I hold the Chair of Business Administration in the Food Economy and Agriculture at the Justus Liebig University (JLU) Giessen in Germany. I am Programme Director of the MSc in Sustainable Food Economics (in German: Nachhaltige Ernährungswirtschaft) and Chairman of the Board of Directors of JLU's Center for Sustainable Food Systems.
My academic journey begun at the University of Lüneburg, where I graduated in Economic and Social Sciences as well as in Environmental Sciences before pursuing my doctoral studies on sustainability management. After my doctorate, I was Visiting Research Fellow at the University of South Australia's Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability in Adelaide (6 months), Research Associate at the Centre for Sustainability Management in Lüneburg (1 year) and Research Fellow in Corporate Social Responsibility at the International Centre for CSR in Nottingham (1.5 years). I then became Assistant Professor in Sustainability Accounting and Reporting at the University of Nottingham and a few years later, took the position of Full Professor in Business and Society at Nottingham Business School. Moving back to Germany, I was able to pursue and deepen my research on the social responsibility of agrifood business in my role as Professor of Management in the International Food Industry at the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, University of Kassel, for more than eight years. The last three years, I was the Faculty's Vice Dean and responsible for Research. In 2022, I moved on to the Justus Liebig University (JLU) Giessen where I now work within an interdisciplinary research and teaching environment offered by the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences and Environmental Management. Since this year, I have been Chairman of the Board of JLU's Center for Sustainable Food Systems.
I enjoy teaching in interdisciplinary and intercultural contexts. I have gained teaching and training experiences particularly in the UK, Germany and the Asia Pacific region at various levels (BSc, MSc, MBA, EMBA) and within international programmes. I also held visiting lecturship positions at the Grand École in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, ISARA Lyon, University of Basel, and Marmara University, Istanbul. Currently, at JLU Giessen, I teach modules on sustainablility management, accounting and reporting, food business in society, social accountability, and organic control and certification as well as transformative approaches to and alternative ways of organising food production.
In my research, I engage with three interrelated areas:
- The management and control processes of value-oriented business in the agricultural and food sector and the question of how institutional and organisational factors influence the development, application and dissemination of new methodological approaches such as carbon accounting & rewarding, organic control & certification and sustainability assessment & reporting.
- In another area, my research focuses on the design and management of food value chains and production networks. Here, I deal with innovative business models, hybrid organisational forms and alternative/ transformative forms of food production and processing, trade and out-of-home catering.
- A related area that is also important in my research and teaching is sustainable food entrepreneurship and the question of how entrepreneurs, pioneering companies and markets interact with each other in the transformation of our food system. This also includes the innovative role of start-ups in the agri-food sector, which pursue economic, ecological and social goals (impact business).
Within all of these areas, a particular interest lies in the organic food sector which gives special attention to the principles of the economy for the common good and producing healthy food in a sustainable manner.
My research has been published in agricultural and food science journals (e.g. Agriculture and Human Values; British Food Journal; International Food and Agribusiness Management Review), sustainability journals (e.g. Journal of Business Ethics; Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management; Journal of Cleaner Production; Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal), and management and accounting journals (e.g. Journal of Business Research; Management Accounting Research; Accounting Forum; Journal of Accounting Education; Accounting, Auditing and Accountability).