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I graduated in Media and Communication Studies &
International Relations and Political Communication from the University of Mannheim.

My main focus was on researching in the interface of media and political entertainment („politainment“), the impact of culture on entrepreneurial activities across countries, and the transformational stages of media consumers in the context of emerging technologies.

Excerpt out of my research papers in this and other subsites (please use Contact for full versions):


Friends versus Algorithms – Social Dynamics of Computer-Generated Content in Persuasive Technology. Utzinger (2015)

In this theoretical paper the socio-psychological origins and the effect of computer-generated content (CGC) in persuasive technology will be examined. CGC has not been clearly defined in science; commonly it refers to any textual, tonal or visual material that has been created with the purpose of planned or intended communication between a source and one or many recipients. Several concepts relevant in the area of human-computer interaction (HCI) and explanatory socio-psychological mechanisms are illustrated to propose an answer to trust in technology (computing machines) and its effect on persuasion. Next to the concept of computers as Social Actors (CASA) by B. J. Fogg and his personality studies, various cognitive heuristics that facilitate this psychological process are introduced. In this concept
social dynamics from human-human interaction (HHI) are assigned to technology. Apart from that, Liu and Shrum’s ‘The Dual Process Model of Interactivity’ and Fogg’s social cues are outlined in order to register CGC in regards to social dynamics. Conclusively, a differentiation to previous studies is used to back up hypotheses and to present a convertible method as an impetus for further research.

Culture of Failure, Culture of Entrepreneurship. – The Differences of Failure News Coverage (FNC) in Germany and the United States. Utzinger (2016)

Failure is and will remain a crucial and mostly inevitable outcome of entrepreneurial attempts and activities – what might differ and change is its perception, depending on how individuals think about it and how their environment reacts to it. The goal of this thesis is to understand the relation between a country-specific “culture of failure“ and its effects on entrepreneurial intention. Such “failure culture” is examined on the basis of news coverage about failure (FNC) in both Germany and the United States – as representatives of two extremes in regards to cultural differences. The use of narratives as one empirical reflection of a culture seems likely to differ across social groups (Mantere et al., 2014). Analyzing stakeholders such as the media has its relevance, since especially newspapers as part of the country’s barometer of public opinion (Baum & Potter, 2008) makes sense of failure and influences society (Hjarvard, 2008; Shaker, 2014).

Cultural differences in the perception of failure are hypothesized within this study. Especially in retrospective, sensemaking of entrepreneurial failures is achieved through narratives offered by involved individuals and parties (Weick, 1995). Using a discursive content analysis approach (Jäger, 1999), failure news coverage (FNC) in editorials of two major newspapers in both countries from 2000 – 2015 will be searched with regards to Hofstede’s (2001) dimensions of Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) and Long-Term Orientation (LTO). Results reveal not only a significant variation of those dimensions across the FNC, but also new categorizations of failure narratives linked to country-specific peculiarities of “failure culture.“



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