Thematic Focus

Ethics of order, corporate ethics, and leadership ethics make up the research areas of the doctoral program. In particular, this program focusses on the framework for entrepreneurial value creation for the good of people, society, and environment, on the responsibilities placed on companies and the social trust in companies and their decision makers, and on good leadership.

Globalization, growing social inequality, digitalization, and climate change are only some of the big issues of our time. They come with urgent moral, social, and ecological challenges for which we have to develop feasible and sustainable solutions. This is where also companies and their decision makers need to become active. Companies are being ascribed increasingly more political, social, and moral responsibility. Entrepreneurial value creation should benefit people, society, and environment instead of harming them. This aspiration underlies initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights of the German government, the ILO labour standards. It is also reflected in a company’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). If companies and their decision makers assume this responsibility and gain and sustain sufficient trust of their employees and the society through their corporate management and leadership, they will get a stable mandate for added value.

In their dissertation projects and in the study program, the doctoral students address this topic on three different levels:

  • Ethics of Order
    What are the rules and regulation arrangements that promote economies for the benefit of the people? What are the conditions for the emergence of global transcultural orders?
  • Corporate Ethics
    How can collective actors assume and organize responsibility? What is the added value of such concepts as shared value and stakeholder management?
  • Leadership Ethics
    What defines good leadership? What is a point of orientation for good leadership? How can decision makers develop skills of ethical judgment, design, and reasoning?