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Current Research Projects


Below you will find an overview of the current research projects at The MARG.

  • Value-Based Management

    Project: Understanding implications of shareholder value-oriented management and control systems

    The use of value-based key performance indicators (value-based KPIs) in management and control systems has gained momentum over the last two decades. Developed by shareholder value proponents, value-based KPIs challenge a firm’s operating performance against its cost of capital to incentivize capital efficiency. As such, such KPIs may have been appealing to many firms during the financial crises, when capital was scarce. Simultaneously, however, value-based indicators have been criticized heavily for their shareholder-orientation and potentially biased risk-taking incentives.

    The project aims to contribute to the understanding of the impact of value-based KPIs in management and control systems on firm behavior.


    Academic output:

    -      Mavropulo, O., M.S. Rapp and I.A. Udoieva (2018). “The dynamics of working capital management in firms with VBM systems: Empirical evidence”, Working Paper.

    -      Blume, K., O. Mavropulo and M.S. Rapp (2018). “Leadership and control contingency as a cultural determinant of value-based management systems: International evidence”, Working Paper.

    -      Mavropulo, O., M.S. Rapp and H. Schuchardt (2018). “The use of value-based KPIs in German listed firms: Empirical evidence”, Working Paper

  • Family Firms

    Project: Understanding family firm behavior

    Family firms are the predominant organizational form in most economies of the world. Thus, understanding family firm behavior is essential to understanding economic outcomes, which is central for policy-making. The project aims to contribute to the understanding of family firm behavior.

    Supporter: Semejon Stiftung

    Academic output:

    -      Beyenbach, J., D. Powell and M.S. Rapp (2018). “Family control and the sensitivity of investment to cash flow: Evidence from a Multi-Equation Approach”, Working Paper.

    -      Powell, D. and M.S. Rapp (2018). “Agency costs of founding family firms: Evidence from the marginal value of cash”, Working Paper.

  • Financial Systems

    Project: Financial system, central banks, and economic outcomes

    Standard economic arguments suggest that the financial system is important for prospering capitalist economies because it coordinates the capital allocation process. However, in the aftermath of the financial crises, many institutions related to the financial sector including central banks have been criticized. This project aims to contribute to the understanding of the impact of the financial system and its institutions for society at large.


    Academic output:

    -      Hayo, B., K. Henseler, and M.S. Rapp (2019). “Estimating the monetary policy interest-rate-to-performance sensitivity of the European banking sector at the zero lower bound”, Finance Research Letters, Vol. 31 (December 2019).

    -      Henseler, K. and M.S. Rapp (2018). “Stock market effects of ECB’s Asset Purchase Programmers: Firm-level evidence”, Economics Letters, Vol. 169 (August 2018), pp. 7-10.

    -      Rapp, M.S. and I.A. Udoieva (2016). “What matters in the finance-growth nexus of advanced economies? Evidence from OECD countries”, Applied Economics, Vol. 50, No. 6, pp. 676-690.

  • Institutional Investors

    Project: Understanding investor behavior and implications for firms and society at large

    Ownership of firms is linked to the supply of equity capital in capitalist economies and equity capital is provided by a variety of different investors ranging from private individuals, governments, and foundations to institutional investors. This project aims to contribute to the understanding of investor behavior and its implications for firms and society at large.

    Supporter: Hans-Böckler-Stiftung

    Academic output:

    -      Rapp, M.S. and O. Trinchera (2017). “Regulation and the ownership structure of European listed firms”, in: Advances in Financial Economics by Emerald Insights, Vol. 19.

    -      Powell, D. and M.S. Rapp (2016). “Allowing shareholders to vote on executive remuneration: Lessons from the German voluntary say-on-pay regime”, SAFE Working Paper.

    -      Rapp, M.S. and C. Strenger (2015). “Corporate governance in Germany: Recent developments and challenges”, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp.16-26.

  • Labor & Finance

    Project: The impact of board-level employee representation on firm behavior

    Employees represent an important stakeholder group. Accordingly, many regulators around the world allow employees to engage in corporate decision making through board-level employee representation. The project aims to contribute to the understanding of the impact of board-level employee representation on firm behavior.

    Supporter: Hans-Böckler-Stiftung

    Academic output:

    -      Gregoric, A. and M.S. Rapp (2019). “Employee board representation and firms’ responses to crisis”, Industrial Relations, Vol. 58 (July 2019), pp. 376-422.