I'm an organization sociologist conducting research on institutionalization – the processes through which practices and patterns attain normative stability, become taken for granted, and as such take on a life of their own. In particular, I’m interested in the ambiguities and contestations associated with institutionalization and the role of organizations as drivers and sites of these dynamics. My position as Junior Professor of Methods in Organizational and Administrative Research at the University of Potsdam allows me to pursue this interest both through research and teaching. I presently offer a graduate course on research design and methods that serves as the methodological building block in the Research Training Group on "Wicked Problem, Contested Administration (WIPCAD)" and am involved in the methods education in the MA program Sociology. 

Of central interest to my research are mechanisms of proto-institutionalization as for example occurring in the context of nonprofit performance evaluation. Tensions of institutionalization are highly palpable in the nonprofit sector, with organizations oscillating between normative motivations emphasizing social causes on the one hand, and rational considerations of outcomes and effectiveness on the other. The effort to measure and assess social impact sees the re-combination of rational and normative concepts and brings together formerly disparate domains - science, management, and civil society - in a new discourse on civic metrics. Understanding how organizations interact in such an interface between domains is the objective of a project jointly conducted with colleagues at Stanford and Mannheim University. I have presented this research on various occasions. Here is a video of my talk at the WIPCAD Lecture Series in January 2014. Furthermore, I'm especially proud that a science map deriving from this project and illustrating the role of 'interstitial organizations as conversational bridges' is on display as part of the exhibition "Places &Spaces: Mapping Science".