Prof. Dr. David Wuttke

TUM Campus

Prof. Dr. David Wuttke

Our team is located at the TUM location in Heilbronn. We conduct research on topics in the area of supply chain management and we teach related courses. Supply chain management can broadly be defined as managing the interplay of different firms such as retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors that all seek to maximize the value of their supply chain by satisfying an end-customer’s needs.

We all in our team share a fascination for new and digital technology. We study its use in the managerial and operations context, we use it as inherent element in our studies, and we leverage digitalization to further improve our courses.

Welcome, to our website!

Research Topics

We conduct research in the area of supply chain and operations management. Our recent and ongoing research projects can be grouped into five related topics.

Supply Chain Finance (SCF) enables buying firms and their suppliers to jointly optimize their cash flows. It comprises a third party, the so called SCF provider, which facilitates attractive funding to suppliers for financing payment terms. SCF always involves a digital platform to facilitate efficient onboarding of suppliers and efficient transacting. As SCF is beneficial for all involved parties – buyers, suppliers, SCF providers – it is frequently called a win-win-win solution.

The vast benefits of SCF raise a central research question: What are the true benefits of SCF and why are not all firms using SCF to the maximum extent? 

In our research, we examine SCF from multiple perspectives. We find that, in part, SCF can be understood from an innovation adoption perspective as it is new to many firms. We further find that a combination of rational efficiency motive drivers and legitimacy motive drivers explains how quickly suppliers adopt SCF. Put in simpler terms, our results indicate how buying firm can make their suppliers adopt SCF faster. In more recent studies, we examine a data set to better understand how SCF benefits are split between different actors. There are multiple ways through which suppliers can benefit from SCF which we also investigate.

Digital transformation has two components: technology and management. Technology is about how we can use hardware and software to support and automate tasks. Management is more about how this affects processes, workers, and managers and about setting the right incentive to maximize the impact of this digitalizing. We are fascinated by new, digital technology and the inherent opportunities, and we contribute research from a managerial perspective.

For instance, we examine questions related to the use of augmented reality in production settings by exploring not only the benefits but also the downsides. We further conduct experiments with virtual reality and examine how it impacts our way of learning, understanding, and memorizing.

New products and innovations are crucial for the survival and competitive advantage of firms. Whereas manufacturers used to be responsible for producing parts, systems, and products all by themselves, today most firms focus on their key competencies. They outsource other production steps to become more efficient. In turn, domain-specific knowledge about their components can often rather be found in their supply chains.

Whenever suppliers produce substantial amounts of a product, they are also the ones who are capable of developing these components further and come up with new solutions. This raises a fundamental innovation dilemma: manufacturers benefit from new product development of their suppliers whereas suppliers incur the costs. How can manufacturers avoid that suppliers extract all surplus but be still innovative?

In a series of research papers, we examine how buying firms can provide incentives to their suppliers and other firms in their supply chain to foster effective and efficient new product development. We use methods ranging from game theory to behavioral experiments in a laboratory to examine how actual decision makers systematically deviate from profit-maximizing predictions.

Firms increasingly depend on their supply chain to efficiently provide goods and services at the right time, at the right place and in the right quantity. While there are many upsides in leveraging the unique skills and capabilities of suppliers, there are also some risks. What if supply gets disrupted? What if a supplier faces manufacturing problems? Supply chain risk management is concerned with those questions and managing potential risks pro-actively, that is, before they impact the flow of goods.

In our research, we examine how supply chain glitches (e.g., disruptions or delays in the flow of goods) can impact the value of a firm as measured through stock prices and abnormal returns. We further investigate how Twitter moderates this relationship and find that firms tend to suffer more from supply chain glitches if those lead to a stronger and more negative reaction in Twitter.

Taking a slightly different focus, we also study the impact of supplier default risks on sourcing and pricing decisions of a manufacturing firm. Using game theory, we study strategies for manufacturing firms to maintain long-term competition through a forward looking supplier selection strategy.

A standard assumption in the context of supply chain and operations management is that people are risk neutral and seek to maximize their income and the profits of the firms the work for. To some extent, this assumption works fairly well – after all, most workers and managers are interested in the well-being of their firm.

But workers and managers often follow slightly different objectives; they do not always maximize profits primarily (some are risk averse, some are loss averse, some use heuristics, etc). In our research we examine some implications related to incentivization issues in supply chains. We further examine learning effects in the context of augmented reality in manufacturing ramp-up contexts.

Research Methods

In order to derive insight systematically, we use a set of methods. Which specific method ultimately and most likely leads to novel findings depends on the specific research questions. Drawing from a wide range of methods covering both empirical and analytical approaches provides us with sufficient flexibility. Following the idea of “standing on the shoulders of giants”, our focus is on applying methods rather than their development.

