The social embeddedness of economic action sparks my sociological imagination. My research is located at the intersection of a sociology of economy, social inequality, and organization. In numerous studies, I have examined the family embedding of firms in Germany, norms and practices of transgenerational transfer, the dynamics of entrepreneurial groups, and most recently, normative shifts with regard to ownership exit in German Mittelstand.

Currently, I am group leader in the “Wealth and Social Inequality Research Group” at the Max-Planck-Institute for Society in Cologne. With this group we seek to understand the conditions, mechanisms and consequences of durable wealth. In my research work, I strive to reconstruct ownership histories with a particular focus on the ownership of firms and the responsibilities and obligations embedded in these histories.