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About the program

The program focuses on economic and business ethics. The curriculum consists of seminars, colloquia and field projects.

The program is open to outstanding young graduates whose research interest addresses the issue of responsible leadership in business in a global context. Besides providing the students with subject-specific qualifications, it is the aim of the program to integrate the research proposals into a greater theoretical and socio-political framework. The program is therefore part of an innovative platform format, bringing together scientific expertise of leading professors of business ethics, the know-how of internationally operating companies, and the perspectives of societal stakeholder groups. The program promotes research that is theoretically well-informed and at the same time, offers real-life solutions for doing responsible business in the context of global competition.

Thematic focus

In our global, modern society that is becoming ever more interdependent, the responsibility of corporations and their decision-makers is also growing in complexity. Corporations can only play a constructive role in society if their employees and leaders have developed the competencies that allow public trust to be built and the companies’ license-to-operate to be maintained in the long term. Societal trust and corporate responsibility are based on three levels, for each of which the field of business ethics provides the foundation for the development of specific management competencies:

Institutional Ethics

Which rules and structures help to guide business interactions for the good of the people?
What are the conditions framing the development of global, cross-culturally applicable structures?

Corporate Ethics

How can collective actors assume and organize responsibility?
What is the added value of such concepts as Shared Value and stakeholder management?

Individual Ethics

How can the competencies of decision makers to judge, shape and discuss aspects of business ethics be shaped? What is the role of personality and moral imagination in this regard?
In order to support the students and to train them in terms of contents and methodology, accepted doctoral students will participate in an accompanying study program, consisting of courses, field projects and regular jours fixes.


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

  • Prof. Dr. Ingo Pies, Chair of Economic Ethics, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
  • 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, Endowed Chair of Institutional Economics, Leadership Excellence Institute, Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen

Download the doctoral study program here