Research Focus

This list provides an overview of the research focus at the Peter-Löscher Chair of Business Ethics. PhD studies and other research activities at the chair can be in general grouped into one of the following categories.

Foundations of economic ethics - order ethics

We approach economic ethics as "order ethics" (cf. Homann&Lütge, Einfuhrung in die Wirtschaftsethik, 3rd edition, 2013; Lütge, Order Ethics or Moral Surplus: What Holds a Society Together?, 2015) and consider rules and institutions (both formal and informal) to be the decisive elements in economic ethics, corroborated by competition. While competition is mostly seen in economics as a mechanism for solving problems, it is often ignored in ethics, if not altogether rejected. Economic ethics therefore analyses how institutions can play a role in realizing ethical principles in competitive settings. Moreoever, ethical theory is often divided between deontological and utilitarian approaches. We aim to foster the development of a contractarian ethics in order to offer an alternative basis for ethics.

Research topics:

  • Competition as an implementation mechanism of ethics
  • Ethics and entrepreneurship, ethics and innovation
  • The concept of competition in international and historical comparisons
  • Review of today's capitalism
  • Contractarian approaches in ethics

Current projects:

  • Lütge, Christoph; Strosetzki, Christoph (forthcoming): Der ehrbare Kaufmann: Zwischen Bescheidenheit und Risiko, Heidelberg: Springer VS 2017.
  • Book series with Routledge "Law, Ethics and Economics" (cooperation with Chiba University, Japan)
  • Contractarian ethics

Completed projects:

  • Lütge, Christoph; Armbrüster, Thomas; Müller, Julian (2016): Order Ethics: Briding the Gap between Contractarianism and Business Ethics, in: Journal of Business Ethics 136 (4), S. 687-697.
  • Lütge, Christoph (2016): Order Ethics and the Problem of Social Glue, in: University of St. Thomas Law Journal 12 (2), S. 339-359.
  • Lütge. Christoph; Mukerji, Nikil (eds.) (2016): Order Ethics. An ethical framework for the Social Market Economy. Heidelberg: Springer
  • Conference "Globaler Wettbewerb als Motor der Moral?" 2016, in cooperation with the Akademie für politische Bildung Tutzing
  • "The responsibilities of managers in small and medium-sized enterprises" (cooperation with Harvard Business School)
  • Monograph "Ethik des Wettbewerbs: Über Konkurrenz und Moral", Beck 2014
  • Monograph "Order Ethics or Moral Surplus: What Holds a Society Together?", Lexington 2015
  • Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics (edited, 3 volumes, 1540 p., Springer 2013)
  • Business ethics in franchising (Dr. Gerd Garmaier, published: Gabler 2010)
  • Counter-intuitive consequences of moral actions from normativistic fallacies (Patrick Wellas, completed 2012)

Business ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

In business ethics there is an interplay of rules and other mechanisms. Just to follow rules is not enough, neither for businesses nor for other actors in a market economy. Good judgment and trustworthiness are also needed.

Research topics:

  • CSR in SMEs
  • Sustainability and ethics
  • Business ethics in health

Current projects:

  • Sector-specific Coordinated Governance Initiatives for Fighting Corruption (B. van Schoor)
  • CSR in SMEs (A. Reiff)
  • CSR in the Indonesian Tobacco Industry (H. Tandilittin)

Completed projects:

  • Liew, Pek Yew; Lütge, Christoph (2016): Integrated Management System Frameworks for Corporate Social Responsibility and Related Concepts, in: Journal of Management and Sustainability 6 (3), 12-24.
  • Lütge, Christoph; Liel, Benedikt v. (2015): Creating Shared Value und seine Erfolgsfaktoren - ein Vergleich mit CSR, in: Zeitrschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik 16/2, S. 182-191.
  • "Creating Shared Value as future factor of competition – analysis and empirical evidence“ (Benedikt von Liel, completed 2015)
  • Unemployment and social tätigk: an economic ethics analysis of employment and dignity (K. Prechel, completed 2014)

Economic ethics of Digitization

In ethics, discussions of risk are often dominated by the problem of how to prevent harm - less by the question of how to make use of opportunities. But these two aspects belong together. In a number of projects we pursue the development of an ethics of rational risk calculation. This part of the research is in cooperation with the TUM research group of "Risk and Security" proposed under the Excellence Initiative.

