Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Research & Teaching

Focus: Strategic Management

Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Nicole is a strategist, entrepreneur/creator and scientist. She has in-depth expertise in strategy & innovation communication and more than 15 years of professional experience in IT-driven innovation management and communications in logistics, media, (high-)tech markets, and R&D transfer projects. She coaches 1:1 students, entrepreneurs and leaders in this field of interest and is senior lecturer/trainer in digital business, information and knowledge management, and methodology, was visiting scholar at UCLA Anderson, associate researcher at ESCP Europe Paris, Chair Entrepreneurship, trainer at a MS training center, guest lecturer at the University of Bremen, and visiting Ph.D. student at GREDEG-CNRS Nice, France; Ph.D. scholarship from Deutsche Post, DHL. Nicole is (co-)editor of the contributed volume 'Strategy and Communication for Innovation', Springer, including book presentations in collaboration with Jacobs University Bremen and University of Cambridge, IfM. She is actively involved in the global creative and startup ecosystem to facilitate sustainable growth, social creativity, and cultural enrichment.

Innovation Communication Program | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Task: The development and presentation of a business plan for Deutsche Post AG, DHL including marketing and tech plan for a high-tech robot system. Nicole also developed business cases for potential customers and go-to-market strategies which had a positive impact on the following R&D transfer project (more >>).

Innovation Communication Program | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

At CeBIT 2014 ISEIC launched a cloud-based management tool for effective e-innovation communication. Nicole led ISEIC's consulting and research projects focused on strategic communications to accelerate (breakthrough) innovation and business model innovation—empowered by the European research program.

Innovation Communication Program | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

The BMWi-funded transfer project 'Innovation Communication' focused on the communication network of scientific institutions of the State of Bremen and how to effectively disseminate research and tech results. Nicole conducted interviews and developed a strategy concept for scientific innovation.

Innovation Communication Program | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

How can we create a better customer experience for short breaks, wedding celebrations, romantic weekends and more? The beautifully restored hotel at an island aimed at re-building the hotel's brand identity which included the interior design, website offering, visuals, network and image communications.

Innovation Communication Program | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Two French high fidelity (hifi) brands were successfully launched onto the German market. Nicole supported the business development and authentic marketing communications for the German market, displays at trade fairs (e.g. HIGH END), and brand visibility & experience at local specialized stores.

Innovation Communication Program | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Nicole created unique fashion items and a new parfum in collaboration with a perfumer. Based on her experience she helped emerging artists to develop new communicaton strategies and build their websites including content creation such as photography at vernissages, opening events/displays and galleries.

Research & Consulting


1. Innovation Dialog

Relationship View - Communication

Connecting with individuals in communities, presenting ideas and understanding the value of information-interaction design

2. Business Innovation

Management View - Innovation

Creating open learning spaces for employees and successfully translating (business) ideas from the creative world into action

3. Strategy & Leadership

Leadership View - Strategy

Leading productive teams in transition phases and effectively managing innovation communication to achieve greater impact

Leadership Communication

Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Leading productive teams in modern interactive organizations and enlarging the open learning space for individuals require leadership communication skills:

Modern Organization Design

Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

First dynamic capability framework of innovation communication for digital transformation managers and innovation & strategy units to build effective organizations:

The innovation communication capability is an integrated managerial skill set that considers three key dimensions: Openness, interrelation and time/timing. As a dynamic capability, innovation communication helps a firm to seize and transform, create and co-create, and consistently align and realign resources and ordinary capabilities with the firm’s strategy. It determines the success of the business and level of evolutionary fitness (innovation).

Re-Building Organizations


Gamechanger to Raise the Level of Evolutionary Fitness

The dynamic capability framework of innovation communication allows a firm to design, implement and measure the innovation communication capability. The innovation communication capability is an integrated managerial skill set considering openness, interrelation and time/timing:


Strategic Communication Management

Value: Growth - Planning, monitoring and measuring communication activities in transition phases and growth zones (learning model: comfort, growth, panic)

  Openness: Realities and learning

  Interrelation: Activities, actions

  Time/Timing: Managing activities


Stakeholder Relationship Management

Value: Reputation & Engagement - Emotionally connecting with individuals and ideas in (non)verbal interactions in we and me-idea-level relationships

  Openness: Relationships/Interactions

  Interrelation: (Non)Verbal interaction

  Time/Timing: Communication patterns


Intelligent Information Management

Value: Resource Set - Discovering, sharing, and co-creating ideas (= multisensory input-output) in co-innovation and data management

