The foundation of the four research focal points in the Department for Economics and Legal Information Science corresponds well to the university’s overall concept. Furthermore, it links this concept to the aspiration to achieve demonstrably cutting-edge research, a national top position in the training and further education of teachers, to promote young researchers, and to highlight the meaning of information and communications technologies. Interconnections exist between the individual research focal points, and these will be linked to related fields at other universities and institutes.
The Scientific Commission of the State of Lower Saxony, in addition to two separate university-wide evaluations of research in economics and environmental studies, has drawn positive attention to research concerning environmental economics and sustainability management. Furthermore, this ongoing work has been referred to as an invigorating research focus that ‘confers a clear profile to the host institution as well as in relation to other economic institutions in Lower Saxony’. (Research Evaluation Economics 2001, p. 64)
This focal point is designated through extensive research on the questions of environmental and resource economics, economic-ecological modelling, as well as the sustainable management approach (applications in the fields of energy, climate, nutrition, mobility, chemistry, textiles), incorporating perspectives from economics and business administration.
With the transition to an information society, economic and social relations increasingly transcend national boundaries. New communications technologies have eliminated many of the barriers formerly imposed by space and time. In addition, the dismantling of institutional restrictions concerning international economic relations, as well as the formation of trans-national value chains and financial networks, is generating conflict potential and clashes of standards, both of which require regulation. New supply networks and forms of cooperation, as well as the increase in the private creation of norms and supranational regulations are indicators of a structural change. Applying the concept of ‘new governance’ on the global level involves both intra-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary innovations in economics and legal studies.
The focal point ‘entrepreneurship and innovation management’ focuses on the analysis and management of transformation processes relating to innovation, formation, and entrepreneurship. Several major factors play an important role in such processes, including:
- Innovation and start-up processes
- Consulting research
- Financial optimization and ensuring the livelihood of a company
- Integration of management accounting and human resource oriented approaches to corporate management
In addition to research, this focal point is also highly relevant to education (among other things, the BBA programme) and has transfer potential (encouraging the formation of businesses).
The focus of this main research is to describe, explain and configurate formal and informal teaching, learning and qualification processes. These processes take place in general education (including economic education), vocational education, in-plant training, employee training and inter-company-training. Factors that are significantly important for this research area are:
- empirical basic research,
- methodological and ‘e-learning’ related research and development projects as well as
- advisory and evaluative studies.
Former research work manifested itself in national and international networks, in professional journal publications, monographs and edited collections, ‘e-learning’ prototypes, and otherwise in corresponding external funding acquisition and thematically relevant doctoral studies.