Sebastian Burger

Sebastian Burger, M.A.
Doctoral student
University of Mannheim
Philosophisches Seminar
68161 Mannheim

Sebastian Burger began his university studies with a Double Bachelor of Arts in International Tourism Management in Bad Honnef and Sydney. During this time, he developed an interest in philosophy. In his bachelor thesis entitled „Freedom, Responsibility, Empowerment, and Accountability – An Existentialist Approach to Managing Service Personnel” he analyzed French existentialism and discussed its implications for managing service personnel. Afterwards, Sebastian Burger completed a master's degree in Culture and Business at the University of Mannheim with a major in philosophy, and minors in business management and psychology. In his master thesis, he discussed the concepts of leadership ethics by Karl Homann and Peter Ulrich.

During his studies in Mannheim, he also worked as a research assistant at the Mannheim Business School in the field of executive education. He has also gained industry experience at internships at TUI UK & Ireland in Luton (England) and at the Deutsche Post DHL. For almost four years, he was jointly responsible for political education in the field of “business and ethics”, especially in the field of business ethics, sustainability and economy, as the director of studies at the Evangelical Academy of the Palatinate.

In the summer of 2018 he began his doctorate supervised by Prof Bernward Gesang. Since July 2020, Sebastian Burger has been working as a scientific officer to the director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in Karlsruhe. With his competencies, he contributes to the focus topics innovation, digitalization, AI, sustainability and futurology. In addition, he is a volunteer director at CA – Consulting Akademie Unternehmensethik gUG.

Doctoral project

  • Wiedergutmachungen global agierender Unternehmen: Von der Pflicht, gerecht zu wirtschaften (Arbeitstitel)

    Sebastian Burger

    Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bernward Gesang, Chair of Philosophy II

    The doctoral project contributes a practically oriented corporate ethics, which regards human rights as a central, normative foundation and aims at the relative improvement of morally reprehensible conditions. The dissertation has three parts. First, three different principles of attribution of responsibility are analysed and discussed. These include the polluter pays, solvency and beneficiaries principle. In a globalised economy, the polluter pays principle, which is dominant in corporate ethics, seems to be reaching its limits. It must therefore be supplemented by the other two principles. Second, the normative consequences are discussed: What responsibility for elimination or reparation obligations do global companies have in order to be able to prevent, combat or compensate for human rights violations? In the final part, it is examined what needs to be done at the macro, meso and micro levels of business ethics to put into practice the responsibility to eliminate and redress.