Dr. Johannes Meuer

Associate Professor for Sustainability Strategy and Operations

Dr. Johannes Meuer

Associate Professor for Sustainability Strategy and Operations

Johannes Meuer is Associate Professor for Sustainability Strategy and Operations at KLU and Co-director of KLU’s Center for Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chains. Before joining KLU, he worked at ETH Zurich where he received his habilitation (Venia Legendi) in 2021 and at the University of Zurich. He holds a PhD from RSM Erasmus University, and an MSc in International Economics from Corvinus University Budapest. During his studies, he spent time at USC Marshall Business School in Los Angeles, and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. He also holds a position as Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich, and as Visiting Scholar at the University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management and at the Cranfield School of Management.

In his research, Johannes Meuer draws on theories at the intersection of corporate sustainability, strategic management, and technological innovation to investigate how firms may effectively integrate sustainability into their strategy and business operations. Johannes also develops new methodological approaches based on set-theoretic analytics such as fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), for example to integrate QCA in multi-level models or to extend QCA for the use of systematic comparative process analysis. He also applies these methods in various substantive field such as organization and innovation theory, strategic HRM, and production and operations management. His research has been published in top-tier journals and has received funding from industry and competitive public funding. Johannes Meuer teaches courses on corporate sustainability, innovation strategy, strategies for sustainable business, and research methods.

In his teaching, he focuses on independent, action-centered, and blended learning using a diverse array of innovative methods such as flipped-classroom logics, teaching case studies, e-learning modules, and teaching videos. Johannes Meuer also regularly co-organizes Professional Development Workshop and career development workshop, such as the SusTec PhD Academy, the GROW!EarlyCareer workshop of GRONEN, and the annual International QCA Workshops. For his teaching, Johannes Meuer received the “Golden Owl 2020” Award at ETH Zurich for providing exceptional education.

Contact

Tel: +49 40 328707-223
Fax: +49 40 328707-209
johannes.meuer@the-klu.org

Networks

Selected Publications

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/joom.1130 

Abstract: Companies that seek to improve their operational performance by adopting new practices often report disappointing adoption rates. The literature concerning practice adoption has tended to focus on efficacy and legitimacy drivers at the organizational level. However, there exists convincing evidence that practice adoption largely depends on the commitment of those managers involved in the adoption of a given practice. Thus, we investigate what prompts operations managers to commit to practice adoption. We draw on the theory of planned behavior to explore the cognitive foundations of 76 operations managers' commitment to new operational practices. Using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, we identify three belief configurations associated with high levels of commitment—“the Follower,” “the Pragmatist,” and “the Reformer.” We contribute a behavioral operations perspective to the literature on practice adoption by providing an individual-level and configurational view of managerial commitment to change.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12521 

Abstract: There is a need to conduct more diverse cross-case analyses in the Multiple Streams Approach (MSA) literature which originated in the United States, to show how key concepts, such as a windows-of-opportunity and the role of policy entrepreneurs, manifest in different political contexts. We apply Qualitative Comparative Analysis for a cross-case analysis of a unique dataset representing 20 countries from four continents. This approach allows us to highlight distinct pathways to influencing policies. We identify four configurations for expanding civic spaces and two configurations for changing policies. We identify three findings novel to MSA: there are two distinctive policy entrepreneur roles involving local and international civil society actors; effective entrepreneurship is conditional on strengthening civic voice and creating civic space conducive to advocacy; and, therefore, effective entrepreneurs often must focus on expanding the civic space to discuss policy problems and the technical and political feasibility of policy solutions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1086026619850180 

Abstract: Scholarly and managerial interest in corporate sustainability has increased significantly in the past two decades. However, the field is increasingly criticized for failing to effectively contribute to sustainable development and for its limited impact on managerial practice. We argue that this criticism arises due to a fundamental ambiguity around the nature of corporate sustainability. To address the lack of concept clarity, we conduct a systematic literature review and identify 33 definitions of corporate sustainability. Adopting the Aristotelian perspective on definitions, one that promotes reducing concepts to their essential attributes, we discern four components of corporate sustainability. These components offer a conceptual space of inquiry that, while being parsimonious, offers nuanced understanding of the dimensions along which definitions of corporate sustainability differ. We discuss implications for research and practice and outline several recommendations for how advancements in construct clarity may lead to a better scholarly understanding of corporate sustainability.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1094428116665465 

