In my research, I develop a sociology of entrepreneurship that focuses on entrepreneurial action in its institutional relations and thus sheds light on a central element of capitalist societies. At its core is the idea that entrepreneurial action is embedded in social groups and institutions and that these are formed and reproduced through entrepreneurial action. A sociology of entrepreneurship combines a sociological perspective on self-employed work, on the emergence of organizations and innovation, on the ownership and control of firms, and on the transformation of capitalist structures. It dispels outdated notions of heroic individual entrepreneurs and critically points to the social inequalities in capitalist societies. In this respect, a sociology of entrepreneurship makes an important contribution to understanding our contemporary society.

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 the wealth histories of business owners and the responsibilities and obligations embedded in these histories.