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Dr Carolin Decker-Lange

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Management
  • The Faculty of Business and Law
  • The Open University Business School
  • Department for Public Leadership and Social Enterprise
  • carolin.decker-lange

Professional biography

Dr Carolin Decker-Lange is a Senior Lecturer in Management at the Department of Public Leadership & Social Enterprise at The Open University Business School. Before joining the Open University, Carolin worked at UWE Bristol Business School, the University of Bremen, and WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. She has obtained her PhD in Management and her post-doctoral lecture qualification for teaching business and management in Higher Education (“Habilitation”) from Freie Universität Berlin (Germany). Carolin holds a Diploma (equivalent to combined BSc/MSc degrees) in Business Education from the University of Mainz (Germany).

Research interests

In her research, Carolin concentrates on three topical areas: (1) governance of interorganizational relationships, (2) organizational change, decline and recovery, and (3) management of family businesses and family wealth.

  1. Governance of interorganizational relationships: The projects alluding to this area mainly focus on the organizational level. They draw on economic theories, which are predominantly tested with quantitative methods. An emerging area of research is partner fit in alliances and networks. In this area, Carolin uses both quantitative and qualitative methods and focuses on data from different industries and sectors. Moreover, she increasingly broadens her perspective on interorganizational relationships by including licensing agreements which are a special type of alliance but have hardly been studied from a management perspective. In this area, she applies experimental and survey-based methods.

  2. Organizational change, decline and recovery: In this area, Carolin is especially interested in questions referring to divestitures and turnaround in both multi-business firms and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). She also increasingly focuses on business model design, change and innovation. Her research on business model change in the research museums in the Leibniz Association in Germany – one of the four major funding organizations for non-university research institutes in the German academic system – does not only provide opportunities for community outreach and impact, but can also easily be extended to museums and other types of cultural organizations in the UK, as encouraged by the Museum-University Partnerships Initiative (MUPI).

  3. Management of family businesses and family wealth: In this area, Carolin focuses on, for example, the innovative output of family-owned firms as compared to innovation in non-family firms. Another topic alludes to the management and preservation of family wealth across generations. In particular, Carolin studies the governance structures and roles of family offices for the families behind them and their diverse businesses. The family office-concept is still new and emerging in management research. It is also a relatively new phenomenon in the European financial services industry. Currently, Carolin is studying the emergence of the concept in different European countries based on a longitudinal analysis of secondary data.

Teaching interests

Carolin has more than 10 years of teaching experience in higher education in Germany and the UK. She has taught modules in the areas of Strategic Management, Entrepreneurship and Research Methods at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is also experienced in supervising students in writing their bachelor or master theses and doctoral students in preparing their dissertations. Moreover, she developed teaching concepts for and contributed to online distance-learning courses on the management of knowledge and competences in organizations, which were dedicated to professionals and executives from various industries and at different career levels.

Impact and engagement

Carolin is an elected Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Verband unabhaengiger Family Offices (VuFO e.V. - Association of Independent Family Offices) in Germany. In this role, she helps promote teaching and research on family offices in German-speaking universities and create awareness for an organisation dedicated to family business governance and family wealth management.


