VHB and ethics

The topic of “ethics” has been very important to the German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB) for many years now. 

The VHB advocates a correct and ethically sound scientific mode of practice on the part of its members and essentially all scientists in the field of business research and expects its members to behave in accordance with the rules of correct scientific practice. This also includes scientifically ethical citation conduct. Unfortunately, there are occasionally violations of these benchmarks endorsed by the association. Consequently, the association established a task force called Scientific Work Ethics in 1996 that deals specifically with such matters on a case-by-case basis and advises the Board. For the group’s scope of duties, see its Mission and self-conception, which includes references to rules, especially the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG), which the association and its members feel duty-bound to uphold, and other helpful sources.  

The VHB Board aims to provide in the actually project „Hinweise zur ethischen und berufspraktischen Orientierung der Mitglieder des Verbandes der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft e.V.“ a collection of examples for best practices to give orientation in specific profession questions.

Moreover, ethical aspects are always taken into consideration in connection with VHB’s diverse individual projects. With the VHB journal rankings, for instance, all members and interested parties were referred to the Comments on Using VHB JOURQUAL Responsibly

Furthermore, the VHB Board issues statements on specific ethical aspects that are especially important in business studies. In this regard for example the VHB Board supported by our Scientific Work Ethics team compiled a declaration on ethics in business administration and thus on ethically responsible conduct as a key skill for good business management was issued by the Board, underlining the expectation that members of the VHB promote a well-founded ethical reflection on their own teaching and research content. At 7th October 2013 emerged a statement of the VHB Board to "Wissenschaftliches Fehlverhalten und aktuelle Vorwürfe zu Verstößen gegen Grundsätze ordnungsmäßigen wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens".  

With special workshops, such as on Ethics as a Challenge in Business Studies in 2009 with individual sessions on “Corporate ethics – necessary for practice, research and teaching?”, we have been able to offer additional platforms for the exchange of ideas.

We also offer our members and interested parties regular panel discussions on the topic of ethics at our annual conferences, such as on “Corporate and economic ethics” at the 2009 Whitsun conference or at the annual conference 2013 to “Code of Conduct“.