Stefanie Schubert is a Professor of Economics at SRH University Heidelberg. Previously, she was an assistant professor of organization theory and management at WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management (Koblenz & Düsseldorf). Her expertise includes strategic decision making, managerial economics, and strategic alliances and networks. In addition, Stefanie is a consultant for strategic management. With her partners, she fosters solutions to decision-making problems and influences negotiations on the basis of game theory. She has published in distinguished international journals, such as the Journal of Health Economics, Applied Economics and Small Business Economics.

About the Speakers

Ahead of the 10th Annual Strategic Alliance Management for Pharma conference, we spoke with Harm-Jan Borgeld, Vice President, Head Alliance Management at Merck Healthcare KGaA and Stefanie Schubert, Professor at SRH University Heidelberg


In the life of partnerships often arise crisis and tensions. This is why it's worth considering all options to return to stability and trust. In the context of dispute resolution, could you outline and define the use of arbitration?  

Harm-Jan: Arbitration can be used as an option to resolve a dispute once all other options have been explored. In arbitration, a 3-member committee decides, after reviewing written claims and evidence and a hearing, on a case.

Stefanie: Of course, other dispute resolution mechanisms can be applied too. However, as mitigation is not binding and litigation tends to be expensive, arbitration offers an alternative way. 


In your session you will compare arbitration and negotiation, identifying advantages and disadvantages. Could you let us know a bit more about both concepts, how they differ and what are some of the main strengths in using one or another? 

Harm-Jan: In some cases, the difference between the positions of both partners is so far apart and the financial impact is huge on at least one partner that bridging the gap with negotiation is virtually impossible. The main strength of arbitration is that a decision needs to be made. The main strength of a negotiation is that the “burden” on an alliance is less than arbitration.


Alliance management professionals often have to leverage various skills in order to support their activities. How do you think this session could help them in their day to day practice?

Harm-Jan: This session allows participants to apply Game Theory before they choose the route of either arbitration of continuing with the negotiations. It helps the attendees to look ahead and reason back.


Finally, the session will be an active role game for alliance professionals. Could you highlight your roles and the way it will be conducted?

Stefanie: Our approach is two-fold: On one hand, we provide a structured framework for analysing strategic decisions, which is Game Theory. On the other hand, we apply our theoretical approach to real-life alliance management cases with interactive participation. The feedback we received in the past for our presentations showed that alliance professionals enjoy and think about these fresh thoughts.


What do you expect to get out of the 10th Annual Strategic Alliance Management for Pharma?


Harm-Jan: Learn how to improve operational management, and benefit from networking. 


Stefanie: I attended the conference in the past and always enjoyed the hands-on presentations and informal discussions from and with the experts that you invited.



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Strategic Alliance Management 
for Pharma

15-17 June 2020
Amsterdam, Netherlands 

An interview with Harm-Jan Borgeld, Vice President, Head Alliance Management at Merck Healthcare KGaA, and Stefanie Schubert, Professor at SRH University Heidelberg

About the Conference

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Tel.: +357 22 849 404
Fax: +357 22 849 394
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This 10th edition marcus evans conference on Strategic Alliance Management for Pharma will focus on demonstrating the value and role of alliance management, strengthening the skills of alliance function, aligning the right resources and projects, integrating into global portfolio strategy. Internally, we will have a closer look at business development functions, integration processes, and third party-procurement involvements; externally, we will focus on adapting quickly to a diversity of partners, new business models, fast processes and multiple challenges that may occur in the life of pharma agreements. Come and join us for the only dedicated Pharma Alliance conference in Europe!


For More Information:

Stefanie Schubert 
Professor of Economics
SRH University Heidelberg

Harm-Jan Borgeld
VP, Head Alliance Management
Merck Healthcare

10th Annual

Before heading the alliance management department at Merck Healthcare, Harm-Jan was leading a team that worked on developing a novel immunotherapy to treat cancer. He started his work at Merck in the licensing and business development department. Harm-Jan was previously leading the business development activities of the Japanese firm, Kyorin Pharmaceuticals, in Europe. He received his MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management, the Netherlands / Haas Business School, US, and completed his Ph.D. studies at the Medical Faculty of the University of Nagoya, Japan. He graduated from the Wageningen University, the Netherlands.