Organization, Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Enjoyed teaching a seminar that conjoins research on organization, social entrepreneurship and innovation (OSEI) with methodologies to study these topics empirically. Sessions were divided into two parts. The first part engaged with research topic specifics such as organizing in and for society, leading social change, social innovation, social entrepreneurship, new forms of organizing and grand challenges, and scaling social change. It commenced with an overview into the theme followed by short student presentations of research articles and in-depth discussions about articles to unpack their implications, interrelationships and conceptual and practical consequences. The second part prepared students for their own work by focusing on research methodologies such as approaching cases, doing field research, and writing up research reports. The course thus bridged high quality global research and local empirical cases.

Some objectives:

  • to familiarize students with some of the core concepts and theoretical underpinnings around organization, social entrepreneurship, and social innovation
  • to help students gain a stronger understanding of, and think critically about, this domain, including its research requirements and methods for publishing scholarly research
  • to use a format through which students can further develop the analytical, discursive and writing skills needed as a scholar
  • to offer a forum for developing, refining, and presenting own research ideas


Course schedule:




1 14.10.2019 Introduction
2 28.10.2019 Organizing in & for Society – Case Selection
3 11.11.2019 Leading Social Change – Methodological Considerations
4 25.11.2019 Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship – Field Research
5 09.12.2019 New Forms of Organizing & Grand Challenges – Research Dynamics
6 06.01.2020 Scaling Social Change – Writing up Research Reports
7 20.01.2020 Re-view & out-look

The Religious Institutional Logic

Happy to announce that the article “The Potential for Plurality and Prevalence of the Religious Institutional Logic” has been published at Business & Society.

Religion is a significant social force on organizational practice yet has beenBAS1 relatively underexamined in organization theory. In this article, I assert that the institutional logics perspective is especially conducive to examine the macrolevel role of religion for organizations. The notion of the religious logic offers conceptual means to explain the significance of religion, its interrelationship with other institutional orders, and embeddedness into and impact across interinstitutional systems. I argue for intrainstitutional logic plurality and show that specifically the intrareligious logic plurality has been rather disregarded with a relative focus on Christianity and a geographical focus on “the West.” Next, I propose the concept of interinstitutional logic prevalence and show that the religious logic in particular may act as a metalogic due to its potential for uniqueness, ultimacy, and ubiquity. Through illustrations from Islamic Finance and Entrepreneurship, I exemplify implications of logic plurality and prevalence for organizations and societies.bas


Unpacking entrepreneurial opportunities

The paper “Unpacking entrepreneurial opportunities: an institutional logics perspective” has just been published in Innovation: Organization & Management. The article can be found here.

Abstract: Taking into account the institutional context, I refine and broadenRIMP the concept of entrepreneurial opportunities by introducing micro-level evaluative criteria based on underlying macro-level institutional logics. The existing focus on so-called lucrative opportunities, which is implicitly based on a market logic, narrows the overall actual set of potential opportunities, and neglects what I call the opportunity–entrepreneur desirability nexus. Enterprising individuals evaluate and pursue entrepreneurial opportunities based on various and frequently combined underlying institutional logics. The extensive institutional theory literature on managing diverse and sometimes contradictory institutional demands, for instance in the pursuit of hybrid ventures, thus offers theoretical insights that are appropriate and expedient for the analysis and theoretical advancement of the entrepreneurial opportunity notion.

Foreword: Entrepreneurship & Management in an Islamic Context

The book “Entrepreneurship and Management in an Islamic Context” is now available. I was asked to write the Foreword, which I am happy to share here:

I am honored and humbled to write this Foreword for a handbook that presents a comprehensive overview in an emerging area of research offering manifold insights for theory and practice. The oeuvre in front of you reaches across space from Ghana, Jordon, Lebanon to the UAE; across time from early Islam to the present; across categories such as ethnicity, gender, nationalities and age; and across topics from Islamic Entrepreneurship, Finance, Leadership to Management. It also tackles both text and context: from sacred scripture up to profane practice.

While religion matters in entrepreneurship and management practice, its theory and theorization is dominated by a sacralized secular hegemony. Yet, religion is a social fact that matters in and around organizations; and the social sciences explain – not prescribe – reality. Islam specifically is the second largest religion in the world with a growing number of adherents. Religion in general and Islam in particular thus warrants much more critical engagement and analysis through management scholars. Such scholarly pursuits connect work with worship to examine what I call ‘wor(k)ship’, whereby religious people wish to do well while adhering to their faith, rather than compartmentalizing their lives into different spheres.

The false dichotomy between the public and private, the professional and the personal underlies a deep desire to structure and categorize, to identify and delineate boundaries in a complex modernity. These socially constructed boundaries enable and constrain us concurrently. They are double-edged swords. The predominant scholarly pursuit for parsimonious explanations as well as the increase of scholarly specialization has lead to jurisdictions within our very own professional communities and the partitioning of the objects of inquiry. This handbook, in contrast, offers an interdisciplinary approach that bridges rather than reinforces artificial boundaries.

