Details for Technische Universitat Kaiserslautern
Type of Organization
Type of Education
Undergraduate, Post Graduate, Doctoral, Executive
Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate , Germany
Sign Up Date to PRME
22 Aug 2018
Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission
Letter of Commitment (2018)
Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
• The Faculty of Business Studies and Economics of Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK) pursues the vision to integrate and to exemplify the principles of sustainable development as a key role in teaching and research on a regional, national and international level. Within TUK, the Faculty of Business Studies and Economics aims at stimulating sustainable transformation in collaboration with the university management.
• The mission of TUK (Faculty of Business Studies and Economics) states: “For us, sustainable management means, based on intra- and intergenerational justice, a long-term orientation regarding ecological, economic and social goals and their consolidation into a balance at regional, national and international level. In our view, sustainable business requires not only the preservation of natural and social resources, but also innovative business models, continuous humane and environmentally compatible change and the proactive solution of social and ecological challenges through entrepreneurial activities. To this end, we have the necessary economic knowledge and the necessary competencies in an interdisciplinary context with other scientific disciplines in the spirit of the UN's "Education for Sustainable Development". We support the transfer of knowledge to shape sustainable, innovative companies.”
• The Sustainability Office of the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK) is a specially developed hybrid platform for all sustainability issues of the university and thus the first contact for ecological, social and economic sustainability at TUK. Activities are coordinated, supported and initiated in the major fields of teaching, research and operational management as well as in the cross-sectional areas of governance, reporting and transfer. The employees of the office advise, support and work on top-down-projects across disciplines and prepare the university’s integrated sustainability report. Furthermore, the office supports bottom-up projects initiated by students and volunteers of the affiliated university group „FUTURE Nachhaltigkeit “. They also participate and represent their activities on events like the new employee welcome day, “Nacht die Wissenschafft”, etc.
• Students in general are engaged in various student organizations such as “AIESEC”, “Greenpeace”, “Unicef”, etc. They raise awareness for sustainability issues and include local non-profit organizations and citizens.
• The Kaiserslauterer Open Online Course (KLOOC) on the subject of "Sustainable Development" was initially funded as a pilot scheme within the university as a “Lehre Plus Projekt” to strengthen the university’s quality of education. Since the second run of this open online course in 2016, the KLOOC format has been part of the program funding within the framework of the University Pact 2020 III (Open Educational Programs of TUK).
This open online course offers an innovative perspective of various disciplines of TUK to present the thematic diversity of sustainable development. The course is open for students as well as for the general public.
• The course program “Social Responsibility in Business” offered by Prof. Dr. Katharina Spraul is obligatory for all students of the Bachelor’s program.
Economic and especially entrepreneurial activities take always place in a social context. This rises the responsibility of the actors involved, may it be citizens, consumers, companies, governments or non-profit organisations. This course will shed light on how it is possible to "manage with social responsibility". It aims to interest students in issues of social responsibility and to enable them to take a meta-perspective on their individual actions and the relationship between ethics and economics.
• The course “Leadership as a Global Responsibility” is offered by all professors of the faculty of Business Studies and Economics: Prof. Dr. Katharina Spraul, Prof. Dr. Matthias Baum, Prof. Dr. habil. Hans Corsten, Prof. Dr. jur. Michael Hassemer, Prof. Dr. Reinhold Hölscher, Prof. Dr. Gordon Müller-Seitz, Prof. Dr. Tanja Rabl, Prof. Dr. Philipp Weinschenk, Prof. Dr. Oliver Wendt, Prof. Dr. Jan Wenzelburger, Prof. Dr. Robert Schmidt and Prof. Dr. Frank Hechtner. This lecture is obligatory for all students of the Master’s program.
The topics take up a wide range of different perspectives on sustainable development. The United Nations Agenda 2030 with its 17 sustainable development goals build the basis of this course.
• Students can deepen their expertise on Resource and Energy Economics at the chair of Prof. Dr. Robert Schmidt. The course “Principles of sustainable economic activities” is offered for the Bachelor’s program. The modules offered for the Master’s program consists of “Environmental Economics”, “Resource Economics”, “Competition and Regulation”, “Energy Economics” and “Economics and Financing of Renewable Energy Technologies”.
• In the teaching activities of the chair of Entrepreneurship (Prof. Dr. Matthias Baum), one focus lies on the particularities of social entrepreneurship. Students learn how to create social enterprises and what it takes to create a social business model.
• The teaching of the chair of Human Resource Management, Leadership, and Organization (Prof. Dr. Tanja Rabl) aims at enabling students to describe, explain, and execute responsible behavior and management in organizations. Courses address various topics in the area of responsible human resource management and organizational behavior.
