WIBEC 2019: Successful start of a New Research Conference

From November 13 until November 15, 2019, 29 international doctoral candidates and PostDocs presented and discussed their research in the Lutherstadt.

The idea for the first Wittenberg Interdisciplinary Business Ethics Conference (WIBEC) developed from the middle of the doctoral program “Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business”: why not create and organize an interdisciplinary and international platform for exchange about topics of business, corporate and leadership ethics for young researchers? The participants of the conference came from various different disciplines, for example, from philosophy, sociology, business studies, economics, psychology, jurisprudence, or theology. They presented conceptual and normative works as well as qualitative and quantitative studies.

On Wednesday afternoon, the conference started with an impulse from Prof. Dr. Philipp Schreck, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg. Then Maxim Egorov from the chair of research and since management at the Technical University of Munich gave a keynote speech about “Ethical uand unethical leadership: so far, so good – where are we heading next”. He presented the current state of psychological research in the field of leadership and pointed out future research areas. The second keynote speaker was Dr. Ruth Yeoman, Fellow at the Kellogg College of the University of Oxford. She spoke about “Meaningful Work: theory and practice“ on Thursday afternoon and asked, what makes work and organisations meaningful. The conference ended with a keynote speech from Prof. Prof. Dr. Bolko von Oetinger, Vice-Chairman BMW Foundation and honorary Professor at the Otto Beisheim School o of Management. In his lecture „Sustainability – strategy for whom?“, he showed which different challenges businesses and leaders face and how they can meet them.

On Thursday evening, the public panel discussion “Responsibility in Digital Transformation” moderated by Dr. Martin von Broock, chairman of the WCGE, took place. Christoph Böhm from SAP, Jakob Häußermann from Frauenhofer IAO and Julia Scherer from the Bertelsmann Foundation discussed among other things how Corporative Digital Responsibility is different from Corporative Social Responsibility, which are the moral challenges in the area of digitalisation, which new value conflicts arise, and to what extent companies want and can contribute to a digital education of the public.

Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics (WCGE) organized the conference in cooperation with the Friede Springer Chair for business ethics and management accounting (bema). Rebecca Ruehle and Gonzalo Conti, doctoral students of the doctoral program “Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business”, and PD Dr. Lisa Schmalzried, academic head of the program, were the members of the organisation team. The conference was sponsored by the Heinz und Heide Dürr Stiftung and the Foundation Leucorea. The conference is part of the dialogue platform of the doctoral program financed by the Karl Schlecht Stiftung.