A main mission of our Chair is to make participants in executive education familiar with important topics in economics. A particular focus is on forces behind macroeconomic developments and their impact on business. We use innovative teaching material that we develop specifically for our executive education modules (e.g. the DataSight web application).
Nearly all modern companies exhibit a positive attitude towards data and aim for more “evidence-based” and “data-driven” decisions. Google, Amazon, and other superstar companies demonstrate how da-ta- and evidence-based management can work. But when companies start to go more data-based, they often feel like entering a minefield. Often the right data that would be needed for a rational decision is not available and one has to work with “polluted” proxy information. Of-ten a judgment about a causal relationship is required. However, data does not come with causality labels attached. Rather, these must be in-ferred by competent people, and the process I often tricky and counter-intuitive. If causality is wrongly assigned, it can mean that millions are invested in an unprofitable project or an ineffective marketing meas-ure. The goal of our course is to train a responsible use of data so that the benefits of data-based decision making can be exploited, and pit-falls are avoided. Importantly, this also means to a large degree train-ing general critical thinking skills.
In executive education, we also offer several innovative teaching formats in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). We believe that executives themselves should have a basic understanding of how these techniques work for properly assessing their potential and for identifying use cases that are suitable for AI solutions. What is more, such an understanding forms the basis for a critical assessment of the societal opportunities and threats of AI.
Our research focuses on the role of uncertainty in economic systems. In practice, it is often impossible for decision makers to assess and evaluate the consequences of their actions in an objective way, as our dynamic economic system repeatedly presents us with novel unknown situations. We investigate the ways in which economic actors evaluate decisions in situations of uncertainty, and how these decisions feed back into the functioning of the system. We are also interested in the role of the respective mechanisms in the emergence of crises, and in their consequences for adequate economic policies. For more information about our recent research, see here.