, Carla Ramos, Stephan C. Henneberg, Peter Naude (2016) "Understanding the Service Infusion Process as a Business Model Reconfiguration", Industrial Marketing Management (doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2016.05.001).
3. Sustainable Systems
Chakrabarti, Ramos, Henneberg. (2013), “Change in the UK Pharmaceutical Distribution Network: A Network-as-Practice Perspective on Network Dynamics”, Industrial Marketing Management, 42/3, 356-371.
Books and Book Chapters
Bjoern Ivens, Stephan C. Henneberg, Sebastian Forkmann. (2014) “Service Infusion im Industriegütermarketing – Konzept, Wertschöpfung und Wirklichkeit.” In Dienstleistungmanagement und Service Value, eds. Manfred Bruhn, Karsten Hadwich, Forum Dienstleistungmanagement 2014, Wiesbaden: Gabler, 267-282.
Stephan C. Henneberg, Catherine Pardo, Stefanos Mouzas, Peter Naude. (2014 forthcoming), “Value Dimensions and Relationship Postures in Dyadic 'Key Relationship Programmes’” Handbook of Strategic Account Management, eds. Dianna Woodburn, Kevin Wilson. London: Wiley, 191-204.
Members of BERG include students from the Queen Mary’s PhD programme who are conducting research focused on the areas of business and management. We are always looking for outstanding prospective PhD students who would like to pursue their research in the areas of innovation, strategy, business relationships, entrepreneurship, operational management and supply chains, and sustainability within inter-organisational networks. For an informal discussion, please send your resume and a brief research proposal (outlining the research idea, objectives, methods, and possible data sources) to BERG@qmul.ac.uk.
Scholarship opportunities become available for suitably qualified candidates from the UK, EU and overseas for full-time study. They consist of the full cost of fees and £16,296 a year for maintenance for 3 years. To apply, you will normally have a first degree with first class honours (or equivalent) and a Master's degree at distinction level, in business/management or a related discipline. Applicants are required to have an IELTS overall score of 7 at the time of application.
The closing date for all applications for the current academic year was 31st January 2017. More information and opportunities will be posted here and on www.jobs.ac.uk
Current PhD and MRes Students
Jonathan Webb, a PhD student of the School of Business and Management, presents together with his supervisors (Prof Henneberg, Director of BERG, and Dr Forkmann, Culverhouse, Alabama) his research on ‘Corruption and the dark side of business relationships: Overview and a research agenda’ at a workshop on the Dark Side of Business Relationships, SOAS University of London, Sept. 2014, London.
Anushri Gupta is a PhD student at the School of Business & Management. She holds MSc in Electronic Engineering with Management at King’s College London. Her PhD explores how inclusion of BOLD (Big data-Open Linked Data) in governance can drive sustainability and thus bring opportunities for open innovation and public value creation. This research seeks practical and theoretical solutions of smart cities, and contributes to the theory on innovation, sustainability, and smart regulation.
Nur Ayesha Khurshid
Nur Ayesha Khurshid is an MRes student at the School of Business & Management. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration in Marketing with an Honours at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. She is working on the Supply Chain Liability in multi tier supply chains in her MRes. The study explores how the involvement of direct and Indirect Suppliers' causing Chain Liability effect on the focal firm due to unsustainable supplier behaviour. Her supervisor is Professor Stephan C. Henneberg.
BERG has strategic research alliances with a select group of companies. BERG and its strategic research partners engage in multiple research projects over a long time period. Topics covered include Network Dynamics of Service Infusion, Effects of Sales Interactions Changes on Sales Performance, or Prioritisation Effects of Focus Customer Accounts.
Our strategic research partners are:
Besides interactions with our strategic research partners, BERG members are engaged with a wide range of outside bodies, e.g. policy-makers and commercial firms. BERG members have done research with, or consulting projects for the following companies:
- McKinsey & Co
- American Express
- Tekes Finland
- Management Consulting Association
- Daresbury Science and Technology
- Bentley Motorcars
Furthermore, BERG members were involved in executive development engagements with leading companies. For example, Prof Stephan Henneberg is an Engagement Principal with QConsult at Queen Mary University of London, and at BERG Consulting and Executive Development. His clients include:
- G4S Global Leadership Development Programme
- JCB Global Leadership Development Programme
- High Value Manager Programme (open)
- Qinetiq Global Leadership Development Programme
- Accenture: Building Relationships with Clients Workshop
- NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Agency) Management Workshop
- American Express
- Western Union
- Marks & Spencer
QConsult is the home to academic consulting and engagement activities at Queen Mary University of London. QConsult is run by Careers and the Business Ecosystems Research Group (BERG) of the School of Business and Management which provides experienced academics to supervise and mentor consulting and engagement projects. QConsult teams can be used to provide specialist support to entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as large and multinational companies.
