Dr. Isabell Stamm

Isabell Stamm is group leader of the Leibniz Research Group on "Wealth and Social Inequality" at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. She previously worked as a junior research group leader at the Technical University of Berlin and as a postdoc at the University of California Berkeley. After studying sociology and business administration at the University of Oldenburg and The New School for Social Research in New York, she completed her doctorate at the Free University of Berlin. Her research focuses on economic and organisational sociology, social inequality and collaborative methods. In numerous studies, she has investigated the familial embedding of companies, norms and practices of transgenerational transfer, dynamics in entrepreneurial groups and normative shifts with regard to the transfer of ownership in German SMEs.

A picture of Dr. Isabell Stamm.

Research project

In two ongoing research projects, Isabell Stamm is analysing a change in the significance of company ownership. On the one hand, she is analysing the conditions of a shift from family succession to the sale of companies as a legitimate and realised form of succession in the German Mittelstand. Secondly, she reconstructs the significance of companies in the dynamic ownership history of the super-rich and the opportunities and responsibilities associated with these companies.



Scientific publications
  • Stamm, Isabell (2023): “From Nurturing the Successor to Impressing New Founders: How firm platforms reframe match-making in succession”, In: Journal of Organizational Sociology 1 (1). DOI: 10.1515/joso-2022-0001.
  • Stamm, Isabell; Sandham, Allan (2023): “Exit in the German Mittelstand – the emergence of a new transfer regime”, MPI Discussion Paper.
  • Stamm, Isabell; Schürmann, Lena: Scheidgen, Katharina (2023): “Dependent on the market: Competing norms of solidarity with the solo self-employed”, In: Work, Employment and Society, online first. DOI: 10.1177/09500170231206083.
  • Kranzusch, Peter; Stamm, Isabell; Schneck, Stefan; Kay, Rosemarie (2022): “Unternehmensveräußerung – Verbreitung, Gewinne und Trends”, In: IfM Daten und Fakten, Nr. 32.
  • Stamm, Isabell, Gutzeit, M. (2022): “Group conditions for entrepreneurial visions: role confidence, hierarchical congruences, and the imagining of future in entrepreneurial groups”, in: Small Bus Econ 59, 1023–1041. DOI: 10.1007/s11187-021-00566-6.
  • Stamm, Isabell (2021): “Groups Matter: the social embedding of entrepreneurship”, In: Maurer, A. (ed.): Handbook Economic Sociology. Springer Nature. 253-268. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-61619-9_17.
  • Stamm, Isabell; Discua Cruz, Allan; Cailleut, Ludovic (2019): “Entrepreneurial Groups – Definition, Forms and Historic Change”, In: Historical Social Research 44(4), 7-41.
  • Stamm, Isabell; Bernhard, F. & Hameister, N. (2019): “Empirische Befunde zu Unternehmerfamilien in Deutschland”, In: Kleve, H.: Soziologie der Unternehmerfamilie, 115-141.
  • Barbera, Francesco, Isabell Stamm, Rocki DeWitt. (2018): “Entrepreneurial Legacies and Transgenerational Entrepreneurship in Family Firms: From Imprinting to Imagined Futures”, In: Family Business Review 31 (3): 352-78. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2014.07.001.
  • Stamm, Isabell (2016): “Coordination Tasks and Modes of Linked Lives in Entrepreneurial Families”, In: Journal of Marriage and Family 78 (4): 939-56. DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12304.
  • Stamm, Isabell (2014): “Zum Erfolg geboren? Die Leistungskultur in Unternehmerfamilien”, In: Leviathan, Sonderband 29, 195-211. DOI: 10.5771/9783845244853.
  • Stamm, Isabell (2013): Unternehmerfamilien - der Einfluss des Unternehmens auf Lebenslauf, Generationenbeziehungen und soziale Identität. Barbara Budrich Verlag, Opladen.