Scholarships for the PhD program "Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business"


The Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics (WCGE) and the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin (LEIZ) will award up to seven scholarships for the PhD program "Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business", starting in September 2016.

Funded by the German Karl Schlecht Foundation, WCGE and LEIZ jointly launched the PhD program in 2014. The program is open to outstanding PhD students whose research interests relate to responsible leadership in a global business context. In addition to providing the students with subject-specific qualifications, the program aims to embed studentsí research into a broader theoretical and sociopolitical framework. The program is therefore part of a dialog platform, which brings together the academic expertise of leading business ethics professors, the know-how of international corporations, and the perspectives of civil society actors. The program promotes research that is theoretically wellinformed and, at the same time, offers feasible solutions for doing business responsibly in the global market. PhD proposals must make a contribution to the academic discourse, corporate practice and the public debate.

Topical focus and study program
In the modern, global society, the responsibility of companies and their decisionmakers is becoming more and more prevalent as a topic every day. However, corporations and their managers can only be expected to make a constructive contribution to this situation if they have the necessary leadership competences that enable them to build public trust and to maintain their corporate license-to-operate in the long term. Societal trust and corporate responsibility can be considered on three levels; each of which constitutes a specific point of focus in the field of business ethics. These include:

  • Institutional Ethics

Which rules and structures are necessary to ensure that business serves the good of the people? What are the requisite conditions for being able to build global, cross-cultural institutional structures?

  • Corporate Ethics

How can collective actors assume responsibility and implement the necessary organizational structures internally? What is the added value of concepts such as Shared Value and Stakeholder Management?

  • Individual Ethics

How can the ability of decision-makers to judge, shape and discuss aspects of business ethics be developed? Which roles do personality and moral imagination play in this regard?

WCGE and LEIZ accept applications from students whose research proposals directly or indirectly address at least one of the levels of business ethics listed above. Proposals should emphasise the practical relevance of the research goal and bear reference to the global context. In order to support the students with knowledge of specific concepts and methodologies, the successful candidates will participate in the accompanying study program, consisting of courses and field projects. The program is located in Wittenberg; living within reach is a prerequisite for admission to the program so that participation in seminars and regular intellectual exchange amongst students, professors and WCGE and LEIZ staff is possible.

Admission and sponsoring

Admission to the PhD program requires that students are supervised by one of the following professors who at the same time serve as research directors of the program:

  • Prof. Dr. Philipp Schreck, Friede-Springer Endowed Chair "Business Ethics and Controlling", Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Suchanek, Dr. Werner Jackstädt Chair of Economic and Business Ethics, HHL - Leipzig Graduate School of Management
  • Prof. Dr. Josef Wieland, Chair of Institutional Economics, Leadership Excellence Institute, Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen

In addition, candidates must hold an above-average masters or diploma degree in a field that is relevant for their individual research proposal. Applications should include:

  • An exposé describing the research proposal (max. 15 pages), including an executive summary and the name of the favored supervisor
  • A letter of motivation (max. 2 pages)
  • At least one letter of reference
  • A university certificate which fulfills the conditions for obtaining a PhD at the university of the favored professor (incl. transcript of records)
  • If applicable, certificates of employment and a publication list
  • A CV

The programís academic committee will decide about acceptance to the PhD program and the scholarships. The scholarships will start after admittance to the doctoral program at the respective university. The monthly stipend rate will be 1200 Euros, including material and travel costs, and students will have access to an additional research budget of up to 2000 Euros for conducting approved field research projects and visiting important conferences. The scholarship can be granted for up to three years, depending on the progress of the PhD projects and the completion of the requirements in the study and practical program, which will be assessed on an annual basis. It is expected that the PhD projects are completed within the proposed three years period. Further information can be found on Applications close on 31st March 2016.

Please send your application, including the supporting documents, preferably per email, to:

Dr. Christina Kleinau
Academic Coordinator of the PhD program "Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business"
Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics
Schlossstraße 10
06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany
Tel. +49 / (0)3491 / 5079 117