dr. B. Kump (Barbara)

Associate Professor Business & Sustainability

About Me

I am fascinated by processes of change and transition. My main research topic are changes in (small) entrepreneurial firms, with a particular focus on changes toward environmental sustainability. Typical research questions include: What are the forces that lead companies to initiate change toward more sustainable practices and that prevent them from doing so? Which difficulties arise in organizational change at the intersection of organizational identity, practice, and knowledge? What mobilizes entrepreneurs and managers for change toward sustainability and can ‘insider activists’ or social intrapreneurs initiate change from within? What role do routines play in unethical and unsustainable organizational practices? What are the effects of reflection and rumination in the context of routine change and learning from the past? And how can we change a company’s dominant logic and build dynamic capabilities for change toward sustainability? My main fields of application include the food industry and the building industry. My work has been published, amongst others, in Human Relations, Organization Theory, Industrial and Corporate Change, the International Journal of Management Reviews, and Business Strategy & the Environment. I have received several awards for my research and review activities, amongst others, the EURAM 2018 Most Inspirational Conference Paper Award from the European Academy of Management.

I am holding a PhD in Cognitive Psychology (2010) from the University of Graz (Austria) and a habilitation in Business Administration (2022) from Vienna University of Business and Economics (WU Wien, Austria). During my PhD studies, I was a researcher at the Knowledge Management Institute at the faculty of Informatics at Graz University of Technology (2007-2010). I did my post-doctoral studies at the Knowledge Media Research Institute in Tuebingen (Germany) in 2010 and returned to Graz University of Technology to become the leader of the interdisciplinary Knowledge Evolution Group (2011-2012). From 2012 to 2017, I was an endowed professor for organizational learning and organization development at Vienna University of Applied Sciences (Austria), where I carried out applied research in close collaboration with approx. 25 SMEs to increase their dynamic capabilities. Then, from 2017 to 2022, I was an Assistant Professor (and later deputy head of institute) at the Institute for SME Management at WU Wien.

I fully subscribe to the idea of ‘engaged scholarship’ and aim to bring my knowledge to practical application, in particular, to foster sustainability transitions. Thereby, I build on my skills as a trained consultant and business coach. Further, I am a co-founder of and regular author at the (German) science transfer blog www.wissensdialoge.de


Social Sciences
Field Theory
Organizational Change
Business & Economics
Dynamic Capabilities
Enterprise Modeling
Grassroots Innovations
Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises (Smes)


Bogner, K. , Kump, B., Beekmann, M., & Wittmayer, J. (2023). Coping with transition pain: An emotions perspective on phase-outs in sustainability transitions. Paper presented at 14th International Sustainability Transitions Conference, IST 2023, Utrecht, Netherlands.
Kump, B., Bogner, K., Wittmayer, J., & Beekmann, M. (2023). Seizing institutional opportunities in transitions: The case of engaged scholarship at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Paper presented at 14th International Sustainability Transitions Conference, IST 2023, Utrecht, Netherlands.
Kump, B., Bogner, K., Wittmayer, J., & Beekmann, M. (2023). Seizing institutional opportunities to act on ‘embodied worlds of concern’: The case of engaged scholarship at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.. Paper presented at 39th Colloquium of the European Group on Organisation Studies, EGOS 2023, Cagliari, Italy.
Kump, B., Wittmayer, J., Bogner, K., & Beekmann, M. (2023). Navigating force conflicts: A case study on strategies of transformative research in the current academic system. Journal of cleaner production, 412, Article 137374. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.137374
Kump, B. (2023). Lewin's field theory as a lens for understanding incumbent actors’ agency in sustainability transitions. Environmental innovation and societal transitions, 46, Article 100683. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eist.2022.11.008
Kump, B., Wittmayer, J., Bogner, K., & Beekman, M. (2022). Sustainability transitions in the academic system: Studying field forces related to moves toward transformative research. Paper presented at 13th International Sustainability Transitions Conference, IST 2022.
Kump, B., Wittmayer, J., Bogner, K., & Beekman, M. (2022). HEI, Impact: Towards impact-driven higher education institutions. Abstract from Network of Scholars in Sustainability Transitions, NEST 2022, Lyon, France.

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University of Twente
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The Netherlands

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