Empirical methods always build on observations and data. In our research context, this relates typically to firms or supply chains. We use econometric approaches including hazard rate models, panel analysis, propensity score matching, and maximum likelihood estimation of structural models to analyze secondary data. Such data is typically not generated for the sole purpose of conducting research and thus provides more external validity.

While econometric approaches have the advantage of being close to reality, examining causal effects is always problematic (though not impossible). When research questions require testing causality, we leverage experiments, either in laboratory settings (which allow for high degrees of standardization and replicability) or in the field (which allow for higher external validity).

Another method that we have used are case studies. In contrast to hypotheses testing with large amounts of data, case studies seek to generate qualitative insight often into novel approaches and processes.

In several of our studies we use game theory to derive analytical insight. Using game theory, questions such as “what should a firm do?” or “how would other firms act, if they anticipated these strategies?” can be answered. Game theory uses the language of games (e.g., “game”, “player”, “actions”); but it is otherwise quite serious and quantitative. It often helps to answer questions about hypothetical situations where no data yet exists. For instance, should a buying firm that has the choice between two suppliers out of which one is under financial distress opt for the distressed or nondistressed supplier? What are the implications of either choice on future competition? In contrast to simulations, game theory typically helps to generate structural insight that only depends on structural assumptions, but not specific, numerical values.

Another quantitative method that we apply is operations research, which helps to solve a broad class of optimization problems and to gain theoretical and practical insight.


Lütkemeyer, D., Heese, H.S., Wuttke, D.A. (2020). Overcoming Inefficiencies in the Development of Personalized Medicine. European Journal of Operational Research (Forthcoming).

Gernert, A., Heese, H.S., Wuttke, D.A. (2020). Supplier New Product Development Projects: The Role of Competition and Commitment. Decision Sciences Journal (Forthcoming).

Schmidt, C. G., Wuttke, D. A., Ball, G. P., & Heese, H. S. (2020). Does Social Media Elevate Supply Chain Importance? An Empirical Examination of Supply Chain Glitches, Twitter Reactions, and Stock Market Returns. Journal of Operations Management, 2020, 1-24.

Wuttke, D. A., Rosenzweig, E. D., & Heese, H. S. (2019). An empirical analysis of supply chain finance adoption. Journal of Operations Management, 65(3), 242-261.

Wuttke, D. A., Donohue, K., & Siemsen, E. (2018). Initiating Supplier New Product Development Projects: A Behavioral Investigation. Production and Operations Management, 27(1), 80-99.

Wuttke, D. A., & Heese, H. S. (2018). Two-dimensional cutting stock problem with sequence dependent setup times. European Journal of Operational Research, 265(1), 303-315.

Grüter, R., & Wuttke, D. A. (2017). Option matters: valuing reverse factoring. International Journal of Production Research, 55(22), 6608–6623.

Schleper, M. C., Blome, C., & Wuttke, D. A. (2017). The dark side of buyer power: Supplier exploitation and the role of ethical climates. Journal of Business Ethics, 140(1), 97-114.

Wuttke, D. A., Blome, C., Heese, H. S., & Protopappa-Sieke, M. (2016). Supply chain finance: Optimal introduction and adoption decisions. International Journal of Production Economics, 178(72-81.

Wuttke, D. A., Blome, C., Foerstl, K., & Henke, M. (2013). Managing the innovation adoption of supply chain finance—Empirical evidence from six European case studies. Journal of Business Logistics, 34(2), 148-166.

Wuttke, D. A., Blome, C., & Henke, M. (2013). Focusing the financial flow of supply chains: An empirical investigation of financial supply chain management. International Journal of Production Economics, 145(2), 773-789.


Bachelor of Management and Technology

Mathematical training is important for students interested in management technology. Before joining TUM, students have various backgrounds and enjoy different levels of mathematical training. This prep course takes place before their first semester (first two weeks of October) and aims to convey basic skills. It is quite comprehensive giving a first impression how subsequent classes might look like. And, of course, it is the first opportunity to meet fellow students and get used to study life. The course is taught using blended learning with over 80 video units online that help students to benefit from the course also during the first semester.

To find the latest version of this course in Moodle, search for: “Prep Course Mathematics TUM-BWL (HN)“.

Master in Management

This course introduces master students to production and logistics. We approach both topics from a quantitative perspective (e.g., models, algorithms) as well as from a qualitative method (e.g., frameworks). To foster an interactive and participant-centric teaching atmosphere, we will leverage two simulations, discuss three cases and have many further in-class activities and exercises.

To find the latest version of this course in Moodle, search for: “Production and Logistics (WI001131HN) MiM Heilbronn“.

