The Official Blog for

The Executive School of the University of St.Gallen

Insights and observations on management and executive education from our directors and faculty.

Prof. Winfried Ruigrok

Prof. Winfried Ruigrok


Education In 1993 I obtained my Ph.D. degree (with highest possible distinction) at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) in International Political Economy. In 1986 I obtained my M.A. in international relations (with minors in economics and research methods), and in 1982 I obtained a bachelor equivalent (kandidaatsexamen) in political science at the same university. Professional Experience I joined the University of St. Gallen in 1996 as a professor of international management. Since 1997 I have been the director of the Research Institute for International Management (FIM-HSG) at this university. From 1999-2004 I served as the academic director of the MIM programme (MIM-HSG). From 2004-2010, I have been the academic director of the MBA programme (MBA-HSG) and became Dean of the ES-HSG in 2011. Before I joined the University of St. Gallen, I worked as a senior research fellow at the Centre for Corporate Strategy and Change (Prof. Andrew Pettigrew), Warwick Business School (UK) (1995-1996). From 1992-1996 I worked at the Erasmus University Rotterdam/Rotterdam School of Management as an assistant professor of strategic management and international business. From 1990-1991 I held a post as a research fellow at the European Commission (Brussels, Belgium). From 1987-1990 and again from 1991-1992 I worked at the University of Amsterdam as a research associate. I started my career as a project officer at the Netherlands Organisation for International Development Cooperation (Novib) (1986-1987). Other Activities I serve on the editorial boards of Prometheusand European Business Forum, and have been an active member of international academic associations such as the Academy of Management. I have acted as a consultant and trainer at numerous leading international corporations and institutions. My hobbies and passions include a wide range of sports, enjoying South and South East Asian food, the Ajax football team, and playing music (bass guitar, rhythm guitar, singing) in a band with fellow professors (‘No Business').

Prof. Winfried Ruigrok

Uber liability

The German court decision to ban Uber will sustain the current structure of the German taxi market, and this is bad for German customers and innovation.  But Uber should not have been surprised.

Unlike in the Anglo-American (common law) system based on ex ante freedom of citizens and organisations, the German (civil law) system requires lots of (ex ante) negotiation […]

Prof. Winfried Ruigrok

Most Companies are Neither Footloose Nor a Prisoner of their Location

Following the financial crisis and the publication of the book Capitalism by Thomas Piketty, a global discussion (see the recent Financial Times article “Corporate citizens of the world owe fealty to us all”)  has emerged about the nature of capitalism and the possibilities of developing “responsible capitalism”. Normative arguments have dominated this debate. For instance, companies have been […]

Prof. Winfried Ruigrok

Swiss voters against curbing executive pay excesses via state-imposed caps

This year, Switzerland has already voted twice on pay-related referenda (1:12 Initiative, Minder Initiative). Over the next years, two more will follow. A key background is that Swiss executive pay levels are higher than in most other European countries. What explains this higher pay in Switzerland?

First, executive pay is directly related to firm size. Firm size […]

Prof. Winfried Ruigrok

Mifid II: Another Step in the Erosion of Switzerland’s Country-specific Financial Advantages

Some three decades ago, the globalisation of finance took off, leading to worldwide economic integration and an unprecedented growth of cross-border capital flows. However this process did not go hand in hand with harmonising national regulatory systems. National and financial authorities are now looking for measures to repair this, by moving towards a financial level playing field amongst financial institutions […]

Prof. Winfried Ruigrok

Nokia and BlackBerry

The advantage of being based in large or protected markets

After the Microsoft-Nokia deal earlier this month, this will be the second deal involving the sale of a mobile phone maker based in a relatively open and relatively small economy. If this bid succeeds, BlackBerry may eventually be sold to a bigger producer (quite possibly based in Asia). The world’s […]

Prof. Winfried Ruigrok

Swiss voters accept curbs on executive pay.

The result may be higher, not lower compensation.

This referendum outcome represents a triumph of the shareholder and of civil society- in the short run. In the future, shareholders will need to vote on listed Swiss firms’ executive pay packages. Nobody knows yet what this will mean.

Certainly, the past practice was not satisfactory. Boards of directors in Switzerland and […]

Prof. Winfried Ruigrok

Die neue internationale Normalität

Die Globalisierung fordert die Schweizer Hochschulen auf, effektive und international ausgerichtete Angebote zu entwickeln. Einige Orientierungshinweise.

Vor 30 Jahren erschienen global agierende Manager von Grossfirmen wie Nestlé oder Roche manchen Bürgern noch als Entdeckungsreisende. Heute ist dies anders: Auch viele KMU wickeln mittlerweile die grosse Mehrheit ihres Geschäfts im Ausland ab.

Im Jahr 2009 erwirtschafteten die hundert grössten Schweizer Unternehmen […]