Dr. rer. pol., Universitätsprofessor

Frank Thomas Piller


Frank Thomas Piller
Technology and Innovation Management Group


Building: 3011

Room: B 360

Kackertstraße 7, 3. Etage

52072 Aachen


Phone: +49 241 80 93577
Fax: +49 241 80 92367

Consultation Hours

Wednesday, 13.00-14.00 hours (please call the secretary for an appointment)


Frank T. Piller was born in 1969. He has headed the Technology and Innovation Management Group at RWTH Aachen University since 2007. Earlier, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management and was an assistant professor of management at the TUM Business School (1999-2004). Frank Piller graduated with a Ph.D. in operations management from the University of Würzburg in 1999. His post-doctoral Habilitation degree is from the TUM Business School. Frank Piller has worked as a consultant and delivered executive workshops for many international companies, including several DAX30 and Fortune 500 corporations. As a member of their board of directors or board of scientific advisors, he works with a number of innovative technology companies to bring his research into practice.

Research Interests

  • Managing discontinuous business model innovation
  • Innovation interfaces (open innovation and customer co-creation)
  • Technology transfer
  • Strategies to profit from heterogeneities in demand (mass customization)

Selected Publications

  • Piller, F.; Roberts, D. (2016): Finding the Right Role for Social Media in Innovation? In: MIT Sloan Management Review. 57 (3), 41-49.
  • Kortmann, S.; Piller,F. (2016): Open Business Models and Closed-Loop Value Chains: Redefining the Firm-Consumer Relationship. In: California Management Review (CMR). 58 (3), 1-21.
  • Piller, F.T.; Weller, C.; Kleer, R. (2015): Economic Implications of 3D printing: Market structure Models in light of additive manufacturing revisited. In: International Journal of Production Economics, 164 (June), 43–56.
  • Piller, F.T.; Antons, D. (2015): Opening the Black Box of “Not Invented Here”: Attitudes, Decision Biases, and Behavioral Consequences. In: Academy of Management Perspectives, 29, 2, 1-25.
  • Piller, F.T.; Kortmann, S.; Gelhard, C.; Zimmermann, C. (2014): Linking Strategic Flexibility and Operational Efficiency: The Mediating Role of Ambidextrous Operational Capabilities. In: Journal of Operations Management (JOM), 32, 5, 475–490.
  • Piller, F.T.; West, J. (2014): Firms, Users, and Innovation: An Interactive Model of Coupled Open Innovation. In: New Frontiers in Open Innovation, edited by Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke & J. West, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 29-49.
  • Lüttgens, D.; Antons, D.; Pollock, P.; Piller, F.T. (2014): Internal Success Factors of Crowdsourcing for Innovation. In: Journal of Business Economics (formerly: ZFB), 84 (3), 339-374.
  • ElMaraghy, H.; Schuh, G.; ElMaraghy, W.; Piller, F.T.; Schönsleben, P.; Tseng, M. (2013): Product Variety Management: A Review. In: CIRP Annals Manufacturing Technology 62 (2), 629-652.
  • Augsdorfer, P.; Bessant, J.; Moeslein, K.; von Stamm, B.; Piller, F.T. (2013): Discontinuous Innovation: Learning to Manage the Unexpected. London: Imperial College Press.
  • Salvador, F.; de Holan, M.; Piller, F.T. (2009): Cracking the Code of Mass Customization. In: MIT Sloan Management Review, 50 (3), 70-79.