International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

Leadership Ethics as Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities

The project is dedicated to the conceptualization of university teaching in the field of leadership ethics for master students and PhD candidates in STEM subjects. The goal of the learning formats developed by this project is to identify and teach competencies and knowledge required for ethical leadership. Over the course of the project, model trials were conducted and evaluated throughout three semesters. The project aims at institutionalizing teaching of leadership and ethical reflection at universities as well as emphasizing its relevance for universities and companies.



  • Sebastian Cacean (research assistant)
  • Dr. Luzia Sievi (research assistant)
  • Nicola Weiß (research assistant)


January 2019 – December 2021

Hybride Final Event „Führungsethik in der Hochschullehre“ June 13 and 14, 2022, Old Auditorium (Alte Aula) University of Tübingen and Zoom

In coorperation with


The majority of managers in Germany has an academic degree (DIW Führungskräftemonitor 2017). However, leadership, especially leadership responsibility and leadership ethics hardly play a role during their studies, especially in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Fregin/Richter/Schreiber/Wüstenhagen et al., 2016). The joint project "Leadership Ethics as Ethics in the Sciences - From Theory to Practice in Universities and Companies", funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, intends to change that. The aim of the joint project is to develop a learning opportunity that imparts competencies and knowledge required for ethical leadership to students in STEM fields.

For a suitable curriculum a methodically diversified team cooperates interlocally on the research project, on the one hand the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW, University of Tübingen), on the other hand the Universities of Mainz and Jena as well as the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics (WCGE). The project is being coordinated by the IZEW.

With a minimal definition of "Dimensions of Leadership" (Schmalzried/ Fröhlich / Vondermaßen 2022) and a self-developed curriculum for STEM students on "Leadership Ethics - Competencies in Science and Professional Practice", the research project has been holding seminars at the universities of the project partners since the winter term 2020/2021. A workshop for PhD candidates completes the rage of curricula. The courses address how a responsible manager can reflect on his or her own (moral) ideas, values and goals with which he or she will be confronted as a future manager in his or her later work environment.

From the very beginning, the courses were accompanied by a team of evaluators, who designed an empirically sound, theory-based and practice-oriented competency model as well as corresponding measuring instruments, that should enable the effectiveness of the teaching of leadership ethics competencies to be made measurable. Both the courses and the evaluation instruments were tested in model trials as part of the project.

The project was extended until June 2022, so that the project and its results of the evaluation can be presented at the lunch-to-lunch hybrid final event “Leadership ethics in Higher Education” on Monday and Tuesday, June 13 and 14, 2022. At the same time, the final event should be seen as a prelude to initiating a dialog between science and practice to set the course for the institutionalization of teaching in leadership ethics at universities.



  • Schmalzried, Lisa/ Fröhlich, Friederike/Vondermaßen, Marcel (2022): Dimensionen der Führung: Eine begriffsdefinitorische Grundlegung (ethikorientierter) guter Führung, in: Leadersh Educ Personal Interdiscip J.

  • Vondermaßen, Marcel (13.12.2021): „Führung – Ethik – Lehre. Warum wir mehr Führungsethik unterrichten sollten“, Blogbeitrag BedenkZeiten IZEW

  • Hoffmann, Clemens/ Güngör, Lena / Albrecht, Reyk / Woest, Volker (2020): Führungsethik in der naturwissenschaftlichen Ausbildung. In S. Habig (Hg.): Naturwissenschaftliche Kompetenzen in der Gesellschaft von morgen. Gesellschaft für Didaktik der Chemie und Physik, Jahrestagung in Wien 2019, Universität Duisburg-Essen, S. 641-644.

  • Schmalzried, Lisa/ Fröhlich, Friederike/ Vondermaßen, Marcel (23.04.2021): „Leadership Dimensions“, 37th Business & Economic Society International Conference,

  • Fregin, Marie-Christine/Richter, Philipp/Schreiber, Benedikt/Wüstenhagen, Stefanie et al. (2016): Führungsverantwortung in der Hochschullehre. Zur Situation in den MINT-Fächern und Wirtschaftswissenschaften an den Universitäten in Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Pfalz und Thüringen, Tübingen, (Materialien zur Ethik in den Wissenschaften, 12).
  • Fregin, Marie-Christine/Richter, Philipp/Schreiber, Benedikt/Wüstenhagen, Stefanie/Dietrich, Julia/Frankenberger, Rolf/Schmidt, Uwe/Walgenbach, Peter (2016): „Hier bitte einen Satz zu Kompetenzen einfügen …“ Kompetenzorientierung, gesellschaftliche Verantwortungs-Übernahme und Homogenisierung in universitären Curricula am Beispiel der Führungsverantwortung, in: Das Hochschulwesen 4/2016, S. 117-123.