My main research interests are located somewhere inside and between the areas of complexity economics, organisations, self-organisation, ecological economics, sustainability, individual values, and social norms.

Methodically I primarily employ computational approaches to cope with the inherent complexities of social science. Specifically this means that I show strong interest in agent-based modelling as a way of accounting for heterogeneity in humans, their decision-making, and the social environments they are embedded in.

In that respect, I have gained varied experience in using different programming languages like NetLogo, Python, and Julia albeit heavily preferring the latter. I'm an active contributor to the Agents.jl Julia ABM framework and the accompanying InteractiveDynamics.jl visualisation package. Furthermore, I'm the core developer of OSMMakie.jl, a Makie.jl recipe package enabling easy plotting of OpenStreetMap data.


Generally you can find up to date information about my past research on my ORCiD profile. The following sections also provide some insight and materials regarding more informal research efforts. This might include preprints of full papers, extended abstracts, conference presentation slides, etc. that I have been or currently am working on.

In progress

How Schwartz values influence social networks in the workplace
Frederik Banning, Marcin Czupryna, Bogumił Kamiński (2023)

Abstract. In the literature, human values are defined as “desirable, broad trans-situational goals that serve as guiding principles in human life”. Shalom H. Schwartz introduced the concept of ten different human values and proposed their structure in the form of a circle. These individual values can influence the relationships between agents and, consequently, the structure of the entire social network. In this paper, we exploit data from the European Social Survey as well as our own unique experimental data to explore the mechanisms of this influence and analyse its consequences by the means of agent-based modelling. We present preliminary results that provide weak support for both proposed hypotheses: Schwartz values (i) lead to greater stability of social networks in the workplace and (ii) can differentiate agents’ behaviours and the resulting positions in their workgroups.

The Complexity of Corporate Culture as a Potential Source of Firm Profit Differentials
Frederik Banning, Jessica Reale, Michael Roos (2023)

Abstract. This paper proposes an addition to the firm-based perspective on intra-industry profitability differentials by modelling a business organisation as a complex adaptive system. The presented agent-based model introduces an endogenous similarity-based social network and employees’ reactions to dynamic management strategies informed by key company benchmarks. The value-based decision-making of employees shapes the behaviour of others through their perception of social norms from which a corporate culture emerges. These elements induce intertwined feedback mechanisms which lead to unforeseen profitability outcomes. The simulations reveal that variants of extreme adaptation of management style yield higher profitability in the long run than the more moderate alternatives. Furthermore, we observe convergence towards a dominant management strategy with low intensity in monitoring efforts as well as high monetary incentivisation of cooperative behaviour. The results suggest that measures increasing the connectedness of the workforce across all four value groups might be advisable to escape potential lock-in situation and thus raise profitability. A further positive impact on profitability can be achieved through knowledge about the distribution of personal values among a firm’s employees. Choosing appropriate and enabling management strategies, and sticking to them in the long run, can support the realisation of the inherent self-organisational capacities of the workforce, ultimately leading to higher profitability through cultural stability.

Inside the bounds of ecological policy-making: human needs and political feasibility in the context of sustainable consumption
Michelle Alfers, Frederik Banning, Jessica Reale, Elias-Johannes Schmitt


A value-based model of job performance
Michael Roos, Jessica Reale, Frederik Banning (2022)

Abstract. This agent-based model contributes to a theory of corporate culture in which company performance and employees’ behaviour result from the interaction between financial incentives, motivational factors and endogenous social norms. Employees’ personal values are the main drivers of behaviour. They shape agents’ decisions about how much of their working time to devote to individual tasks, cooperative, and shirking activities. The model incorporates two aspects of the management style, analysed both in isolation and combination: (i) monitoring efforts affecting intrinsic motivation, i.e. the company is either trusting or controlling, and (ii) remuneration schemes affecting extrinsic motivation, i.e. individual or group rewards. The simulations show that financial incentives can (i) lead to inefficient levels of cooperation, and (ii) reinforce value-driven behaviours, amplified by emergent social norms. The company achieves the highest output with a flat wage and a trusting management. Employees that value self-direction highly are pivotal, since they are strongly (de-)motivated by the management style.


Winter 2023

Summer 2023

Winter 2021

Summer 2020

Committee work