• Prof. Dr. Olivier Berthod, ICN Business School

Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Olivier Berthod, Associate Professor at the Department of HRM and Organizational Behavior at the ICN Business School, examines the behaviour of organisations and the people who bring them to life. Being internationally networked in Berlin is essential for his research.

Prof. Dr Olivier Berthod deals with how organisations - be they companies, associations or authorities - deal with issues of reliability and errors in their daily operations. “This area of research spans various disciplines – business administration, psychology, sociology, administrative sciences,” he explains. "In addition to questions about the rather static design of processes, the factors of communication, 'state of mind' of the respective organisation and dealing with doubts are extremely important to me."

Olivier Berthod has been an associate professor in the Department of HRM and Organizational Behavior at the ICN Business School since the beginning of 2021. He essentially came to his field of research "en passant" - in the course of his doctorate on "Conflicts in decision-making" in the field of economics at the Freie Universität Berlin. “Organisations are everywhere. Given this constant, individuals are often largely helpless when confronted with mistakes made by these systems. Be it suitcases that don't arrive, missing documents or an accident with dramatic consequences." At the same time, these mistakes are often the result of a multitude of unfortunate coincidences, including absent colleagues, time pressure, faulty technology, distractions or hierarchical influences. "Mistakes are inevitable. One should accept them with composure and within reason. The question that actually needs to be asked here is of a more positive nature: What are we going to do with what results?"

Whether at universities, specialised colleges or research centres: Establishing contacts and exchanging ideas is easy in Berlin.

Olivier Berthod came to Berlin in 2008 for a doctoral scholarship at the FU Berlin. Before that, he had worked as a research assistant at the University of Cologne after completing his master's degree in organisational theory and management at the Université Paris Dauphine in France and the Växjö Universitet in Sweden. "Berlin offers the advantages of a metropolis and life mixed with nature. Its population is cosmopolitan and liberal-minded. That's why I still love being here with my family," says the Brain City Ambassador.

What Olivier Berthod particularly appreciates about Brain City Berlin is the high density of scientific institutions: "No matter whether at universities, specialised colleges or research centres: Making contacts and exchanging ideas is easy here," says Olivier Berthod. “As part of my research, I am currently working mainly with colleagues from Norway, France and the Netherlands. Some are sociologists, others administrative scientists. We are all united by our interest in organisations and how they influence our lives. One highly topical subject that Olivier Berthod is currently dealing with: How can cultural institutions prepare for the consequences of climate change?

Olivier Berthod recommends to young scientists who would like to come to Brain City Berlin: “In Berlin, as everywhere else: Choose the projects that suit you. Even better: Bring along an idea for a project." His advice beyond that: "Start small, but with the right people!"

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