Current research projects at the chair

Here you find a list of projects that are, among others, currently pursued at the Peter Löscher Chair of Business Ethics and Global Governance:

Experimental Ethics Lab (EEL)

The relevance of the methods and results from disciplines of the behavioral sciences – like economics, game theory, psychology, or evolutionary biology – receives ever increasing recognition within ethics. This is particularly true for business ethics. Complementary to traditional philosophical contemplations, experiments can, e.g., help in the specification of intuitions or support ethical decision making. With the EEL we are one of the first philosophy chairs in Europe to have installed an own laboratory for the experimental investigation of ethically relevant decision processes. The EEL comprises a Classic Lab, in which subject can participate in decision experiments under controlled conditions, and an Online Lab, with which we are also able to conduct spatially distributed experiments.

More information here: Experimental Ethics Lab

Perception of liberties and options at career entry

This study explores changes of the perception of individual and job-related liberties and options regarding lifestyle and consumption during the last decades. For that we asked people from two different age cohorts about their evaluations. Thereby the evaluation of the time of their own career entry was emphasised.

Preliminary results here:

Brief summary here:

Anti-Littering at McDonald‘s

The careless throwing away of packaging waste in the surroundings of McDonald’s branches is a problem for the environment as well as the image of the company itself. In the context of a field experiment, our project investigates in how far different “anti-littering” campaigns in selected branches are capable of reducing the amount of littered packaging waste in a defined surrounding area. As an independent variable, we consider, inter alia, the degree of involvement of the customer in the respective campaign.

Virtual Course in SecondLife

The chair participates in a project "Corporate Social Responsibility through a Virtual Classroom"; in cooperation with Financial Times London, Stockholm School of Economics, Darden School of Business, Jain School of Global Management Singapur and others.

Peer-to-peer microcredits: Kiva

Peer-to-peer microcredit lending is a tool of economic development aid, which has become feasible through the 21st centuries’ technical possibilities. One of the best known platforms for this is Currently, we investigate the decision processes of lenders and their ethical consequences in a number of studies.

Official website:

Transparency Initiative of the Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry has, although regularly achieving top positions in CSR rankings, a rather bad reputation among the general public. Caused by legislative regulations as well as collective self-commitments pharmaceutical companies are increasingly publishing their financial relations. This leads, for instance, to the announcement of honorariums for speeches on the respective web sites of the companies. We analyze in an empirical study which stance physicians themselves take toward this transparency initiative. First results show that physicians show understanding for pharmaceutical companies’ transparency efforts, but are skeptical about their impact on their own reputation.

Experimental Ethics (workshop and book project)

Combined from

In September 2012, we organized a two-day workshop on “The scope and limits of experimental ethics” at the GAP8 conference. On the basis of selected contributions to the workshop we developed a book project “Experimental Ethics”, with contributions by Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside) and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University, USA) among others, which has been published in 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Link to the book:

Programme of the workshop: Download [PDF]

Publisher's website:

Sociotechnical large-scale projects in Germany – Ethical implications

Modern societies face sociotechnical challenges which can only be mastered by the realization of large-scale projects. One can monitor an increasing interest in participating and deciding on such projects within the German public. Examples for this development are for instance the airport of Berlin (BER) as well as the redesign of the Stuttgart main train station (Stuttgart 21). These projects have been harshly criticized regarding their costs, their usefulness and on social/ecological grounds. The research aims particularly at the ethical aspects of the collective decision processes.

Press release: