In business management, (ethical) discernment of decision makers plays a vital, but often underestimated role for the long term success of value creation. It is one of the central challenges of “good management” to constantly align success and responsibility in business. The well-known conflict between market and moral or profit and ethics and possible approaches are the main focus of my research and teaching at HHL. The idea is to transform the conflict into a chance of creating value: The costs of responsible behavior are an investment in trust, which pays often well over time.
After studying Economics at the German universities of Kiel and Göttingen, I worked as acting chair for Business and Economic Ethics at Ingolstadt School of Management (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt). In 2004 I joined HHL and
was Dow Research Professor of Sustainability and Global Ethics. Since 2009, I have been the chairholder of the Dr. Werner Jackstädt Chair of Economic and Business Ethics. As an ethics professor at HHL, my aim is to teach students the complexity of business life and possible grey areas. They shall learn why and how to invest in trust in a fast-moving and complex business world.
Apart from my work at HHL I am chairman of the board of the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics which is an independent, international and interdenominational initiative of persons and organizations from politics, business, academia, the Churches and civil society. It aims at identifying general ethical principles for effective and responsible leadership.
I am reviewer for the German Research Society (DFG) and diverse foundations as well as various scientific journals such as the Journal of Business Ethics (JBE), the Journal for Business, Economics, and Ethics (zfwu), ORDO and others. Furthermore I am an active member of diverse advisory committees such as for the CSR Forum of the German Federal Government, the Chemistry Foundation Academy of Social Partners (CSSA), the scientific council of the Federal Association of Compliance Managers and others.