Markets, Organization and Behavior

Research focus

The research focus of the RG “Markets, Organization, and Behavior” is on consumer and business behavior based on microeconomics and other theories from social sciences. The group analyzes (1) the business enterprise and its markets, i.e. its interactions with customers and competitors, and (2) organizational and management aspects of the enterprise. The groups’ research approach is based on theoretically founded empirical analyses of economic behavior of individuals, households, or business enterprises.

The research is focused on (a) the energy sector and (b) the experience sector (sports, event, media, tourism), whereby it embraces the subfields marketing, management, and economics. The variety of subfield perspectives combined with the clear focus on only a few specific sectors offers a nationally and internationally unique and highly competitive combination, which provides ground for leading-edge and high-quality research.

The analysis of the behavior of consumers and businesses is typically based in microeconomic demand theory, theories of buyer behavior, institutional and behavioral theories, and innovation theory. The analysis of organizational aspects is typically approached from an industrial organization background.

 The RG’s strategy aims at ambitious research goals with respect to quality and academic impact and is targeted at publishing in (a) high-ranked peer-reviewed general interest journals and (b) relevant and highly regarded peer-reviewed field journals.

Research methods

The RG “Markets, Organization, and Behavior” strongly focusses on theoretically founded empirical analyses. Although the group’s members enjoy absolute academic liberty in the choice of the appropriate method, the quantitative analysis of individual-level data (microdata) on the economic behavior of individuals, groups, or business enterprises constitutes the core research method of the research group.


The microdata used in the research group’s quantitative research are typically collected using cross-section and panel surveys, censuses, transaction data, or social experiments and can include both revealed and stated preferences. Additionally, the research group uses further innovative, state-of-the-art methods to collect microdata such as eye-tracking.

The analysis of microdata is thereby subject to problems of complex survey methodology, departures from simple random sampling assumptions, problems of sample selection, measurement errors, and incomplete and/or missing data. Dealing with such issues in a way that can support valid inferences from the estimated quantitative models requires the use of advanced designs and (statistical) methods. Hence, the research groups’ empirical research draws, for example, on microeconometric choice modeling, experimental studies, quasi-experimental research designs, and register research. Occasionally, also qualitative methods or mixed methods designs are employed.

Knowledge exchange

The RG “Markets, Organization, and Behavior” pursues knowledge dissemination through constantly publishing research in peer-reviewed journals, anthologies/handbooks, and working papers as well as (co-authoring) textbooks. The knowledge-exchange activities are manifold. For example, the research group annually organizes the „Esbjerg Knowledge-exchange Day“ in cooperation with Esbjerg Kommune, where practitioners, policy makers, and researchers in the area of a specific and changing topic (e.g., event management, energy management) will meet to discuss current challenges in the chosen area as well as promising strategies to address these challenges.


The research group has a long tradition in educating PhD students and Postdocs, who are co-financed by public authorities or private companies (e.g., Esbjerg Kommune, Sikkerhedsstyrelsen, Syd Energi), and sees this as a part of its direct knowledge-exchange activities. Additionally, the members of the group are strongly involved in current continuing education activities as well as in the development of new activities. Furthermore, the group collaborates continuously with businesses, (not-for-profit) organizations, and public authorities through common research projects, supervised student internships, and invited guest lectures. Finally, the group publishes an annual activity report targeted at internal and external stakeholders.


Teaching activities

The RG “Markets, Organization, and Behavior” has developed and is main responsible for five study programs: BSc Economics & Business Administration, BSc Business Development in Practice, BSc + MSc Sport & Event Management, MSc Marketing & Innovation. The vast majority of ECTS taught in these programs are covered by members of the group. The choice of the profiles and the program structure reflects strongly the research focus areas of the group.

The research group also provides teaching in eight other programs (MSc Public Health, MSc Sports Science, BSc + MSc Cultural Sociology, MSc Environmental & Resource Management, MSc Economics, MA International Tourism & Leisure Management, European Master in Tourism Management, HD). This includes teaching courses at other SDU locations (Odense, Kolding, Sønderborg). Additionally, the research group offers PhD courses on a regular basis.

The research group implements research-based teaching by using state-of-the-art research papers as literature, which often includes own research (finished and work-in-progress) of the groups’ members. This directly reflects the close connection between the study profiles and the focus areas of the research group. Furthermore, students get the opportunity to use datasets from recent research projects to replicate published results. Research seminars held by guest researchers are open for all our students. Additionally, our research is teaching-driven in several ways. For example, students are closely involved in data collections (e.g. as interviewer) and, several times, excellent master theses have been the origin of research papers written together with the students as co-authors. If work-in-progress is presented in class, useful feedback of our students will be included in the final research output.


Relling, Marleen, Oliver Schnittka, Henrik Sattler, and Marius Johnen (2016): Each Can Help or Hurt: Negative and Positive Word of Mouth in Social Network Brand Communities, in: International Journal of Research in Marketing, Volume 33, Issue 1, forthcoming [BFI: 2-point].

Erfgen, Carsten, Henrik Sattler, and Oliver Schnittka (2015): How Celebrity Endorsers Enhance Parent Brand Extendibility to Low Similarity Brand Extensions, in: Journal of Business Economics, Volume 85, Issue 5, p. 479-504 [BFI: 2-point].

Wellbrock, Christian and Oliver Schnittka (2015): Does it really hurt? Consumer reactions to content sponsorships in daily newspapers, in: Journal of Business Economics, Volume 85, Issue 2, p. 107-128 [BFI: 2-point].


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