The global field of multi-family offices: An institutionalist perspective (2016-03)
Decker, Carolin and Lange, Knut S. G.
Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 21(1) (pp. 64-75)
Thirty Years After Michael E. Porter: What Do We Know About Business Exit? (2007-05-01)
Decker, Carolin and Mellewigt, Thomas
Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(2) (pp. 41-55)
Stakeholders' Impact on Turnaround Performance: The Case of German Savings Banks (2016)
Decker, Carolin
Journal of Small Business Management ((Early Access))
How to motivate people to put their money where their mouth is: What makes employees participate in electronic prediction markets? (2011)
Decker, Carolin; Welpe, Isabell M. and Ankenbrand, Bernd H.
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 78(6) (pp. 1002-1015)
How managers can build trust in strategic alliances: a meta-analysis on the central trust-building mechanisms (2016-04)
Meier, Matthias; Lütkewitte, Martina; Mellewigt, Thomas and Decker, Carolin
Journal of Business Economics, 86(3) (pp. 229-257)
Wissensmanagement (Sammelrezension) [Knowledge Management (Book Review)] (2009)
Mellewigt, Thomas and Decker, Carolin
Die Betriebswirtschaft [Business Administration Review], 69(5) (pp. 613-631)
How does the franchisor’s choice of different control mechanisms affect franchisees’ and employee-managers’ satisfaction? (2011)
Mellewigt, Thomas; Ehrmann, Thomas and Decker, Carolin
Journal of Retailing, 3 (pp. 320-331)
Consumer perceptions of co-branding alliances: Organizational dissimilarity signals and brand fit (2016-11)
Decker, Carolin and Baade, Annika
Journal of Brand Management, 23(6) (pp. 648-665)
Networks of clusters: A governance perspective (2013)
Schüßler, Elke; Decker, Carolin and Lerch, Frank
Industry and Innovation, 20(4) (pp. 357-377)
Costs of partner search and selection in strategic alliances (2014)
Mellewigt, Thomas and Decker, Carolin
Journal of Business Economics, 84(1) (pp. 71-97)
The impact of family ownership on innovation: evidence from the German machine tool industry (2017-01)
Decker, Carolin and Günther, Christina
Small Business Economics, 48(1) (pp. 199-212)
Exploring a secretive organization: What can we learn about family offices from the public sphere? (2013)
Decker, Carolin and Lange, Knut S.G.
Organizational Dynamics, 42(4) (pp. 298-306)
De-diversification in Germany: Some critical remarks on Nicolai/Thomas (2006) (2008)
Weller, Ingo; Mellewigt, Thomas and Decker, Carolin
Schmalenbach Business Review, 60(2) (pp. 205-210)
Coordinating family entrepreneurship: When money seeks opportunity (2016)
Decker, Carolin and Günther, Christina
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 8(1) (pp. 46-61)
Business exit and strategic change: Sticking to the knitting or striking a new strategic path? (2012)
Decker, Carolin and Mellewigt, Thomas
British Journal of Management, 23 (pp. 165-178)
What drives contract design in strategic alliances? Taking stock and how to proceed (2012)
Mellewigt, Thomas; Decker, Carolin and Eckhard, Björn
Zeitschrift fuer Betriebswirtschaft, 82(7-8) (pp. 839-864)
One size does not fit all: Entrepreneurial families’ reliance on family offices (2014)
Wessel, Stephan; Decker, Carolin; Lange, Knut S.G. and Hack, Andreas
European Management Journal, 32(1) (pp. 37-45)
Legitimacy Needs as Drivers of Business Exit (2008)
Decker, Carolin
ISBN : 978-3-8349-9759-3 | Publisher : Gabler Verlag / DUV
The role of the corporate headquarters in fostering knowledge synergies: A resource-based view (2004)
Mellewigt, Thomas and Decker, Carolin
In: Wildemann, Horst ed. Organisation und Personal. Festschrift für Rolf Bühner (pp. 721-749)
ISBN : 978-3-937236-08-7 | Publisher : TCM | Published : München
Messung des Organisationserfolgs (2006)
Mellewigt, T. and Decker, C.
In: von Werder, A.; Stoeber, H. and Grundei, J. eds. Organisations-Controlling (pp. 51-82)
ISBN : 978-3-8349-9265-9 | Publisher : Gabler | Published : Wiesbaden
Desinvestition von Unternehmensteilen aus der Sicht des Ressourcen- und Kompetenzansatzes (2006)
Decker, C. and van der Velden, R.
In: Burmann, C; Freiling, J and Huelsmann, M eds. Neue Perspektiven des Strategischen Kompetenzmanagements (pp. 221-242)
ISBN : 978-3-8350-0471-9 | Publisher : Gabler | Published : Wiesbaden
Multi-family offices across the globe: Recent developments and future research (2017)
Decker, Carolin
In: Kellermanns, Franz and Hoy, Frank eds. The Routledge Companion to Family Business (pp. 195-207)
ISBN : 9781138919112 | Publisher : Routledge
What do we know about succession in family businesses? Mapping current knowledge and unexplored territory (2017)
Decker, Carolin; Heinrichs, Katharina; Jaskiewicz, Peter and Rau, Sabine B.
In: Kellermanns, Franz and Hoy, Frank eds. The Routledge Companion to Family Business (pp. 15-44)
ISBN : 9781138919112 | Publisher : Routledge
Unternehmenssanierung und Krisenbewältigung aus Bankensicht (2012)
Eiben, Jan; Blaumoser, Martin and Decker, Carolin
Bayern Consult Unternehmensberatung GmbH
The Drivers and Implications of Business Exit – An Application and Extension of Prior Findings (2007)
Decker, Carolin and Mellewigt, Thomas
Research Center SFB 649 (“Economic Risk“) Discussion Paper Series, 2007-054, Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin.
Strategic or Status quo-Preserving Business Exit: (How) Do CEO Turnover and Succession Matter? (2010)
Decker, Carolin; Bresser, Rudi K. F. and Mellewigt, Thomas
Discussion Papers 2010/25, Freie Universitaet Berlin, School of Business and Economics