Even more so, I believe that, unfortunately, the theoretical partitioning has permeated the very phenomena to an extent that theory does not simply explain, but rather forms reality. Academics may wish to restrain the world through theory and thus fall trap to the attempt to create a world according to their sometimes too simplistic imagination, rather than depicting the richness of reality. The handbook at hand offers a counterpoint. This may also help bridging what is sometimes called in the Christian faith the Sunday-Monday divide and whose equivalent may be the Friday-Saturday or Thursday-Friday divide for Muslims. The handbook thus offers practitioners a mirror to their religiously shaped intent, rather than to their learnt and potentially unintended practices.

I am grateful to the editors Veland Ramadani, Léo-Paul Dana, Shqipe Gërguri-Rashiti and Vanessa Ratten and the many contributors that they have taken upon themselves to push our knowledge frontier forward – in a realm that (still) faces many challenges. Religion is an integral part of our social and societal spheres, i.e., our soci(et)al context; yet largely absent from our literatures. This work is a significant step to counter that neglect by zooming in on the Islamic context. It remains for me to say to the reader that I wish this to be an illuminating, thought and practice challenging and changing read.

Entrepreneurship from an Islamic Perspective

Article published in Journal of Business Ethics (2015), 130(1): pp. 199-208.


Research about the role of religion in entrepreneurship and more broadly management is sparse. In this conceptual article we complement existing entrepreneurship theory by examining entrepreneurship from an Islamic perspective (EIP).

Islamic Entrepreneurship

EIP is based on three interconnected pillars: the entrepreneurial, socio-economic/ethical and religio-spiritual. We outline how Islam shapes entrepreneurship at the micro-, meso- and macro-level, indicate how Islam may be considered an entrepreneurial religion in the sense that it enables and encourages entrepreneurial activity, review research streams interlinking Islam with entrepreneurship and management and outline promising research approaches.

Further information here.

Update: An interview here.

Das islamische Wirtschaftsrecht

Das Buch “Das islamische Wirtschaftsrecht” herausgegeben von Islamisches WirtschaftsrechtAbdurrahim Kozalı, Ibrahim Salama & Souheil Thabti, ist erschienen.

Es basiert auf einer gleichnamigen Tagung, die an der Universität Osnabrück stattfand. Ich durfte ein Kapitel zu Unternehmertum aus einer islamischen Perspektive beisteuern. Eine Zusammenfassung des Vortrages & damit auch Kapitels schrieb Souheil Thabti für die Gesellschaft für Arabisches & Islamisches Recht in einer Mitteilung:

“Mit dem Vortrag des Doktoranden Herrn Gümüsay (Universität Oxford), der über das Unternehmertum im islamischen Verständnis (EIP, Entrepreneurship from an Islamic Perspective) und seine Auswirkung auf die Arbeitsweise in Unternehmen referierte, endete der erste Konferenztag. Seine Untersuchungen zielen darauf ab herauszufinden, wie ein Unternehmen wirtschaftet, das von einem religiösen Muslim geführt wird, wie ein religiöser Geschäftsführer entscheidet und wie sich Shareholder verhalten.

Im Fokus seiner Betrachtung standen drei miteinander in Zusammenhang stehende Säulen, auf denen EIP basiere: Die erste Säule bestehe im Streben nach Möglichkeiten, Wert zu schaffen, die zweite sei eine sozio-ökonomische bzw. ethische, die auf die gesellschaftlichen Interessen und Bedürfnisse abstelle, und schließlich stelle die dritte Säule die religiös-spirituelle Grundlage dar. Gümüsay zufolge stehen diese Säulen in einem Zusammenspiel und beeinflussen sich gegenseitig. EIP sollte nicht bloß als soziales oder ethisches Unternehmertum verstanden werden, weil letzteres nicht auf religiösen Textquellen basiere und keinen konkreten religiösen Vorgaben folge.

Auch stellte er klar, dass EIP nicht Muslimen allein vorbehalten sei, sondern auch Nicht-muslimen offenstehe. Ein Unternehmen, das sich islamischen Vorgaben verschreibe, müsse in seiner Unternehmensstruktur Personal (Geschäftsleitung, Mitarbeiter, etc.) muslimischen Glaubens aufweisen, um als islamisch bezeichnet werden zu können. Ungeachtet dessen stelle der Islam an sich keine ökonomischen Theorien auf, weshalb es verfehlt sei, von Islamic Entrepreneurship oder Islamic Finance zu sprechen. Vielmehr biete der Islam einen Rahmen, innerhalb dessen Ökonomen selber Theorien und Modelle aufstellen könnten. Man solle daher von einer Ökonomie bzw. einem Unternehmertum aus islamischer Perspektive sprechen, die/das auf islamischen Werten gründe und sich am Rahmen dieser orientiere.

Die Tatsache, dass auch Menschen mit religiösem Bezug Unternehmen leiteten oder in Unternehmen arbeiteten, zeige die Wichtigkeit der Einbeziehung der Religion als Element in die Unternehmensforschung. Dabei wirke sich EIP auf der Mikro-Ebene (Einzelunternehmen), Meso-Ebene (die zwischen Mikro- und Makro-Ebene vermittele, z. B. Organisationen) und Makro-Ebene (Markt, Staat) aus. Er kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass in diesem Bereich noch viel interdisziplinär geforscht und Religion als ein den Menschen prägendes Element mehr in die wissenschaftliche Unternehmensforschung einbezogen werden sollte.”

Weitere Zusammenfassungen hier.