QConsult provides expertise and help in all areas of management, such as:
- Business model development and optimisation
- Business and consumer marketing
- Supply chain management and inter-organisational strategy
- Value optimisation of new technologies
- Business relationship and network management
- Organisational optimisation and knowledge management
- Digital networking and public engagement
Stephan Henneberg presents a research seminar at Nottingham University Business School
Prof. Stephan Henneberg (Director of BERG) presented his newest research on service infusion at an academic seminar hosted by the Nottingham University Business School. In particular, Prof. Henneberg introduced different studies on service infusion as part of an ongoing research programme in this area, which is being conducted together with colleagues from the University of Alabama, USA, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, INSPER, Brazil, the University of Leeds, UK, and the University of Paderborn, Germany.
Dr Samuel Tang guest lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Dr Samuel Tang delivered a guest lecture for the “Climate Change Responses” postgraduate module at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) on government-led responses to climate change in the UK. In particular, Dr Tang discussed evidence-based policy and the development of usable and useful climate science to inform decision-making, as well as mandatory carbon reporting schemes and business responses to these.
BERG hosts Junior Professor Alexander Leischnig from the University of Bamberg
Professor Stephan Henneberg (Director of BERG) hosted Professor Alexander Leischnig (University of Bamberg, Germany) for a short research visit. Profs. Henneberg and Leischnig worked together on new research regarding combinatory effects of the business environment and resource tie mobilization on new product innovation performance. The research is conducted together with Dr. Sabrina Thornton (University of Huddersfield, UK) and Prof. Peter Naude (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK).
Prof. Stephan Henneberg publishes new research on service infusion
Prof. Stephan Henneberg (Director of BERG) has published a new ABS 4-ranked article on ""Driver Configurations for Successful Service Infusion"" in the Journal of Service Research. The research was conducted with colleagues from the University of Alabama, USA (Dr. Sebastian Forkmann), and Linköping University/CTF Karlstad (Profs. Lars Witell and Daniel Kindstroem).
BERG hosts Dr. Daniela Corsaro from Universita Cattolica di Milano
Professor Stephan Henneberg (Director of BERG) hosted Dr. Daniela Corsaro (Universita Cattolica di Milano, Italy) for a short research visit. Prof. Henneberg and Dr. Corsaro worked together on new research regarding strategic decision-making by top management groups in business networks. The research is conducted together with Dr. Carla Ramos (INSPER, Brazil) and Prof. Peter Naude (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK).
PhD student Jonathan Webb and Prof. Stephan Henneberg win a Best Paper Award at the Academy of Management Conference 2017
Jonathan Webb (PhD student at the School of Business and Management, and member of BERG) and Prof. Stephan Henneberg (Director of BERG), together with Dr. Sebastian Forkmann (University of Alabama, USA) have won a Best Paper Award at the Academy of Management Conference 2017 for their paper “The Dark Side of Buyer-Supplier Relationships and the Role of Corruption”.
The Academy of Management Conference 2017 will take place in Atlanta, USA, in August 2017.
Prof. Stephan Henneberg publishes new research on supplier relationship management
Prof. Stephan Henneberg (Director of BERG) has published a new ABS 4-ranked article on "Networking Capability in Supplier Relationships and its Impact on Product Innovation and Firm Performance" in the International Journal of Operations and Production Management. The research was conducted with colleagues from the University of Leeds, UK (Dr. Ghasem Zaefarian), the University of Alabama, USA (Dr. Sebastian Forkmann), and the University of Katowice, Poland (Dr. Maciej Mitraga). The forthcoming article is available from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/IJOPM-11-2014-0517
Prof. Stephan Henneberg presents a PhD workshop at the University of Bamberg
Prof. Stephan Henneberg (Director of BERG), together with Dr. Ronika Chakrabarti (Lancaster University), presented a two-day PhD workshop on publishing in top international journals for PhD students at the University of Bamberg. Prof. Henneberg holds a Visiting Professorship at the University of Bamberg and works closely together on research with the Chair of Marketing, Professor Bjoern Ivens, as well as Juniorprofessor Alexander Leischnig at the University of Bamberg.
Stephan Henneberg discusses Customer Relationship Management at the IHG Loyalty Summit, New York
Stephan Henneberg (Director of BERG) participated in a panel discussion organised by IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) in New York in December 2016. The IHG loyalty summit aims to discuss new ways in which, amidst a constantly changing consumer landscape, organisations and brands can build lasting customer loyalty. Prof. Henneberg discussed his newest research on loyalty and business relationships with senior managers from Ford, Dow Jones, Reuters, IHG, and American Express. For a short video about the IHG loyalty summit, please see: https://www.ihgplc.com/en/news-and-media/news-releases/2016/ihg-loyalty-summits