Prof. Dr. Volker Hoffmann

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Weinbergstraße 56/58
Room WEV J 412
CH-8092 Zurich

Phone: +41 44 632 05 40
Fax: +41 44 632 10 45

Volker Hoffmann is Professor for Sustainability and Technology and the former Head of the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics of ETH Zurich (2011-2014).

He received a diploma in chemical engineering from ETH Zurich in 1997 and a diploma in business administration from the University of Hagen, Germany, in 1999. In 1996/97 and 1999/2000 he worked as a visiting scholar and scientist at MIT where he investigated uncertainty propagation in large scale process models for the chemical industry (group of Gregory J. McRae). In 2001, he obtained his Ph.D. from ETH Zurich with a thesis on multi-objective decision making under uncertainty in chemical process design (group of Konrad Hungerbühler). Before joining the faculty of ETH Zurich in 2004, he was a project manager at McKinsey & Company where he worked in the chemical and electricity industry. He focused on strategy development for European utility companies, especially in the light of upcoming greenhouse gas regulations. During his career, Volker Hoffmann received several scholarships and awards including a German National Academic Foundation Scholarship (1994-97), an Ernest-Solvay-Scholarship (1996/97), and an Exchange Fellow Scholarship of the Alliance for Global Sustainability (1999/2000).

Volker Hoffmann's research at ETH Zurich centers on corporate strategies with respect to climate change, with a focus on climate policy, energy policy, and innovation. Recent research results are being published in journals such as the Journal of Management Studies, Long Range Planning, the California Management Review, Research Policy, Climate Policy, Energy Policy, Global Environmental Change, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, Policy Sciences, Environmental Science & Policy, Energy Economics, the European Management Journal, Business Strategy & the Environment, Environmental Science & Policy and Ecological Economics.