Abstract: Mixed methods systematically combine multiple research approaches—either in basic parallel, sequential, or conversion designs or in more complex multilevel or integrated designs. Multilevel mixed designs are among the most valuable and dynamic. Yet current multilevel designs, which are rare in the mixed methods literature, do not strongly integrate qualitative and quantitative approaches for use in one study. This lack of integration is particularly problematic for research in the organization sciences because of the variety of multilevel concepts that researchers study. In this article, we develop a multilevel mixed methods technique that integrates qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) with hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). This technique is among the first of the multilevel ones to integrate qualitative and quantitative methods in a single research design. Using Miles and Snow’s typology of generic strategies as an example of organizational configurations, we both illustrate how researchers may apply this technique and provide recommendations for its application and potential extensions. Our technique offers new opportunities for bridging macro and micro inquiries by developing strong inferences for testing, refining, and extending multilevel theories of organizational configurations.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.21793 

Abstract: High-performance work systems (HPWS) are important conceptual instruments in the human resource management literature. Yet our current understanding of the complementarities within HPWS remains limited for two reasons: First, the dominant theoretical perspectives on HPWS provide a landscape of theoretical possibilities rather than an understanding of different possibilities through which HPWS generate positive effects on performance; and second, the literature on HPWS merely proposes several seemingly equally important HR practices. This article explores the internal nature of HPWS by integrating a configurational perspective of core, peripheral, and nonessential HR practices with a typology of complementarities. Analyzing 530 UK-based firms using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), I identify four frequently implemented HPWS consistently associated with high labor productivity. The complementarities within all HPWS combine pairs of core HR practices with sets of peripheral HR practices. Moreover, the complementarities within three of the four HPWS rely on firms’ avoidance of implementing certain HR practices. The results suggest that the synergies of HPWS arise from efficient complementarities and virtuous overlaps, and reveal the significance of achieving high performance by not implementing HR practices. This article thus advances a new perspective on HPWSs, highlighting the challenges involved in successfully designing HPWS. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Academic Positions

Since 9/2021

Associate Professor of Sustainable Operations, Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany
2015 - 2021

Senior Scientist and Lecturer, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

2019

Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Management, University of Warsaw, Poland

2012 - 2015

Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Zurich, Switzerland

2011 - 2016

Visiting Fellow, School of Management, University of Cranfield, United Kingdom

2010

Visiting Researcher, Marshall Business School, University of Southern California, USA

Education

2006 - 2011

PhD in Management, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, The Netherlands

