Erik G. Hansen

Erik G. Hansen

How we know Erik G. Hansen

I met Erik 2001 in Bangkok. We both were students. The only difference: Erik was 21 and I was 38. When we met, we both discovered a new world. We discovered the magic of Asia, especially of the Thai culture shaped by enormous respect and lightness - the latter really was something for a young and an old German interlectual. I always admired Eriks analytic and mathmatical as well as IT capacities, structured, systematic and at the same time his sensibility and high moral standards and his sense for philosophy. I am especially happy that he is the first guestblogger I have the chance to introduce, as he was witness how the idea of "care" at Merck Thailand was born and implemented.

Stephan Polomski

Erik Hansen is a full-time researcher at TUM Business School, Institute for Information, Organization and Management (Prof. Dr. Ralf Reichwald) in Munich, Germany.

His research interests are leadership, corporate culture, and innovation management in the context of corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability. He regards himself as an “engaged scholar“ or “action researcher” aiming at jointly advancing theory and practice. In order to meet these aims, he applies his skills in research, corporate change projects, and teaching (undergraduate, graduate and executive level).

Erik is currently finishing his doctoral degree about “Responsibility Leadership Systems”. In parallel to his doctoral studies, Erik also gained a certificate in the “Resonance Method” at Kutschera Communication Institute in Vienna, Austria.

Before his position at TUM Business School, he gained a Master’s degree in Management Information Systems from Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. He conducted part of his studies at Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brasil and at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. As intern, part-time worker and freelancer, Erik also gained broad practical experience in multinational corporations in Germany as well as at Merck Thailand in Bangkok.

Before his academic education, Erik conducted one year of civil service at the Office of Environmental Protection of Hesse State. Before, he visited high school and elementary school in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he was also born.

Up Close & Personal with Erik G. Hansen

My answer is inspired by a publication by Treviño, Hartmann and Brown in 2000 (California Management Review) defining two constitutional dimensions of caring leadership: “moral person” and “moral manager”.

Being a moral person roots in specific traits like integrity, honesty and trustworthiness. The moral person also behaves morally and engages in related (personal) decision-making, i.e. does the right thing by showing concern for others as well as being open for contradictory viewpoints. The task of the moral manager, is to lead change towards more caring organizations. Possible tools are demonstrating care to others through “visible action”, role modeling, communication about ethics and values as well as through properly rewards and disciplines. In other words, the moral manager establishes “responsible leadership systems” in the organization.

It is crucial for caring leadership that moral person and moral manager are not separate, but rather two roles to be simultaneously considered by the same individual.

“To have or to be”, Erich Fromm together with “Status anxiety”, Alain de Botton

Follow your heart.

As an excited traveler in both my professional and personal life, I love google maps.

My professional career has been most strongly shaped by few (formal or informal) leaders, not to say mentors, believing in me and supporting me with the resources at hand. I cannot point it to a single person, but in each phase of my professional life - during my time as student, within my industry assignments, and in the community around my current job - there has always been guidance, inspiration, and the motivating to unlock my own, full potential.

I cite my favorite author Erich Fromm: “Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one “object” of love. If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism.” (Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving)