Kiel Center for Philosophy, Politics and Economics (KCPPE)

Economy for the Common Good in comparison with corporate sustainability strategies

The aim of the research project "Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie im Vergleich unternehmerischer Nachhaltigkeitsstrategien" (GIVUN) is the historical and economic-ethical contextualization as well as empirical research of common good-oriented economic (GWÖ) activity. To this end, the concept of the GWÖ and other relevant CSR instruments will be evaluated with regard to their transformative potential for aligning corporate practice with the goals of sustainability. The research project focuses on the investigation of the effects of a corporate orientation towards the common good on the specific working and production conditions (especially with regard to ecological effects) as well as the exploration of the scaling and diffusion conditions of the GWÖ for large companies.

The project is led by Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer and Dr. Bernd Sommer in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Ludger Heidbrink, Chair of Practical Philosophy at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. While a systematic comparison of the GWÖ with historical and current common good and sustainability strategies is being developed in Kiel, the Norbert Elias Center is responsible for the empirical part of the research: Practice partners such as the outdoor outfitter Vaude, the printing company Oktoberdruck, the demeter bread bakery Märkisches Landbrot and the provider of eco-frozen foods Ökofrost will be interviewed in qualitative interviews about their common good efforts. Together with major companies such as Deutsche Post, dm-drogerie markt and the OTTO Group, the research team is using a backcasting process to work out possible and feasible ways towards a stronger orientation towards the common good.

Further information:

Final conference

Norbert Elias Center - European University Flensburg