Promotors or Champions? Pros and Cons of Role Specialisation for Economic Process

Schmalenbach Business Review, Vol. 59, October 2007

24 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2007

See all articles by Katja Rost

Katja Rost

University of Zurich - Institute for Organization and Administrative Science

Katharina Hölzle

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

Hans Georg Gemünden

Technical University of Berlin

Abstract

According to the Great-Man Theory, the creation of something new used to be accredited solely to one outstanding individual: the champion. This prevailing notion in Anglo-American research was first challenged by Witte (1973), who concluded that an innovation cannot be a one-man decision, since the creation of something new usually involves highly complex and multi-person decision processes. Witte's model credits the success not to one all-around individual, but to the cooperation of several different specialized persons (so called promotors). Even though the Great-Man Theory is still leading the discussion, the idea of specialized promotors should not be underestimated. In this article we discuss the circumstances under which specialized promotors or generalized champions are better suited for economic progress. We find extensive empirical proof for both roles.

Keywords: Champions, Promotors

JEL Classification: M12, O32

Suggested Citation

Rost, Katja and Hoelzle, Katharina and Gemuenden, Hans Georg, Promotors or Champions? Pros and Cons of Role Specialisation for Economic Process. Schmalenbach Business Review, Vol. 59, October 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1030009

Katja Rost (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Institute for Organization and Administrative Science ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
CH-8032 Zurich
Switzerland

Katharina Hoelzle

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) ( email )

Straße des 17
Berlin, 10623
Germany

Hans Georg Gemuenden

Technical University of Berlin ( email )

Strasse des 17
10623 Berlin
Germany

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