2003 - 2005MSc in International Economics, Corvinus University Budapest, Hungary
2005Semester abroad, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai, China
2000 - 2003Diplom-Kaufmann (FH), International School of Management, Dortmund, Germany
2001Semester abroad, Villanueva Centro Universitario, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain
  • Meuer, Johannes; Gergek, J.; Girod, B. (2020): Resource orchestration chains in Corporate Sustainability: Case Studies in the Swiss Retail Industry. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C. (2020): Comparative configurational process analysis. EGOS Colloquium, Hamburg, Germany.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Gergek, J.; Girod, B. (2020): Resource orchestration chains in Corporate Sustainability: Case Studies in the Swiss Retail Industry. EGOS Colloquium, Hamburg, Germany.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2019): Case selection: From single and multiple case studies to Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Annual Academy of Management Meeting, Boston, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Abele, M.; Chadwick, C.; Weller, I. (2018): Administrative Intensity and Managerial Resources in Emerging Firms. Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, Paris, France.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2018): QCA in a multilevel environment. Annual Meeting of the Academy Management, Chicago, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Koelbel, J.; Hoffmann, V. (2018): Mapping Definitions of Corporate Sustainability. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Chicago, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Arellano, C.; Netland, T. (2018): Micro-foundations of improvement initiatives in MNCs: A fuzzy-set analysis of operations managers´beliefs. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Chicago, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C.; Backes-Gellner, U. (2018): How hybrid change agents moderate innovation complementarities. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Chicago, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Koelbel, J.; Hoffmann, V. (2018): Mapping Definitions of Corporate Sustainability. GRONEN Conference, University of Almería, Spain.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C. (2018): Comparative process analysis: A new set theoretic technique for longitudinal case analysis. EGOS Colloquium, Tallinn, Estonia.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Arrellano Caro, M.; Netland, T. (2018): Micro-foundations of improvement initiatives in MNCs: A fuzzy-set analysis of operations managers´ beliefs. International QCA Summer Workshop, Jackstädtzentrum für Unternehmertums- und Innovationsforschung, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Brophy, A. (2017): Talking about renewables: Tensions in the emergence of field identity. EGOS Colloquium, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Petersen, M. (2017): Bringing energy-efficient building technologies to the market: Exploring managerial challenges at the intersection of technological and sectoral innovation systems. EGOS Colloquium, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Petersen, M. (2016): Innovation for sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. Future Energy Efficient Buildings & Districts, EMPA, Dübendorf, Switzerland.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Balakrishnan, D.; Haney, A. B. (2016): What MES(s)! A bibliometric analysis of the evolution of research on multi-energy systems. Smart Build Environment Conference, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Angstmann, M.; Tröster, C. (2016): Embeddedness and the repatriation intentions of company-backed and self-initiated expatriates. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Anaheim, CA, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Furnari, S. (2016): A Case-oriented Approach to Longitudinal QCA: Analyzing Patterns of Organizational Change. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Anaheim, CA, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Ellersiek, A.; Rupietta, C.; Caves, K. (2015): QCA in Evaluations: Aflateen`s Child Funding Program, 3rd International QCA Expert Workshop, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rihoux, B. (2016): Mapping 30 years of QCA research. 3rd International QCA Expert Workshop, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2015): A set-theoretic analysis of high performance workplace systems. Academy of Management Meeting, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Kluike, M.; Backes-Gellner, U.; Pull, K. (2015): Expatriation strategies for the adaptation of employment modes to different market economies. European Academy of Management, Warsaw, Poland.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C.; Backes-Gellner, U. (2015): Vocational Education and Innovation Interdependencies. 27th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Kluike, M.; Backes-Gellner, U.; Pull, K. (2014): Expatriation strategies for the adaptation of employment modes to different market economies. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes, Felps, W.; van Eck, N.; Waltmann, L. (2014): Mapping the Management Discipline - A Bibliometric and Qualitative Synthesis. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C. (2014): Qualifying "Fit". The performance dynamics of firms´ change tracks through organizational configurations. EGOS Colloquium, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C. (2014): Vocational Education and Innovation Interdependencies. EGOS Colloquium, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C.; Backes-Gellner, U. (2014): Idiosyncracies within and Interdependencies between Innovation Systems. A mixed method approach. DRUID Society Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C.; Backes-Gellner, U. (2014): Co-existing innovation systems: A configurational and seemingly unrelated regression analysis in the Swiss economy. Jacobs Foundation "Economics of Education" Conference, Marbach, Switzerland.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C. (2014): Under the Surface: Firms´ Learning (from) Organizational Forms. Managing Complexity within and across Organizational Boundaries. Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C.; Backes-Gellner, U. (2014): Workshop in Personnel Economics and Economics of Education" with Prof. Edward Lazear. Co-existing innovation systems: A configurational and seemingly unrelated regression analysis in the Swiss economy.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C.; Backes-Gellner, U. (2013): Co-existing innovation systems: A configurational and seemingly unrelated regression analysis in the Swiss economy. Jacobs Foundation "The Optimal Skill Mix for a Modern Economy".
