Prof.dr. Holger Schiele

Professor of Technology Management - Innovation of Operations
Room: RA-2260

General info

Prof. Dr. habil. Holger Schiele (*07.12.1969, grown up in Brazil and Germany, married, three children) is Diplom-Ökonom (Master of Economics and Business Administration). He has studied in Maastricht and in Hanover. He obtained both, his Ph.D. (“Strategic management in value creating systems. Cluster-based environmental anaylsis, tool, application to the oil industry”, 2000) and his habilitation (venia legendi) in business administration (“Innovations from and with suppliers”, 2008) from Leibniz Universität Hannover. Besides academia, he has worked for ten years at the strategy department of Preussag AG, as consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and as project manager with h&z business consulting. Consulted firms include large corporations such as Shell, Siemens or ThyssenKrupp as well as medium sized firms. Previous to joining the University of Twente in 2009 he was at Jacobs University in Bremen.

Research interests

Research indicates that about half of collaborative innovations originate from the interaction between buyers and their suppliers. This is particularly true for productivity enhancing innovations in operations. Most research, however, is dedicated more to the customer side of collaboration, neglecting the supplier side. To close this gap, the chair “Technology Management” works on the research vision “developing the upstream part of open innovation.” “Open innovation” indicates the focus on collaborative innovation, while “upstream” highlights the buyer-supplier link as locus of innovative activity. A key to upstream open innovations seems to consist in being a “preferred customer” of leading suppliers. You can download the papers of an international IPSERA workshop on customer attractiveness which we organised in Twente, November 25th-26th, 2010.

With innovations, it is also interesting to analyse where they emerge. Innovations do not appear evenly distributed around the globe. More often, they can be found in “innovative clusters”. Since more than 15 years Holger Schiele is doing research on these regional or national agglomerations of firms and supporting institutions of a particular value chain. Having majored in economic geography, as well, Schiele is particularly interested in the geographic dimension of supply chains and its effect on collaboration. This research stream extends into the international management as well as the strategic management domains. A core topic is the operationalisation of the knowledge on clusters for strategic management.

A final research stream is dedicated to the development of novel forms of academic-practitioner research collaboration, such as the “Consortium benchmarking” method. Article is now online:

Recently, he was involved in a project with PhD researcher Petra Hoffmann which resulted in a supply risk management model. It may enable firms to identify supplier failure three month earlier. A practitioner report can be ordered for 250 € via the BMENet or h&z business consulting. The academic version was among the three finalists of the Chan Hahn best paper award at the Academy of Management Meeting in Montreal, 2010.

Prof. Schiele is part of the “University of Twente Initiative for Purchasing Studies (UTIPS)”. This initiative brings together all researchers in Twente from different faculties active in the field of supply management research. The initiative has contributed for the University of Twente being selected as one of only four global “Centre of Excellence in Purchasing Research and Education" by the International Purchasing Science, Education and Research Association - IPSERA.

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Teaching responsibilities and graduation theses

Holger Schiele has taught a wide variety of courses, ranging from organisation, strategy and innovation management to purchasing classes, both at undergraduate, graduate and executive levels. In Twente he is responsible for classes in management and organisation of technological innovation, the supply management seminar and the new master class “innovations in the supply chain”, as well as the supervision of students in their final assignments.

Topics for the master thesis from the fields of innovation and technology management, innovative clusters and their implications for strategic and international management, industrial purchasing, production and their intersections are most welcome.

Holger Schiele is track co-ordinator for the implementation of the new English-language programme “International Business Administration” and Chairman of the Education Board of business administration. The majority of the students of this programme are of international origin.

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The class “Management and Organisation of Technological Innovation” detecting innovations at an AkzoNobel drilling rig.


Holger Schiele’s work has been quoted more than 100 times according to Scopus.

The paper Steinle, C./ Schiele, H. (2002) “When do industries cluster? A proposal on how to assess an industry’s propensity to concentrate at a single region or nation.” (in Research Policy) has been reprinted twice in standard books of the domain. The paper Schiele, H. (2008) “Location, location: the geography of industry clusters.” (in Journal of Business Strategy) was included as discussion text in the 17th edition of a standard textbook on strategic management.

A full list of publications is available.