• Teaching-wise the chair of Strategy, Innovation and Cooperation (Prof. Dr. Gordon Müller-Seitz) targets sustainability issues in the first place from a strategic management perspective with an emphasis on interorganizational relations, for instance when it comes to ensuring corporate social responsibility along supply chain actors. Towards this end not only economic aspects are covered, but also the social and environmental dimensions of sustainability management respectively.
• In the Master’s program, students can deepen their expertise in the topics of Sustainability Management at the chair of Prof. Dr. Katharina Spraul. The module “Intersectoral Sustainability Management” contains the courses “sustainability governance” and “sustainability research methods”. The module “Management for the Global Goals” consists of the courses “Non-profit Management for the sustainable development goals”, “Case Studies in Sustainability Management” and “Sustainability Management in different contexts”.
At the university seminars, bachelor theses, master theses, research projects, studies projects, doctoral theses and Service Learning research projects (only at the chair for sustainability management) have been or currently are carried out in the topics of sustainability, including exemplary topics such as:
- Integration of refugees in collaboration with State Police in Kaiserslautern
- Service Learning projects: fundraising and collaboration concepts with local non-profit organizations
• Students of industrial engineering and management can further deepen their knowledge regarding sustainability in their technical subjects, e.g. with lectures like “sustainability in production”, offered by other faculties at TUK.
• The two-year "Sustainable Development Cooperation" distance learning Master’s degree program is aimed at university graduates of any discipline with at least one year of professional experience. This course is ideal for full-time and part-time staff members working in development cooperation as well as anyone looking for scientific preparation for a role in this field. The scientific head is Prof. Dr. Michael von Hauff.
Alongside the introduction into the basics and the concepts of sustainable development, various fields of development cooperation are highlighted, and relevant sustainability concepts processed. The course has been designed intentionally for interdisciplinary learning and combines ecological, social science-based and economic content, all focusing on development cooperation.
• In the future, the Faculty of Business Studies and Economics and TUK will focus on:
- Integrating student initiatives for sustainability into teaching activities.
- Exploring the connections between digital transformation with sustainability and
corporate responsibility, potentially in collaboration with industry partners.
- Exploring opportunities for more interdisciplinary teaching approaches on sustainability topics.
Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
• The research of the chair of Entrepreneurship (Prof. Dr. Matthias Baum) covers a variety of topics but is centered on the strategies, processes and value creation of entrepreneurs, small technology firms as well as small-to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These firms account for a significant proportion of economic growth, employment capacities and innovation potential in most developed economies.
With our research, we aim to contribute to the understanding of the antecedents and outcomes of such firms’ entrepreneurial activities in domestic, but also in international markets. Internationalization is a key element in the strategic management of small firms. On the one hand, it allows to spot opportunities in foreign countries, but on the other hand it is connected with risks of failure and liabilities of foreignness. We observe the potential benefits and shortfalls of (early) internationalization and how firms may leverage the former and mitigate the latter.
Besides growth strategies, we emphasize the question how firms (and in particular SMEs) can effectively acquire and retain one of the most important sources of sustained competitive advantage: their human resources. More specifically, we focus on research about how firms can recruit valuable and well-fitting employees. In this context, we observe the effectiveness of different recruitment channels, the role of recruitment channel orchestration and employer branding as well as the effects of corporate social responsibility.
• Research conducted at the chair of Human Resource Management, Leadership, and Organization (Prof. Dr. Tanja Rabl) deals with responsible behavior and management in organizations. In particular, it addresses questions regarding the management of corruption risks in organizations, the management of diversity in organizations, the management of the digital transformation, and strategic international human resource management.
• Research at the chair of Management Studies (Ass. Prof. Dr. Anja Danner-Schröder) covers organizational and management theories. A specific focus is geared towards the interrelationship between grand challenges (fundamental, global societal concerns of ecological or social nature) and new forms of organizing to handle grand challenges. Such organizations attempt to tackle the various sustainable development goals from climate change, natural catastrophes, decent work and sustainable growth, gender equality, populism and racism, societal cohesion, responsible consumption and production, to sustainable cities and communities. Research at the chair of Management Studies deals with grand challenges such as earthquakes and the refugee crisis and how new work practices and digital technologies can support the process of coordinated and collective efforts to tackle the challenges.
• The research of the chair for Strategy, Innovation and Cooperation (Prof. Dr. Gordon Müller-Seitz) is geared towards transdisciplinary research that is anchored in the field of management studies. Key areas of interest that can be subsumed under the umbrella term of sustainability management cover the governance of networks and supply chains.
