Gregor Kungl was born on March 9th, 1983 in Günzburg, Germany.
He studied sociology, psychology and ethnology at the University of Augsburg. With his master’s thesis on "sustainability in public buildings - reconstructing investigation of municipal decision-making processes" his research interests started focusing on the topic of sustainability. From April 2012 to March 2016 he worked as a PhD student at the Helmholtz research alliance Energy-Trans "Future infrastructures for meeting energy demands. Towards sustainability and social compatibility". As part of this activity he visited the Sustainable Consumption Insititute at the University of Manchester for three month in autumn 2015.
Short description of the doctoral thesis:
"The established power companies and the transformation of the German energy system"
In his dissertation he investigates the role of established German power companies E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall for the transformation of the German energy system. Through their strategies and their political activities these companies have largely shaped the developments of the last decades. A detailed analysis of their activities allows a deeper understanding of the relevance of large enterprises in socio-technical transformation processes.
Empirically, the dissertation investigates the question of how the big German utilities have dealt with the numerous changes in their organizational environment and how they in turn shaped the developments in the German electricity market. For this purpose, a comparative reconstruction of the activities of these companies from 1998 to 2015 is conducted. The central research questions are:
How did the companies react on the specific changes in the field of electricity supply in Germany?
How did the companies themselves take influence on the design of electricity supply in Germany?
Are there similarities and differences between the companies activities and how can these be explained?
From the theoretical side the work puts a focus on the reciprocal dynamics between companies and their organizational environment – speaking of organizational adaptability and organizational inertia, as well as the political strategies of companies. The central research questions are:
What are the connections between the adaptability and the inertia of organizations?
To what extent are adaptability and inertia of companies structurally or contextually?
How can the reactions of companies to changes in their organizational environment be conceptualized and what factors influence these reactions?
To answer these questions, a qualitative case study design is applied. This includes a qualitative content analysis of reports by the companies and press articles as well as interviews with high level managers. The empirical and theoretical work are performed in parallel and are developed mutually in an iterative process.
The project is supervised by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dolata.