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  • A. Stephan, T.S. Schmidt, C.R. Bening, V.H. Hoffmann (2017): „ The sectoral configuration of technological innovation systems: Patterns of knowledge development and diffusion in the lithium-ion battery technology in Japan.” Research Policy, 46, 709-723. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2017.01.009
  • Markard, J.; Hoffmann, V.H. (2016): "Analysis of complementarities: Framework and examples from the energy transition"; Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 111, 63-75. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2016.06.008
  • Schmidt, T.S.; Battke, B.; Grosspietsch, D.; Hoffmann, V.H. (2016): "Do deployment policies pick technologies by (not) picking applications?—A simulation of investment decisions in technologies with multiple applications." Research Policy, 45, 1965–1983. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2016.07.001
  • Huenteler, J., Ossenbrink, J., Schmidt, T.S., Hoffmann, V.H. (2016):
    "How a product’s design hierarchy shapes the evolution of technological knowledge - Evidence from patent-citation networks in wind power", Research Policy, 45, 1195-1217. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2016.03.014
  • Huenteler, J., Schmidt, T.S., Ossenbrink, J., Hoffmann, V.H. (2015): "Technology life-cycles in the energy sector - Technological characteristics and the role of deployment for innovation", Technology Forecasting and Social Change. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2015.09.022
  • Battke, B.; Schmidt, T.; Stollenwerk, S.; Hoffmann, V.H. (2016)
    "Internal or external spillovers—Which kind of knowledge is more likely to flow within or across technologies."  Research Policy, 45, 27-41.doi:10.1016/j.respol.2015.06.014
  • Hoppmann J., Volland J., Schmidt T.S., Hoffmann V.H. (2014): "The Economic Viability of Battery Storage for Residential Solar Photovoltaic Systems - A Review and a Simulation Model", Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 39, 1101–1118. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.07.068
  • Battke B., Schmidt T.S., Grosspietsch D., Hoffmann V.H. (2013): "A review and probabilistic model of lifecycle costs of stationary batteries in multiple applications", Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 25: 240-250. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2013.04.023
  • Hoppmann J., Peters M., Schneider M., Hoffmann V.H. (2013): "The Two Faces of Market Support - How Deployment Policies Affect Technological Exploration and Exploitation in the Solar Photovoltaic Industry", Research Policy. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.01.002
  • Furrer B., Hamprecht J., Hoffmann V.H. (2012): "Much Ado About Nothing? How Banks Respond to Climate Change" Business & Society 51 (2012), 62-88. doi: 10.1177/0007650311427428
  • Peters M., Schneider M., Griesshaber T., Hoffmann V.H. (2012): "The impact of technology-push and demand-pull policies on technical change - does the locus of policies matter?" Research Policy (2012). doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.02.004
  • Schmidt T.S., Schneider M., Hoffmann V.H. (2012): "Decarbonising the power sector via technological change - differing contributions from heterogeneous firms" Energy Policy 43 (2012), 466-479. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.01.041
  • Schmidt T.S., Schneider M., Rogge K.S., Schuetz M.J.A., Hoffmann V.H. (2012): "The effects of climate policy on the rate and direction of innovation – a survey on the EU ETS and the electricity sector" Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 2 (2012), 23-48. doi: 10.1016/j.eist.2011.12.002
  • Busch T., Weinhofer G., Hoffmann V.H.: "The carbon performance of the 100 largest US electricity producers”, Utilities Policy (2011), 19(2): 95-103. doi: 10.1016/j.jup.2010.12.002
  • Delmas M., Hoffmann V.H., Kuss M.: “Under the tip of the iceberg: absorptive capacity, environmental strategy and competitive advantage" Business & Society 50 (2011), 116-154. doi: 10.1177/0007650310394400
  • Engau C., Hoffmann V.H.: "Corporate Response Strategies to Regulatory Uncertainty: Evidence from Uncertainty about Post-Kyoto Regulation" Policy Sciences 44 (2011), 53–80. doi: 10.1007/s11077-010-9116-0
  • Engau C., Hoffmann V.H.: "Strategizing in an unpredictable climate: Exploring corporate strategies to cope with regulatory uncertainty" Long Range Planning 44 (2011), 42-63. doi: 10.1016/j.lrp.2010.11.003
  • Engau C., Hoffmann V.H., Busch T.: "Airlines’ Flexibility in Facing Regulatory Uncertainty: To Anticipate or Adapt?” California Management Review 54 (2011), 107-125. doi: 10.1525/cmr.2011.54.1.107
  • Peters N.J., Hofstetter J.S., Hoffmann V.H.: "Institutional entrepreneurship capabilities for interorganizational sustainable supply chain strategies" International Journal of Logistics Management 22 (2011), 52-86. doi: 10.1108/09574091111127552
  • Rogge K.S., Schneider M., Hoffmann V.H.: "The innovation impact of the EU Emission Trading System - Findings of company case studies in the German Power Sector" Ecological Economics 70 (2011), 513–523. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.09.032
  • Ziegler A., Busch T., Hoffmann V.H.: "Disclosed Corporate Responses to Climate Change and Stock Performance: An International Empirical Analysis" Energy Economics 33 (2011), 1283-1294. doi: 10.1016/j.eneco.2011.03.007
  • Ziegler A., Schwarzkopf J., Hoffmann V.H.: "Stated Versus Revealed Knowledge: Determinants of Offsetting CO2 Emissions from Fuel Consumption in Vehicle Use" Energy Policy 40 (2012), 422-431. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.10.027
  • Busch T., Hoffmann V.H.: "How hot is your bottom-line? Linking carbon and financial performance" Business & Society 50 (2011), 233-265. doi: 10.1177/0007650311398780
  • Pinkse J., Kuss M.J., Hoffmann V.H.: "On the implementation of a ‘global’ environmental strategy: The role of absorptive capacity" International Business Review 19 (2010), 160–177. doi: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2009.11.005
  • Rogge K.S., Hoffmann V.H.: "The impact of the EU ETS on the sectoral innovation system for power generation technologies - Findings for Germany" Energy Policy 38 (2010), 7639-7652. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.07.047
  • Schneider M., Hendrichs H., Hoffmann V.H.: "Navigating the Global Carbon Market - An analysis of the CDM’s value chain and prevalent business models" Energy Policy 38 (2010), 277-287. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2009.09.017
  • Schneider M., Schmidt T.S., Hoffmann V.H.: "Performance of Renewable Energy Technologies under the CDM" Climate Policy 10 (2010), 17–37. doi: 10.3763/cpol.2008.0580
  • Weinhofer G., Hoffmann V.H.: "Mitigating climate change - how do corporate strategies differ?" Business Strategy and the Environment 19 (2010), 77-89. doi: 10.1002/bse.618
  • Busch T., Hoffmann V.H.: “Ecology-driven Real Options: an Investment Framework for Incorporating Uncertainties in the Context of the Natural Environment” Journal of Business Ethics 90 (2009), 295-310. doi: 10.1007/s10551-009-0043-y
  • Engau C., Hoffmann V.H.: "Effects of Regulatory Uncertainty on Corporate Strategy - An Analysis of Firm Responses to Uncertainty about Post-Kyoto Policy" Environmental Science & Policy 12 (2009), 766–777. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2009.08.003
  • Hoffmann V.H., Sprengel D.C., Ziegler A, Kolb M., Abegg B.: "Determinants of Corporate Adaptation to Climate Change in Winter Tourism: An Econometric Analysis" Global Environmental Change 19 (2009), 256–264. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2008.12.002
  • Hoffmann V.H., Trautmann T., Hamprecht J.: "Regulatory uncertainty – a reason to postpone investments? Not necessarily" Journal of Management Studies 46 (2009), 1227-1253. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2009.00866.x
  • Schneider M., Hoffmann V.H., Gurjar B.R.: "Corporate Responses to the Clean Development Mechanism - the Indian Pulp and Paper Industry" Climate Policy 9 (2009), 255–272. doi: 10.3763/cpol.2007.0476
  • Sugiyama H., Fischer U., Antonijuan E., Hoffmann V.H., Hirao M., Hungerbühler K.: "How do Different Process Options and Evaluation Settings affect Economic and Environmental Assessments? A Case Study on Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Production Processes" Process Safety and Environmental Protection 87 (2009), 361–370. doi: 10.1016/j.psep.2009.08.002
  • Hoffmann V.H., Busch T.: "Corporate Carbon Performance Indicators: Carbon Intensity, Dependency, Exposure, and Risk" Journal of Industrial Ecology 12 (2008), 505-520. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2008.00066.x
  • Hoffmann V.H., Trautmann T., Schneider M.: "A taxonomy for regulatory uncertainty - Application to the European Emission Trading Scheme" Environmental Science & Policy 11 (2008), 712-22. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2008.07.001
  • Schneider M., Holzer A., Hoffmann V.H.: "Understanding the CDM’s contribution to technology transfer" Energy Policy 36 (2008), 2920-2928. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2008.04.009
  • Busch T., Hoffmann V.H.: "Emerging Carbon Constraints for Corporate Risk Management" Ecological Economics 62 (2007), 518-528. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.05.022
  • Hoffmann V.H.: "EU ETS and Investment Decisions: The Case of the German Electricity Industry" European Management Journal 25 (2007), 464-474. doi: 10.1016/j.emj.2007.07.008
  • Hoffmann V.H., Busch T.: "Carbon Constraints in the 14th and 21th century" Journal of Industrial Ecology 11 (2007), 1-3.
  • Kolk A., Hoffmann V.H.: "Business, Climate Change and Emissions Trading: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead" European Management Journal 25 (2007), 411-414. doi: 10.1016/j.emj.2007.08.003



