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


  • Katja Rost
  • Katharina Hölzle
  • Hans-Georg Gemünden


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 Angloamerican 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Katja Rost & Katharina Hölzle & Hans-Georg Gemünden, 2007. "Promotors or Champions? Pros and Cons of role Specialisation for Economic Process," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 59(4), pages 340-363, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sbr:abstra:v:59:y:2007:i:4:p:340-363

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rohrbeck, Rene & Arnold, Heinrich M. & Heuer, Jörg, 2007. "Strategic Foresight in multinational enterprises – a case study on the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories," MPRA Paper 5700, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Schweisfurth, Tim G. & Raasch, Christina, 2015. "Embedded lead users—The benefits of employing users for corporate innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 168-180.
    3. repec:wsi:ijitmx:v:14:y:2017:i:06:n:s0219877017500365 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rohrbeck, Rene, 2007. "Veille stratégique en entreprise multinationale - Une étude de cas auprès de la Deutsche Telekom AG," MPRA Paper 5701, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Champions; Promotors;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D


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