  Openness: Co-working & creation

  Interrelation: Data and information

  Time/Timing: Matching data (ideas)


Capabilities Management

Value: Leadership - Creating new visions and viewpoints as well as establishing an innovation culture in the C-suite and new generation of leaders & co-workers

  Openness: Strategic views & culture

  Interrelation: (Ordinary) capabilities

  Time/Timing: Doing the right things


Design Management

Value: Image & Dialog - Communicating the New in open innovation processes and using dialog tools in pitch / go-to-market situations

  Openness: Open dialogs & channels

  Interrelation: Lean startup tools

  Time/Timing: Innovation process


Management Basics

Value: Foundation - Basic tasks related to entrepreneurship, business model innovation, digital business and communication management.

  Contract management, legal

  Finances, accounting, tax

  Facility, travel management

Teaching Interest


Main Courses

Classes and Supervision

Digital Business & Entrepreneurship [MBA, BA]
Information and Knowledge Management [MBA, BA]
Research Management [Ph.D.]
Methodology [Ph.D., MBA, BA]

Short Course

New Communication Skills

This short course is designed for students and entrepreneurs who want to learn more about new approaches and methods in leadership and innovation communication from a strategic management view.

Selected Publications


Management Book 2017

Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Discover more...

Strategy and Communication for Innovation

The third edition of the contributed volume “Strategy and Communication for Innovation” concentrates on emerging approaches and methods for integrating communication in corporate innovation and business model innovation in the digital economy. This book makes an important contribution to this evolving academic domain by providing multiple perspectives on latest research in innovation communication and strategic open innovation.

Integrated Perspective on Innovation in the #Digital Economy

The key theme is the provision of an integrated perspective on innovation to bridge the gap between innovation management and communication management at both strategic and operational levels. As a new communication field and dynamic capability, innovation communication facilitates managing open innovation, strengthening corporate culture and reputation, successfully launching new products and services as well as building new capabilities and difficult-to-imitate resources. Consequently, firms today need to develop a strong communication portfolio as an integral part of any digital information-innovation process on a functional and/or company-wide level. This also includes understanding the role of communicators in innovation clusters, research networks, co-innovation labs, and supportive ecosystems.

Discover the Table of Contents and download a book chapter. >>

Further Readings

The Role of Communication as a Dynamic Capability in Business Model Innovation, Revolution of Innovation Management, Internationalization and Business Models Volume 2, Palgrave.

Scenario-based Learning for Innovation Communication and Management (with Henning Breuer), In A. Brem & E. Viardot (Eds.), The Evolution of Innovation Management, Palgrave, 2013.

Research Transfer


At the University of Bremen, BIBA, the project team developed the hightech robotic system 'ParcelRobot'- automatic unloading of containers and swap bodies. Nicole was responsible for developing and presenting business cases (e.g. Walmart US, Metro Group, Exel UK, ...) and planning and coordinating internal and external communications (e.g. trade fairs, photos, videos, topic website, reports, RoboScan'07, etc.) from the business plan until the market launch in 2007 at the transport logistic trade fair Munich, DHL booth. Main partners: Deutsche Post, EADS / Astrium, State of Bremen, WFB, and Thyssen Krupp Krause. More online: idw Press Release

Mrs. Pfeffermann has considerable analytical skills. She gathered information with careful attention to detail and interacted in our research network and in collaboration with our departments with sensitivity and concern for the others. The output was professional as well as valuable for our decision-making.

Harald Ulrich, Division Manager, Deutsche Post

Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

BIBA Photo, Development Stage 2, 2006 - see also DHL Trend Report, 2016, p. 23

Read more in 'Strategies and Communications for Innovations', Springer

Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Market Launch, DHL, transport logistic 2007

Springer Contributed Volume: 'Strategies and Communications for Innovations', 2011

Organization of the Book Symposium - DHL Innovation Center

Dr. Keith Ulrich, Vice President DHL Solutions & Innovations, Deutsche Post
Prof. Dr. Kathrin M. Möslein, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Center for Leading Innovation & Cooperation
Friederike Hoffmann, mcm institute for media and communications management, Universität St. Gallen
Dr. Henning Breuer, Leader User Driven Innovation, Innovation, Development, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories
Susanne Roth, ifu Bonn, Leitung „DFG Science TV“ Kooperationspartnerin der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Dr. Ulrich Eberl, Head of Innovation Communications, Siemens AG
Stephan Jacquemot, Emerging Business Team Lead Germany, Microsoft

Supported by

Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann

Communication Excellence | Dr. Nicole Pfeffermann