Upon completion of this module, students will demonstrate their ability to cope with advanced research studies, to comprehend and assess study outcomes, to compare contributions of several studies, and to transfer theoretical concepts to practice through a seminar paper (70% of final grade; length of 15 pages including references). This method requires students to formulate an academic paper themselves; it can be seen as an exercise towards writing a master thesis.

In addition, they will prove their ability to communicate even complicated relationships and methods to their peer students through a presentation in a comprehensible fashion. They will further guide and moderate an ensuing discussion throughout which they will demonstrate their ability to criticize and assess innovative approaches and their potential shortcomings. The presentation including moderation of ensuing discussion accounts for 30% of the final grade (presentation duration 30 minutes + 30 minutes discussion). Complementing the written seminar paper, the presentation is targeted towards students who have not read the set of same papers; this poses the challenge to present theoretic work in an interesting fashion while breaking down complex relationships into understandable information without loosing rigor.

To find the latest version of this course in Moodle, search for: “Advanced Seminar Operations & Supply Chain Management: Supply Chain Finance & Supply Chain Risk Management (MiM Heilbronn)“.

Teaching Methods and Digital Transformation of Education


In our team, we plan, develop, implement, and evaluate various methods to improve our lectures and seminars. Using a participant-centric approach we use digital technology to facilitate better learning.


Didactic Method and Tools

Each course is heavily supported through e-learning with the platform Moodle, where we expect students to actively prepare classes by studying material online and answering quizzes. Using online video units in most of our courses, we seek to flip the classroom: students prepare substantially upfront – whereever and whenever they like. In the classroom, we make the best of our time by directly addressing open questions, discussing cases and providing individual feedback.

Of courses, there are also elements of classical lectures, where it is just us presenting. But we keep those to a minimum. Simulations are frequently used to foster more interactive learning. Most recently, we began our journey into the use of virtual reality in teaching. It has just begun, so currently all of our approaches are work in progress, as we would say in operations.

Virtual Reality

How does teaching in VR look like?

Virtual Reality

As of summer semester 2021, we are using virtual reality to a large extent in our classes. Due to the Corona situation, we are still forced to teach fully online. We believe that leveraging virtual reality will give us a great opportunity to move closer, meet, and discuss more interactively.

We have created own applications and simulations. This term, we will be using a version of the famous beer game – but our version takes place in virtual reality, where students stand in a firm such as a brewery or a retailer and observe the inventory levels rising. In addition, we use EngageVR, an app developed by Immersive VR Education Ltd. In this app, we will have regular meetings and all students will be there using avatars. We have also created a series of 360-degrees videos that can be watched in VR devices. An example for such a video can be found below.

Of course, all students need VR headsets. To achieve this, we have identified suitable hardware, procured a large number of devices, and lend them to our students in Heilbronn, who participate in VR based classes.

We started this project even before Corona, early in 2020. Corona played an accelerating role when we decided, we do not want to have the same online format in the third “Corona-Semester”, but we wanted to evolve. After Corona, we seek to integrate VR more seamlessly into on-campus lectures, for instance for students who cannot make it to the campus because they are currently at another TUM Campus or because they are sick. While we believe in the importance of VR in education after Corona, we are looking very much forward to teaching again on-campus and meet personally with our students.

Curriculum Vitae

Education and Academic Positions

Since 01/20Technical University Munich: Assistant Professor (tenure track)
04/16 - 11/19EBS Universität: Habilitation, mentor: Prof. Dr. Markus Kreutzer
04/16 - 12/19EBS Universität: Juniorprofessor für Operations Management
06/13 - 03/16EBS Universität: Postdoctoral Researcher
10/11 - 10/15Fernuniversität Hagen: Bachelor of science in mathematics
01/10 - 05/13EBS Universität: Doctorate, supervisor: Prof. Dr. Michael Henke
10/12 - 04/13Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota: Visiting scholar (ca. 6 months stay)
10/05 - 07/09 Universität Paderborn: Diploma in industrial engineering (B.Sc.+M.Sc. equivalent, 5 years program)
09/07 - 05/08Dublin City University: Visiting student at DCU Business School

Awards & Scholarships

  • EBS Junior Research Award, 2017
  • EBS Junior Research Award, 2016
  • Decision Sciences Journal – Outstanding Reviewer, 2014
  • ISCM Doctoral Student Award, 2013
  • Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award: Logistics and SCM, 2013
  • Faculty Award for Outstanding Study Performance, 2009
  • DAAD Travel Grant (POMS Conference) (2019)
  • Doctorate-scholarship:  Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (“German National Academic Foundation”) (2010 – 2013)
  • Study-scholarship:  Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (“German National Academic Foundation”) (2005 – 2009)
  • Friedrich Flick Förderstiftung (2007 – 2008)