Research topics:

  • Business ethics and risk management
  • Ethical risks of financial markets
  • Risks and ethics of information

Current projects:

  • Appointment of Prof. Lütge to the Ethics Committee for Automated Driving by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
  • Cooperation with Oxford University (Prof. Luciano Floridi)
  • Convention "Ethics in Innovation" June 2017, in cooperation with the Max-Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and the World Forum for Ethics in Business Ethics
  • Advisory Board of the European Medical Information Framework
  • Ethics of Bitcoin and Blockchain (in cooperation with Tokyo University)

Completed projects:

  • Gogoll, Jan; Müller, Julian (2016): Autonomous Cars: In Favor of a Mandatory Ethics Setting. Journal of Science and Engineering Ethics.
  • Book series "Business Ethics and Risk Management" (ed. Christoph Lütge and Johanna Jauernig, Springer 2014)
  • The order ethics of the global financial crisis: an analysis of dilemma structures (P. München, Springer 2014)

Experimental ethics

Scientific methods and results play an increasing role in ethics. Economics, game theory, psychology and evolutionary biology can be made fruitful for research in ethics. This is especially true for economic and business ethics. Adding to the more classical perspectives of the individual disciplines, experimental approaches can (e.g.) help in the clarification of intuitions or support the process of ethical decision making. This research focus is one of the building blocks of the TUM "Munich Center for Technology in Society" that has been recently established under the Excellence Initiative.

Research topics:

Current projects:

  • Experimental business ethics (J. Jauernig, cooperation with the Monash University, Melbourne)
  • Experimental studies in ethics (Hannes Rusch and others)
  • Munich Lecture in Business Ethics 2016 held by Vernon Smith

Completed projects:

  • Jauernig, Johanna; Uhl, Matthias; Lütge, Christoph (2016): Competition-Induced Punishment of Winners and Losers: Who is the Target?, in: Journal of Economic Psychology 57, 13-25.
  • Rusch, Hannes; Lütge, Christoph (2016): Spillovers from Coordination to Cooperation - Evidence for the Interdependence Hypothesis from the Lab?, in: Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences 10 (4), Oct 2016, 284-296.
  • Symposium "Experimental Ethics" at the VHB-Jahrestagung in Munich 2016, in cooperation with the LMU
  • Book series "Experimental Ethics: Toward an Empirical Moral Philosophy" (ed. Christoph Lütge, Hannes Rusch and Matthias Uhl, Palgrave Macmillan 2014)
  • Dilemmas in social psychology and ethics (Dr. Sabine Küchle, sponsored by the FAZIT-Stiftung, completed 2013)
  • Behavioural Economics and Ethics: Interrelations and Applications (Dr. Alexander Rajko, Routledge 2011)

Economics ethics and corruption

Compating corruption is a central theme of business ethics and compliance research. Among other things, the chair seeks to better combine the efforts of ethicists and compliance researchers.

Research topics:

  • The causes, perceptions and conditions of corruption in international comparisons
  • Brand initiatives against corruption

Current projects:

  • Sector-specific Coordinated Governance Initiatives for Fighting Corruption (B. van Schoor, sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung)
  • Certification and benchmarking as safeguards in the fight against corruption (E. Lucke)
  • Compating corruption in public services with compliance management systems - a case from Kamerun (M. Bang Essote)

Diversity

Diversity is an important aspect in the research of business ethics in a globalized world. Transpanrency in handling variety (in its various dimensions) is emphasized and welcomed from business ethics perspectives.

Research topics:

  • Cultural diversity from the perspective of business ethics (cooperation with Vietnam)

Current projects:

  • Cooperation with the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University
  • Diversity in German companies (J. Schadendorf)
  • Conference "Diversity in Business, Institutions and Culture" 2016 in cooperation with the Amerikahaus Munich

Completed projects:

  • Polycentric Democracy: Making Use of Diversity (J. Müller, sponsored by the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung, completed 2015)