Reports or Other Publications

  • Hendrichs H., Busch T., Hoffmann V.H. (2010): "How SME can benefit from climate change" IO new management 6, 8-11 (2010) [in German].
  • Furrer B., Swoboda M., Hoffmann V.H. (2009): "Banking and Climate Change: Opportunities and Risks - An analysis of climate strategies in more than 100 banks worldwide" SAM, ETH, ZHAW (2009). Download
  • Rogge K., Hoffmann V.H. (2009): "The impact of the EU ETS on the sectoral innovation system for power generation technologies - Findings for Germany" Working Paper Sustainability and Innovation No. S2/2009, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.07.047
  • Hoffmann V.H., Busch T. (2008): "Carbon and climate change – new challenges for corporate risk management", UmweltWirtschaftsForum 16 (2008), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 53-58 [in German].
  • Busch T., Haas C., Hoffmann V.H. (2007): "Carbon-Management wird zum unternehmerischen Erfolgsfaktor" IO New Management 7-8 (2007) 26-29.
  • Chadha A., Hoffmann V.H. (2007): "Biokunststoffe auf dem Vormarsch – von Kohlenstoff zu Kohlenhydraten“ Umwelt Perspektiven.
  • Hoffmann V.H., Chadha A. (2007): "Unternehmerische Nachhaltigkeit – Quo Vadis?" Industrie Management 23 (2007) 53-56.
  • Hoffmann V.H., Trautmann T. (2006): "The role of industry and uncertainty in regulatory pressure and environmental strategy" Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings (2006) D1-D6. doi: 10.5465/AMBPP.2006.27178303
  • Hoffmann V.H., Chadha A. (2005): "Nachhaltigkeit – ein Schlüssel zum Unternehmenserfolg?“ Umwelt Perspektiven (2005) 14-15.


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