You would like to learn more about individual research projects conducted by members of the TIME Research Area? If so, we kindly invite you to explore our project database, which contains especially third-party funded research projects. Below, we also describe a number of selected research projects in some detail.

Selected Research Projects:

Utility driven design of product architectures for technical products in the B2B segment

(Funding Body: DFG)

Because of differing customer needs, firms offering a standardized product are only able to gain a small share of the relevant market (i.e., they acquire only a small part of potential customers). Against this background, many firms offer differentiated product lines to fulfill heterogeneous customer needs. As this is especially true for Business-to-Business markets (B2B), the current research project is focused on these markets. The corresponding challenges of diverse product variants are part of the technical product design. The integration of customer needs into the technical design process to develop a beneficial product program and, at the same time, the use of a very similar product architecture in manufacturing are key drivers to successfully managing variants. The goal of this research project is to develop a methodology for the early design stages of technical products that allows firms to launch product architectures that match the required market variety.

Seeing the Forest or the Trees? The Impact of Global and Local Processing Styles on Consumer Responses to New Products

(Funding Body: DFG)

To gain a competitive advantage, companies spend billions of dollars on developing new products and launching them on the market. Despite these enormous investments, failure rates for new products are substantial. Against this background, a broad body of research has examined how consumers evaluate and adopt new products and how companies can increase the effectiveness of new product development. One limitation of this literature, however, is that is has not examined how consumer acceptance of new products is influenced by their “psychological lens”, that is, by the manner in which they mentally process information relating to new products. In principle, consumers may process new products in a global or a local manner. In a global processing style consumers start focussing on the overall configuration of a product and then work downward toward its details whereas in a local processing style they begin with the details of a product and then work upward to its global configuration. The goal of this research project is to investigate the influence of these two processing styles on the use and evaluation of new products.

Recognizing and Preventing Not-Invented-Here

(Funding Body: AiF, Start Date: November 2013)

The research project „Recognizing and Preventing Not-Invented-Here: A Systematic Approach Towards Understanding and Overcoming the Not-Invented-Here Syndrome in Research and Development“ led by Professor Frank Piller and Dr. David Antons has been approved by the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations, short AiF. Over the next three years, research into the causes of and possible countermeasures for the so-called “Not-Invented-Here” (NIH) syndrome will be conducted. The NIH syndrome constitutes a negative attitude towards external knowledge frequently leading to a universal rejection of external ideas and technologies in the innovation process. This project seeks to understand how organisations can recognize the extent to which their own R&D employees affected by the NIH syndrome and which mechanisms they can employ to prevent the NIH syndrome and its negative consequences.

Customers as Value-Adding Partners for Mass Customization Services

(Funding Body: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Start Date: November 2010)

This research project seeks to develop new methods for mass customization providers in the German retail market. These methods are designed to boost the productivity and value creation potential along their entire value chain. Project findings will enable participating small and medium entreprises to sustain and further increase their competitiveness. Moreover, participating firms function as pilot companies and thus contribute to the wide diffusion of the project findings within the retail sector.

Failure-Driven Innovation

(Funding Body: Peter Pribilla Stiftung, Start Date: February 2013)

This research project seeks to shed light at the role of failure as a vital trigger of innovation. In particular, we examine how failure, leadership and innovation are interrelated across the individual, organizational or system level. To enable the dissemination of key findings, a series of failure cases has been developed for free use in teaching at RWTH Aachen University and elsewhere (see

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More Research Partners

  • German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • German Research Foundation
  • National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts