Management prof Lichtenthaler up to 15 retractions

Ulrich Lichtenthaler
Ulrich Lichtenthaler

Ulrich Lichtenthaler, of the University of Mannheim, has notched retractions 14 and 15, both in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Here’s the notice for “Technological Turbulence and the Impact of Exploration and Exploitation Within and Across Organizations on Product Development Performance:”

The above article from Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, “Technological turbulence and the impact of exploration and exploitation within and across organizations on product development performance,” by Ulrich Lichtenthaler, published online on April 2012 in Wiley Online Library, DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6520.2012.00520.x, has been retracted by agreement between the author, the Executive Editor, D. Ray Bagby, and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The retraction has been agreed before print publication based on discussions about the presentation of the empirical results.

The other retracted paper, “The Impact of Family Involvement on Dynamic Innovation Capabilities: Evidence From German Manufacturing Firms,” has no notice yet. It has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Hat tip: Philipp Hermanns

10 thoughts on “Management prof Lichtenthaler up to 15 retractions”

  1. Does anyone know what happened to the official investigation at the University of Mannheim? According to this press release (from July 2013), the final report has been sent to the rector, who had to decide upon further steps. It’s hard to believe that nothing has happend over the course of an entire year, does this mean that Lichtenthaler got away with this and the university does not want to do anything about it?

    1. One could say that the University of Mannheim is taking German ‘Gruendlichkeit’ to the next level.
      It probably has a lot to do with the civil servant status of professors at German universities. Moreover, Mannheim is probably waiting for the final outcome of the Habilitation decision at WHU (which probably saves Mannheim a lot of procedures if WHU would withdraw his Habilitation).

    2. “retraction…based on discussions about the presentation of the empirical results”. What does this even mean? What a useless retraction notice. One cannot understand what was at fault, who was t fault, what errors were made, when they were made. Nothing is clear. Simply that parties A, B and C made a mutual decision to retract this paper. Wiley is taking retractions int the Dark Ages of transparency. Not good. Not good at all.

  2. As a person (3 university educated) who built a successful manufacturing company, the difference between
    the work product of a producer and a paper publisher is clear to me. For the former the product has to work
    or perform, for the latter any illusion is as good as another.

    1. Well, not really, according to the German text the university (WHU) has withdrawn his Habilitation but he has the right to appeal and I am pretty sure he uses that right. If not the whole procedure at Mannheim becomes irrelevant because no Habilitation means no Chair. As far as I know there is still no decision by WHU about his appeal.

      1. From news reports Lichtenthaler did indeed appeal:

        “Mein Mandant bedauert die unabsichtlichen Fehler in seiner Habilitationsschrift sehr. Da die Fehler nicht bewusst entstanden sind, entbehrt die Entscheidung der WHU jeglicher Grundlage.”

        According to this quote his attorney publicly acknowledged the mistakes but states clear that they were “unintended”. Due to this nonattention the de-habilitation lacks any rationale.

        So Lichtentaler publicly acknowledges major faulty statistics but tries to stay a university professor – this by far is the worst excuse ever.

        Another interesting thing to look up: How many empirical papers are still left by Lichtenthaler? He had a lot of publications, but the majority of them were some conceptual papers or practitioner pamphlets – all major empirical papers have been retracted or withdrawn by now…

      2. It has been noted repeatedly, and I would like to emphasize again: a habilitation is NOT required in Germany to hold a chair or a professorship at a University. It used to be the case, but this has been changed several years ago.

        1. Yes, I know but if someone gets a position (in this case a full professorship) and he or she claims to have a Habilitation and this Habilitation is later withdrawn by the institution that granted the Habilitation, his or her position does not really improve. Probably the reason why his lawyer claims L’s unintended mistakes.

  3. As I understand, there is talk of an investigation into his PhD work. If his PhD were rescinded (and an appeal was unsuccessful), then Mannheim would have sufficient grounds (Slutksy’s and John’s points are certainly true- the Habil is no longer a requirement for a professorship in Germany). There are many rumors that cannot be published on the website. At the next summer conferences, just find a business academic from Mannheim or a nearby university and buy him/her a beer and you should hear the latest information.

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