About KLU Research

About KLU Research

KLU’s vision is to provide the world’s best leadership and management education, firmly rooted in an operations mindset. We blend academic excellence with a hands-on approach to ensure real-world applicability in both teaching and research. Our mission is to equip learners with this operations mindset and the essential tools to become responsible leaders and managers dedicated to creating a better world. We aim to promote economic development, environmental sustainability, and social prosperity. We strongly believe that effective leadership anywhere in the world requires a deep understanding of logistics, operations, and supply chain management. Therefore, we strive for research excellence in these areas, as well as in business disciplines such as leadership, accounting, marketing, innovation, finance, strategy, and human resource management. Our goal is to cultivate and empower contemporary leaders with a strong operations mindset. 

KLU’s research is impactful and recognized by colleagues around the world as upholding the highest standard. We achieve this through our dedicated faculty and researchers, trained at the world’s best business schools and universities, the unique design of our PhD program, and our strong focus on interdisciplinary research.

To safeguard good academic practice and avoid academic misconduct, KLU has agreed on principal scientific guidelines.

Research fields

Research at KLU is interdisciplinary and broadly based as is its faculty and researchers. Its topics can loosely be summarized in five main research fields. Members of the faculty may work in one or several of these research fields, always with a strong focus on collaboration and strengthening interdisciplinary work. Find more information on the five research fields below.

KLU’s research in logistics runs the gamut of logistics topics, from suppliers to retailers. Many logistics activities are initiated by the supply chain and operations decisions made by shippers. Accordingly, KLU’s research addresses the strategic choices that shippers make in their global and complex supply chains, such as modal choices and the introduction of new technologies such as 3D printing, virtual reality in user interfaces, and process mining, even in times of crisis. To do so, it leverages numerous data-driven analytic and optimization methodologies.

Leadership research at KLU addresses a wide range of related challenges. The vision of leadership developed by the KLU faculty chiefly focuses on emotions, values, communication and ethical behavior in leadership. It also considers the specificities of the logistics sector, its goal being to make leaders better people and decision-makers that can drive innovation and change in the industry.

Logistics activities make a significant contribution to global warming, local air pollution and other environmental problems. Consequently, several KLU research projects have examined the nature and scale of these environmental impacts and the options for reducing them. In this regard, KLU also focuses on the management of waste in the supply chain and opportunities for applying the circular economy concept. This work on sustainability-related issues is pursued in close collaboration with companies, trade bodies and international organizations.

Logistics is crucial for the deployment of resources in humanitarian crises, and for tackling global challenges like poverty and famine, especially in developing countries. KLU has engaged in several funded projects on food supply chains and has partnered for many years with HELP Logistics to drive research and education in this area. We are also engaged in interdisciplinary research, to better grasp e.g. how to improve quality of life for those working under difficult conditions, or what characteristics the leaders of humanitarian organizations and military leaders should possess.

KLU’s research into innovation and marketing centers on the digitalization of business and its impact on new product development, marketing strategies, and marketing technologies for value creation. As supply chains have to accommodate more and more digital products, the marketing of these products, as well as the nature of customer acquisition and retention, is changing. KLU’s innovation and marketing team has made considerable contributions e.g. in disruptive digital innovations, recommender systems, customer relationship management, the valuation of intangibles, measuring marketing performance, and the democratization of innovation. Their findings have proven to be highly valuable for the logistics sector, which is currently undergoing a sweeping digital transformation.

See full list of all areas of expertise of KLU’s faculty here.

For the first time after the hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Open and User Innovation (OUI) Conference took place in person. In 2023, the conference was hosted at KLU in Hamburg's HafenCity, bringing together more than 100 researchers from all around the world, including Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, RWTH Aachen University, University Innsbruck and many more.

Welcome to the 11th EuOMA Sustainable Operations and Supply Chains Forum at Kühne Logistics University March 4-5th, 2024!

Covid-19 has changed the landscape for Business Schools worldwide. It accelerated the digital transformation of the sector and many highly innovative competitors appeared. In his new book, KLU president Andreas Kaplan is taking a closer look at this development and its implications for Business School worldwide.
A new trend is now emerging within private smart homes: smart appliances. Smart household appliances are capable of automatically replenishing consumables. The phrase “smart replenishment” may well soon establish its place in our everyday vocabulary. Where are the opportunities and risks for companies? Kühne Logistics University (KLU) provides answers to this question in a recent study.
KEP-Dienstleister müssen nicht länger warten: E-Mobilität kann funktionieren – auch im Lieferbetrieb. Darauf weist eine Untersuchung von Prof. Asvin Goel und Dr. Steffen Pottel im Rahmen des gerade abgeschlossenen Forschungsprojekts ZUKUNFT.DE hin, gefördert vom Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur.
Wind assisted ship propulsion technologies since they replace part of the energy normally generated by fossil fuels, appear to have economic and environmental benefits for both the shipping industry and society. What's behind this promising trend? Which hurdles are still there?

KLU News

KLU Takes 3rd Place in the 21st Alster President’s Cup of Hamburg Universities

Eight Hamburg universities sailed on the Alster on July 5th for the prestigious President's Cup. The university regatta at th…

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Cultivating better leadership with Texl - a free, scientific evidence-based 360-degr…

Frustrated by the multitude of scientifically invalid assessments flooding the market, a group of scientists from KLU (Kühne …

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New study shows why direct sales are gaining ground on multi-brand shops in the fiel…

Do brands stand a chance of eroding the dominance of giants like Amazon, Otto & Co. with their own online shops? A study rece…

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Find more information and individual profiles of all researchers at KLU, including the KLU Faculty, Senior and Post-Doc Researchers, PhD Candidates as well as Visiting Professors.

Resident Faculty
PhD Candidates
Former PhDs
Visiting Professors
KLU Researchers
External Lecturers


KLU’s researchers regularly publish the results of their work in scientific journals and other publications. Our database offers you a complete overview of all KLU publications as well as the possibility to search or filter the results using different criteria. The references include DOIs and abstracts and can be downloaded to a reference database or platform. We regularly update the database with new publications.


KLU’s researchers regularly work in public or third-party funded research projects. Some of the projects are handled by KLU alone, in others KLU works on parts of bigger projects in cooperation with different external partners. Our database offers you an overview of upcoming, current and completed research projects at KLU, as well as information on researchers responsible for specific projects at KLU, project duration, funding, cooperation partners and subject.

Research Centers

In 2018, KLU opened its first independent research center. By establishing different research centers in cooperation with external partners, KLU aims to strengthen its role as a valuable partner of the industry and practice, and expand its contribution to research excellence on logistics and leadership topics. Combining theory and practice, the different research centers at KLU tackle current and relevant issues of today’s logistics industry. An important focus of all centers is international networking in research, business and society.

Research events

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Doctoral Program

As one of very few private universities in Germany, KLU was given the right to grant doctoral degrees in 2017. KLU’s four-year Ph.D. program mainly consists of independent research closely accompanied by two academic supervisors from the KLU faculty, encompassing a wide range of social science and business disciplines. All doctoral candidates are actively involved in research projects pursued by KLU’s faculty. Upon successful completion of the program, they obtain the German degree Doctor of Business, Economics, or the Social Sciences/Business Sciences (Dr.rer. pol.); or the international degree Doctor of Philosophy in Management (Ph.D.).