„German Mittelstand“ and the Siegen approach in research, teaching and transfer

Prof. Dr. Arndt Werner, Vice-Dean
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Strina, Vice-Dean
Prof. Dr. Andreas Dutzi


German Mittelstand” is often referred to as the backbone of the German economy. While in outside German-speaking countries the term “SME“ is more frequently used, both terms do not describe the same phenomenon. Against this background, we would first like to clarify in the workshop what is meant by “German Mittelstand” (e.g. in contrast to “SME”), how it has developed and which characteristics make it so outstanding. We would then like to use the three University pillars of research, teaching and transfer to demonstrate how we in the School of Economic Disciplines have taken up this topic. With examples of research topics (like “drivers of innovation output” or “digital transformation” in German Mittelstand”), with examples of teaching content and teaching formats (like specific master study programs or project seminars) as well as transfer examples (regional co-operations with typical “Mittelstand” firms), we would like to show how University of Siegen has built up its own profile on this topic.