• The research at the chair for Sustainability Management (Prof. Dr. Katharina Spraul) follows the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Guided by this Vision 2030, we see that our primary mission as a department for business administration is to center on solutions for SDG no. 12, Sustainable Consumption and Production. As a topic that addresses the whole society, research on sustainability and on sustainable consumption and production cannot be limited to individual actors. Consequently, at the organizational level, we address sustainability management of actors in the three sectors market (e.g. for-profit firms), civil society (e.g. nonprofit organizations), and the public sector (e.g. public administration). Because of the topic’s complexity, we usually do not only focus on the actors themselves, but also on interorganizational and intersectoral Networks (SDG no. 17: Partnerships for the Goals) and their socio-cultural, ecological, and political-economic environment.
Against the backdrop of this multilevel framework, our research strategy currently focuses on the following areas of research:
- the role of universities in sustainability networks
- Success factors of sustainability networks
- pro-environmental behavior at the workplace
- sustainability and digital transformation
- innovations for circular economy
- implementing the sustainable development goals in organizational accountability
• From 2013 to summer 2015 TUK (Prof. Dr. Katharina Spraul) corporates with the University of Mannheim (Dr. Sebastian Koos) and on CSR and Sustainability on an interuniversity level.
• Aspects of sustainability are an integral part of the research agenda of the chair of Management Accounting and Management Control Systems (Prof. Dr. Volker Lingnau). Research projects in the past dealt - amongst others - with Sustainable incentive systems (2017); Legitimacy implications of the vision of sustainable development (2014); The limits of the standard-economic approach in the face of sustainable development (2018); Leading principles of a legitimate management (2014); Management orientation on sustainable value creation according to the German Corporate Governance Kodex (2011); Integrated concepts of sustainable business (2008); Ethical Implications of Management Accounting (2016, 2015); Rational principle, illegality, legality, and legitimacy. A major project in the past dealt with interdisciplinary aspects of “Sustainable Resource Conservation in Civil Engineering, Urbanism and Economy – RESCUE” (2008 - 2013) building a core research area of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, with Professor Lingnau as Vice-Chairman. Current research focusses on the formulation of a subject-independent business ethics approach.
• In 2013, the interdisciplinary two-day symposium “Sustainable Development from different Perspectives” took place at the TUK. The results were published as a book “Nachhaltige Entwicklung – Aus der Perspektive verschiedener Disziplinen“, edited by Prof. Dr. Michael von Hauff (2014). In 2016 another two-day symposium “Progress in sustainability research” took place and the results were published in the book “Fortschritte in der Nachhaltigkeitsforschung”, edited by Prof. Dr. Michael von Hauff and Thuan Nguyen (2018), including twelve chapters written by university professors and researchers on their respective discipline’s advancement on sustainability topics.
• In 2017, an interdisciplinary research workshop took place. The participants from Living Lab smart office space, Smart Factory KL, Institute for Composite Materials, Faculty of Business Studies and Economics did cover topics on sustainability innovation, utilization of Lignin as Adhesive, Natural fibers and bio-based materials for fiber-reinforced plastics, Crowdsourcing and innovation transfer at TUK.
• The ITA (headed by Professor Dr. Klaus J. Zink) is a registered non-profit association and research institute of the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern. The ITA combines basic research with interdisciplinary, application-oriented concepts for the analysis and design of work and organizations. The research results are addressed to Manufacturing Companies, Service Companies, Non-Profit-Organizations, Healthcare Organizations and Public Administrations. The application-oriented research fields encompass participation-oriented organizational development, process development, human resource and competency development, corporate health management, innovations management, product and service development, the management of corporate networks and sustainable corporate development as well as evaluation and accompanying scientific research. Research projects in the field of corporate development includes such as “Nachhaltige Entwicklung in Gewerbe- und Industriegebieten in Rheinland-Pfalz“ (2015), a study of GIZ (2016) “Einflussmechanismen auf Nachhaltigkeit in globalen Lieferketten”, “Corporate Responsibility im Beschaffungsmanagement” (2016) or “KlimaFolgenDialog – Kommunale Kompetenznetzwerke zur Anpassung der Wirtschaft an den Klimawandel” (2018).
• The challenges of sustainable development, such as the reduction of biodiversity, future energy supply, climate change, global water problems and scarcity of resources, require cooperation between the various research disciplines. In the future, the Faculty of Business Studies and Economics will step up its efforts in more interdisciplinary research and cooperation.