  • Meuer, Johannes; Felps, W. (2013): Understanding the Implicit Norms of Different Academy of Management Divisions. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Orlando, FL, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C. (2013): Withstanding the test of time: An empirical examination of the durability of organizational forms. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Orlando, FL, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Kluike, M.; Backes-Gellner, U.; Pull, K. (2013): 'Sending the troops' or 'Staying home alone'? Expatriates in the adaptation of employment modes to market economies. 29th EGOS Colloquium, Montréal, Canada.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C. (2013): Examining the durability of organizational forms. Organization Science & OMT Paper Development Workshop, Sabanci University, School of Management, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Wang, T.; Reinmoeller, P.; Krug, B. (2013): The Efficacy of China´s 'Going Global' policy: A signaling perspective. 24th Conference Chinese Economic Association "Balancing China´s Economy".
  • Meuer, Johannes; Felps, W. (2013): Understanding the Implicit Norms of Different Academy of Management Divisions. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management Symposium, Orlando, FL, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C. (2013): Withstanding the test of time: An empirical examination of the durability of organizational forms. Academy of Management Meeting, Orlando, FL, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Rupietta, C.; Backes-Gellner, U. (2013): Co-existing innovation systems: A configurational and seemingly unrelated regression analysis in the Swiss economy. QCA Professional Round Table Discussion - Advanced QCA Research. Academy of Management Meeting, Orlando, FL, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Betancourt, N.; van Oosterhout, H. (2013): The Institutionalization of Private International Business Regulations. Academy of International Business Annual Meeting, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Kluike, M.; Backes-Gellner, U.; Pull, K. (2013): The Role of Expatriates in the Adaptation of Employment Modes. A comparative analysis of U.S. subsidiaries in Germany, the U.K. and Switzerland. 10th European Conference of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Betancourt, N.; van Oosterhout, H. (2012): Not all institutions are created equal: Institutional stages of private actor international business regulations. 28th EGOS Colloquium, Helsinki, Finland.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Krug, B. (2012): Empirical data for analyzing the internationalization of Chinese firms: An evaluative overview. 5th Biennial IACMR Conference, Hong Kong, China.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Schuller, M.; Schueler-Zhou, Y. (2012): China´s OFDI Footprint in Europe: Investment Patterns, Drivers and Implications. European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, Brussels, Belgium.
  • Meuer, Johannes; Wang, T.; Reinmoeller, P.; Krug, B. (2011): On the Effectiveness of Chinese Politics in Directing Outward Foreign Direct Investments. 5th China Goes Global Conference, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2011): Organizational Design Choices: Enabling Practice Innovation: Evidence from China´s Biopharma Industry. Academy of Management Meeting, Montréal, Canada.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2010): Collaborative Practice Innovation in China´s Biopharmaceutical Industry: Firms Transforming Fields. International Association for Chinese Management Research (IACMR), Shanghai, China.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2009): Collective Creation of Proto Institutions. 25th EGOS Colloquium, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2009): A Set Theoretic Approach to the Study of Proto Institutions. 8th Session of the European School of New Institutional Economics, Cargèse (Corsica), France.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2009): Hatching Institutions. XV. Organization Science Winter Conference, Steamboat Springs, CO, USA.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2009): Governance via Inclusion of the Governed: Organizational Determinants of Participatory Policy Networks. Young Scholars Workshop on Changing Governance in Asia, ILAS Centre for Regulation and Governance, Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2008): Collective Institutional Entrepreneurship in China. International Association for Chinese Management Research (IACMR), Guangzhou, China.
  • Meuer, Johannes (2008): Smart Business Networks in Non-Modular Industries. Smart Business Networks, Beijing, China.

2021 - Innovedum "Case-based Collaborative Group Coaching in Corporate Sustainability"

2020 - Golden Owl "Best Lecturer" at D-MTEC, ETH Zurich

2019 - Best Reviewer Awards, ONE Division, Academy of Management Meeting 2019

2018 - ABCD Award, OMT Division, Academy of Management Meeting 2018

2018 - Finalist ETH KITE (Key Innovation in Teaching at ETH) Award

2016 - Finalist Best Divisional Paper, HR Division, Academy of Management

2015 - Best Paper Award, Swiss Leading House "Economics of Education"

2012 - ecch Case Awards: Best Case in Category Strategy and General Management

2011 - Finalist Decision Sciences Institute's Best Teaching Case

2010 - First Price AESE Case Writing Competition

2010 - Best Paper Award, OMT Division, Academy of Management