Prof. Dr. Thorsten Semrau
Professor of Management



Room: Building C, Room 327
Tel.: +49 651 201-2677
Office hour: by appointment


Thorsten Semrau is the Professor of Management at Trier University and is a member of the management team of the Forschungszentrum Mittelstand and the SPIRIT project.

He studied Business and Psychology and worked as Research Assistant at the Seminar for Business Administration, Corporate Development and Organization at the University of Cologne. in 2010, he finished his dissertation on “Networks in New Venture Creation and Development”. Subsequently, Thorsten Semrau served as the E&Y Endowed Junior Professor of Corporate Development at the University of Cologne.

For several years, Thorsten Semrau worked as Lecturer for Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, and as a Lecturer at the Center for Doctoral Studies of the University of Mannheim. In the summer of 2015, Thorsten Semrau served as a Professor for Management and Entrepreneurship at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. He spent extensive research periods abroad at the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Rowan University, New Jersey, USA and at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK, and has many years of consulting experience in the fields of human resources, organization and business development.



  • Teaching Award Trier University „Excellently taught” – didactic concept and implementation, 2021.
  • Nomination Teaching Award Trier University „Excellently taught” – didactic concept and implementation and „Bridges built” – communication and cooperation, 2021.
  • Nomination Teaching Award Department IV, Trier University, 2018. 
  • Best Research Paper Award, 18th Forum Entrepreneurship Research 2014.
  • Best Conference Paper Award, 8th Annual INGRoup Conference, 2013.
  • Editor’s Choice Award, 27th Annual USASBE Conference, 2013.
  • Teaching Award of the Department of Management, Economics, and Social Sciences, University of Cologne, 2013.
  • Teaching Award of the Department of Management, Economics, and Social Sciences, University of Cologne, 2012.
  • Publication Award, Department of Management, Economics, and Social Sciences, University of Cologne, 2009.

Media Presence

  • Innovationsfähigkeit von Teams fördern, personal manager 2013/06
  • Immer eine zündende Idee, Folio 2012/1-2

Invited Talks/Presentations

  • Organizational Culture and Leadership
  • Digitalization and Work 4.0
  • Premiums, Bonuses and Co: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Flexibilisation of Working Time and Activities
  • Suggestions for Improvement and Employee Creativity
  • Post Merger Integration
  • Conflict Moderation


Hahn, M.* & Semrau, T.* (2022). Virtual Interaction and Failure Learning—The Crucial Role of Team LMX Composition. The International Journal of Human Resource Management,

Burmann, K. & Semrau, T. (2022). The Consequences of Social Category Faultlines in High- and Low-Context Cultures: A Comparative Study of Brazil and Germany. Frontiers in Psychology, 13: 1082870

Thiel, K. & Semrau, T. (2022). Learning from Failure Feedback for Subsequent Task Performance: A Matter of Personality? Frontiers in Psychology, 13: 1032273,  

Semrau, T. & Biemann, T. (2022). When Sergeants Can Outrank Generals: Person-Organization Fit and the Performance of Franchisees as Agents of their Franchisor, Journal of Business Venturing, 37(2): 106177.

Semrau, T., Fisch, C. & Klingbeil, C. (2021). Learning from Invention Failure among Research Organizations: The Role of Top Management Team Founding Experience and Exposure to US Culture, Industry & Innovation, 28(6): 704-724.

Klein, K., Semrau, T., Albers, S. & Zajac, E. (2020). Multimarket coopetition: How the interplay of competition and cooperation affects entry into shared markets. Long Range Planning, 53(1): 101868.

Wilhelm, H., Richter, A. W.*, & Semrau, T.* (2019). Employee learning from failure: A team-as-resource perspective. Organization Science30(4): 694-714.

Klingbeil, C., Semrau, T., Ebers, M., & Wilhelm, H. (2019). Logics, leaders, lab coats: A multi-level study on how institutional logics are linked to entrepreneurial intentions in academia. Journal of Management Studies, 65(5): 929-965.

