With the appointment of Prof. Dr. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath as Fellow for Economics at the Max-Weber-Kolleg, a research focus on China was established at the same time, because he is not only an economist, but also a sinologist with intensive contacts to China. Under his supervision, two doctoral theses dealing with specific aspects of the Chinese economy were defended at the Max-Weber-Kolleg this week.
Ms Qian Zhao successfully defended her dissertation on "The Evolution of Modern Business Ethics in Reform China" on 13 September 2021. In it, she deals – like Max Weber more than 100 years before her – with the religious and cultural roots of business ethics in China and examines the so-called "moral background" (Gabriel Abend) of today's business ethicists at business schools and in business associations. For this purpose, she not only examined extensive source material, but also conducted a large number of interviews, which have been incorporated into the material-rich writing. This work provides a broad overview of the foundations of business ethics ideas in contemporary China.
On 17 September 2021, Ms. Sisi Sung successfully defended her PhD thesis on "Managerial Careers of Women in China. An Economics of Identity Approach". In this thesis, she examines the problem that although women in China have relatively equal rights in terms of both participation in working life and salary levels, this equality does not exist in the area of corporate management. Rather, women come up against so-called "glass ceilings" here. For her study, Ms. Sung not only uses economic theories, but supplements them with insights from sociology and social psychology in order to draw a more holistic picture of this problem. Furthermore, by using both English and Chinese research literature, she is able to show how cultural gender stereotypes are effective all the way into research literature from economics, business studies or sociology.
"I am delighted that these two projects could be completed so successfully. The two doctoral researchers have benefited enormously from the research environment at the Max-Weber-Kolleg and have made great progress. But my colleagues at the Max-Weber-Kolleg have also learned a lot about China beyond the usual clichés," says Prof. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, who supervised both projects.