Research profile

Cultural studies research orientation at Karlshochschule

In research at the Karls, the focus is on rethinking and reinterpreting existing approaches and theories, contributing to the re-doing of methods and ways of working. All of our research is aimed at a holistic“transFormation” of society and the economy as well as organizations and individuals.

Our academic identity is characterized by pluralistically oriented and philosophically reflected research interests.

We focus on phenomena related to organizational and economic dimensions and leadership as well as socio-cultural and political systems and issues in society and the economy.

In particular, we are interested in locating and exploring processes and activities of individuals, communities and various (alternative)organizations as well as public or non-governmental institutions in their cultural and societal embedding in relation to social, ethical and aesthetic “transFormation”.

Research approaches

We assume that socio-cultural, political, economic and organizational realities are constructed and staged or performed by actors and agencies as part of their interpretations and meaning-making. For us, these dimensions of meaning emerge co-creatively through different actions, actors and stakeholders that can be changed and steered towards more equitable and sustainable practices.

With this orientation, Karlshochschule sees itself as an educational institution that is characterized by critical-reflexive research approaches tosocio-cultural, economic, organizational and management-related phenomena and thereby claims to complement or overcome traditional reductionist orientations.

A particular focus is on ethics, diversity, inclusion, equality, feminism and social justice as well as on change and innovation in business and society and integral approaches to the ‘commons’/’communing’ movement and sustainability development and practice.

In order to pursue all these research orientations, we pursue inter- and transdisciplinary and holistic research, inspired by and in connection with e.g. anthropology, sociology, communication and media studies as well as the humanities, especially philosophy, art and aesthetics.

Based on this orientation, great importance is attached to qualitative research methods. Methodologically, Karlshochschule primarily pursues an interpretative and integrative approach with regard to the phenomena under investigation. This approach makes it possible to systematically and critically examine ambiguous and dynamic phenomena, problems and questions. At the same time, our research aims to contribute to a constructive transformation towards a more sustainable future.

TransFormative research is understood both as research into questions, problems and challenges relating to issues of change and transition, and as research that is itself transformative. The latter is a committed science that contributes to solving problems (action research) and has an impact on the social and economic forms of living and working together.

The Karls aims to conduct basic research and applied action research that is rigorous, but also relevant, engaging and transdisciplinary. Together with other academic and non-academic practitioners, the researchers here jointly create knowledge that could be called“slow research“. Research that is not primarily in competition for prestigious journals. Research that instead strives to make a trans-formative difference !

Accordingly, the Karls is a place of research that

  • Answers to complex problems and urgent challenges are provided by
  • picks up on and stimulates new forms of thinking and research
  • rethinks the status quo and reimagines the possible, while at the same time redesigning and thus having a transformative effect
  • It pursues tasks and issues with academic freedom, building interdisciplinary bridges between the various levels and thus developing a holistic understanding and thus also a holistic application.

Specific research priorities in the faculties

  • Our Faculty I focuses on critical research and teaching in the interplay of management practices, symbolic meanings, institutional logics, market dynamics and global challenges.
  • Complementary to this, Faculty II focuses on inter- and transdisciplinary as well as holistic research and teaching in relation to alternative forms of living and working in civil society and the economy as well as forms of critical leadership. In particular, it systematically explores the core of progressive politics, (analytical, continental and non-Western) philosophies and heterodox, pluralist economics and international relations.

Research reports