Ulrich Lichtenthaler

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Ulrich Lichtenthaler (born 1978) is a German economist who held the Chair of Management and Organization at the University of Mannheim until March 2015.


Ulrich Lichtenthaler studied European Economy at the Otto-Friedrich University in Bamberg and at the Universidad de Granada, graduating with a double degree as Dipl.-Kfm. and European Master of Business Sciences (E.M.B.Sc.). He went on to receive a doctorate at the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management under Prof. Holger Ernst at the Chair for Technology and Innovation Management in 2006, writing a dissertation with the title Leveraging Knowledge Assets: Success Factors of External Technology Commercialization.[1]

In late 2009, he received his Habilitation with a thesis by publication at the WHU before becoming a visiting professor at the Technical University Berlin for a few months. Then, he followed a call by his alma mater in February 2010 and became professor of the newly created Chair for Innovation and Organization at the WHU. Lichtenthaler then held the Chair of Management and Organization at the University of Mannheim from 2011 to 2015.


Lichtenthaler's research focused on organization theory, innovation management and strategic management, primarily using quantitative, empirical methods. He published in some business journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and the Strategic Management Journal.

Lichtenthaler's research publications earned him several awards in Germany. He received the "Best Paper Award in Innovation Management", awarded by WHU, and the "Nachwuchspreis des Verbands der Deutschen Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft", an award given to promising young academics in the field of business research, and the 2009 Handelsblatt ranking listed him first among German business and economic researchers under 40 and 17th in term of lifetime publications.

These achievements were primarily based on the publication record of Lichtenthaler. However, this publication record collapsed when a large number of Lichtenthalers' paper were retracted after severe irregularities were discovered through investigations by different research groups, several of the affected journals, as well as commissions of WHU and the University of Mannheim.[2]

Publications controversy[edit]

In 2012, a publications controversy (around a pattern of undeclared, multiple submissions resulting in parallel publication of similar papers, misrepresentation the significance of statistical findings, and removal of variables in some Lichtenthaler's papers despite that these variables were being reported as significant in his other papers on the same data[2]) emerged that resulted in several of Lichtenthaler's publications being retracted. This included publications in the Academy of Management Journal,[3] Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Strategic Organization,[4] Research Policy,[5][6] Strategic Management Journal,[7] Journal of World Business,[8] Organization Science, Journal of Business Venturing, Industrial and Corporate Change,[9] Journal of Product Innovation Management.[10][11] Journal of Engineering and Technology Management,[12] and Technological Forecasting and Social Change.[13] By 2014, 16 of Lichtenthaler's articles had been retracted.[14] In addition, after the controversy erupted, Lichtenthaler withdrew three articles from the Journal of Product Innovation Management which had been accepted but not yet published.[15]

Based on the publications controversy, the WHU and the University of Mannheim created commissions tasked with investigating academic fraud by Lichtenthaler in 2012.[16][17] In September 2013, the WHU revoked his Habilitation teaching certificate because an "essential condition for the granting of the teaching certificate was not met".[18][19] In October 2014, the University of Mannheim announced that Lichtenthaler would resign from his position in Mannheim in March 2015.[20]


  1. ^ Curriculum Vitae of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lichtenthaler - University of Mannheim website
  2. ^ a b Joel West (2012-12-31). "Open Innovation Blog: End to an embarrassing year for OI research". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. ^ Sign In
  4. ^ "RETRACTION NOTICE: Technology licensing strategies: the interaction of process and content characteristics". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  5. ^ "RETRACTED: The role of corporate technology strategy and patent portfolios in low-, medium- and high-technology firms". Research Policy. 38: 559–569. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2008.10.009. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  6. ^ "RETRACTED: Determinants of proactive and reactive technology licensing: A contingency perspective". Research Policy. 39: 55–66. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2009.11.011. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  7. ^ "RETRACTED: Integrated knowledge exploitation: The complementarity of product development and technology licensing". Strategic Management Journal. 33: 513–534. doi:10.1002/smj.1951. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  8. ^ "RETRACTED: Product business, foreign direct investment, and licensing: Examining their relationships in international technology exploitation". Journal of World Business. 44: 407–420. doi:10.1016/j.jwb.2009.01.003. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Notice of retraction: Outward knowledge transfer: the impact of project-based organization on performance". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Retracted: The Impact of Aligning Product Development and Technology Licensing: A Contingency Perspective". Journal of Product Innovation Management. 28: 89. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2011.00863.x. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Retracted: The Performance Implications of Dynamic Capabilities: The Case of Product Innovation". Journal of Product Innovation Management. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2012.00957.x. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  12. ^ "RETRACTED: The role of deliberate and experiential learning in developing capabilities: Insights from technology licensing". Journal of Engineering and Technology Management. 29: 187–209. doi:10.1016/j.jengtecman.2011.10.001.
  13. ^ "RETRACTED: Technology commercialization intelligence: Organizational antecedents and performance consequences". Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 76: 301–315. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2008.07.002. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Ulrich Lichtenthaler retraction count rises to 16 - Retraction Watch". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  15. ^ Withdrawn articles, in Open Innovation blog
  16. ^ Storbeck, Olaf. "Top-flight German business prof faces severe accusations of academic misconduct". Economics Intelligence (blog). Archived from the original on September 22, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  17. ^ Entries from Retraction Watch
  18. ^ Joel West. "Open Innovation Blog: The de-habilitation of a serial salami slicer". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  19. ^ "WHU erkennt einstigem Star-Professor Lehrbefähigung ab". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  20. ^ "Universität Mannheim - Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lichtenthaler verlässt die Universität Mannheim". Retrieved 12 March 2016.