Block , J.*, Landgraf, A.*, & Semrau, T.* (2019). The differential impact of societal cultural practices on part-time and full-time self-employment: A multi-level, multi-country study. International Small Business Journal, 37(1): 43-68.

Semrau, T.*, Steigenberger, N.*, & Wilhelm, H.* (2017). Team political skill and team performance. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 32(3): 239-253.

Klingbeil, C., & Semrau, T. (2017). For whom size matters – the interplay between incubator size, tenant characteristics and tenant growth. Industry & Innovation, 24(7): 735-752.

Semrau, T., & Hopp, C. (2016). Complementary or compensatory? A contingency perspective on how entrepreneurs’ human and social capital interact in shaping start-up progress. Small Business Economics, 46(3): 407-423.

Semrau, T., Ambos, T., & Kraus, S. (2016). Entrepreneurial orientation and SME performance across societal cultures: An international study. Journal of Business Research, 69(5): 1928-1932.

Bauke, B.*, Semrau, T.*, & Han, Z. (2016). Relational trust and new ventures’ performance: the moderating impact of national-level institutional weakness. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 12(4): 1007-1024.

Klingbeil, C., Semrau, T., & Ebers, M. (2015). Internal Institutional Contexts, Leadership, and Researchers' Entrepreneurial Intentions. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Best Paper Proceedings.

Sigmund, S., Semrau, T., & Wegner, D. (2015). Networking Ability and the Financial Performance of New Ventures: Moderating Effects of Venture Size, Institutional Environment, and Their Interaction. Journal of Small Business Management, 53(1): 266-283.

Semrau, T., & Beier, M. (2015). How specialised and integrated relationship management responsibilities foster new ventures' network development. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 7(1): 47-64.

Ebers, M., & Semrau, T. (2015). What drives the allocation of specific investments between buyer and supplier? Journal of Business Research, 68(2): 415-424.

Semrau, T., & Werner, A. (2014). How Exactly Do Network Relationships Pay Off? The Effects of Network Size and Relationship Quality on Access to Start-Up Resources. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(3): 501-525.

Wilhelm, H., Richter, A., & Semrau, T. (2014). Overcoming Creative Failure for Sustained Employee Creativity: The Pivotal Role of Team Resources. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Best Paper Proceedings.

Phelan, S. E., Johnson, A. T., & Semrau, T. (2013). Entrepreneurial Orientation in Public Schools: The View from New Jersey. New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, 16(1): 19-30.

Graumann, M., Semrau, T., & Skrabek, C. (2013). Motivieren SMART formulierte Zielvereinbarungen wirklich? (German). Zeitschrift Führung und Organisation, 82(2): 117-124.

Semrau, T., & Werner, A. (2012). The Two Sides of the Story: Network Investments and New Venture Creation. Journal of Small Business Management, 50(1): 159-180.

Semrau, T., & Sigmund, S. (2012). Networking Ability and the Financial Performance of New Ventures: A Mediation Analysis among Younger and More-Mature Firms. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 6: 335-354.

Semrau, T., Graumann, M., & Jost, L. (2011). Partizipative Zielvereinbarungen. Zeitschrift Führung und Organisation, 80(4): 237-244.

Semrau, T., & Sigmund, S. (2010). The Impact of Networking Ability on New Venture Performance. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Best Paper Proceedings.

Semrau, T., & Wolf, S. (2010). Ist Geld wirklich alles? Zur Wirkung nicht-monetärer Anreize bei Franchisenehmern. In W. Aretz, & K. Mierke (Eds.), Aktuelle Themen der Wirtschaftspsychologie. Beiträge und Studien. Band 2: 1-22. Köln: Kölner Wissenschaftsverlag.

Semrau, T. (2010). Networks in New Venture Creation and Development. Dissertation, Universität zu Köln, Köln.

Semrau, T., & Korb, B. (2009). Wie Vorgesetzte die Einstellung ihrer Mitarbeiter zum Wandel beeinflussen. Wirtschaftspsychologie, 11(3): 97-105.

Semrau, T. (2007). Unternehmensentwicklung. Die Betriebswirtschaft, 67(4): 493-496.

* Authors contributed equally