In her research, Anja Schulze studies how firms innovate efficiently. Theoretically, she posits knowledge-based activities as the principal competences of firms that innovate successfully. Accordingly, her research focuses on the evolution of new knowledge in organizations, especially on the processes of knowledge creation, transfer, and integration while new products are being developed. Further, Anja Schulze considers how organizational capabilities that manage these knowledge related processes help to explain performance differences between firms’ innovation activities.
Recently, Anja Schulze studied how firms organize for innovation efficiency through “Lean Product Development”. The foundational principles of Lean Management originated in Japan, and in order to be broadly inclusive, she studied not only European firms, but also Japanese firms in collaboration with Japanese researchers. Her current research is concerned with intra-organizational hybrid strategies to efficiently attain variation and selection for innovation purposes. In particular, she studies the tensions caused by hybrid competitive-collaborative strategies for idea generation. Additionally, she incorporates the tensions caused by hybrid strategies of choice and elimination for idea selection, along with organizational capabilities that can reconcile these tensions (more).
Empirically Anja Schulze’s research builds mostly on data gathered from European automotive suppliers. Since inception, the automotive industry has been innovative in its products, processes, and technologies, and it has been a pioneer in process efficiency. As a consequence, what is understood from the automotive industry today, will be of significant interest to other industries now and in the years to come. To create an environment that enables relevant and rigorous empirical research to be conducted, and that advances competence on the industry’s specifics, Anja Schulze founded the swiss Center for Automotive Research (swiss CAR) in 2005. It allows for the identification and framing of research problems highly relevant to the industry, as well as exceptional access to empirical data.
Anja Schulze’s research has been funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the European Union (EU), as well as Research Foundations of the University of St.Gallen and Università Bocconi. Results of her research are published in journals such as the Journal of Management (JOM), the Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM), Research Policy (RP), European Management Review (EMR) and the European Management Journal (EMJ) (publications). As validation of the importance of her research, Anja Schulze has been invited to share insights of her work with national policy makers and business executives (presentations).