Professor Thomas Maak

Professorial Chair in Ethics

School of Business
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
t.maak@business.uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 68181

Overview

Thomas Maak is the inaugural Professorial Chair in Ethics at the University of Queensland Business School. A business ethicist by training, he previously served as Director Centre for Workplace Leadership and Professor of Leadership at the University of Melbourne. Thomas is global authority in the field of responsible leadership, business ethics, and the micro-foundations of CSR. His research links the individual, group, and organizational levels, combining ethical theory, political philosophy, relational thinking and stakeholder theory. His research interests include ethical decision-making, political CSR, and organizational neuroscience. His work has been published in leading academic journals such as the Academy of Managment Learning & Education, Journal of Management Studies, Human Resource Management, Organizational Researdh Methods, and the Journal of Business Ethics.

Thomas has extensive experience in leadership development and has worked for several years with PricewaterhouseCoopers on their award-winning senior executive program ‘Ulysses’. He has also worked with other leading companies, including BMW, Volkswagen, Shell, UBS, Dong Energy, and Novo Nordisk. Through his work with leading social entrepreneurs in South Asia and South America, including Gram Vikas, Hagar, and Fundacion Paraguaya, he is also interested in social innovation and the advancement of human dignity in a fractured world. Before coming to Australia, Thomas started his academic career at the University of St. Gallen, home to the world’s best MSc in Management, and is a graduate from the INSEAD International Director’s Program. From 2004-2008 he held an appointment as Senior Research Fellow at INSEAD, France, and co-directed a research stream within the PwC-INSEAD initiative on high-performing organizations, before being appointed Full Professor at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, one of the top-ranked MBA schools in the world, and a leader in corporate executive education. In 2014 he was a visiting professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Thomas is the immediate past president of ISBEE, the International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics and has chaired the 2022 World Congress in Bilbao, Spain.

Research Interests

  • Business ethics
    Ethical foundations of business Responsible agency Responsible management Corporate social responsibility ESG Stakeholder management and dialogue Political CSR
  • Responsible leadership
    Responsible leadership in a stakeholder context What makes a responsible leader? Developing responsible leaders Micro-foundations of CSR Relational ontology of leadership Responsible strategic leadership
  • Organizational cognitive neuroscience
    Teamneurodynamics Neuroscience of leadership Extended brain theory

Research Impacts

Professor Maak is the co-founder of responsible leadership theory and his work is cited widely across disciplines and sectors. Responsible leadership is now the most searched leadership concept on Google search.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

  • Nicola Pless and Thomas Maak eds. (2021). Responsible leadership. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/b22741

  • Thomas Maak, Nicola M. Pless, Marc Orlitzky and Sukhbir Sandhu eds. (2021). The Routledge companion to corporate social responsibility. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis. doi: 10.4324/9781003152651

  • Pless, Nicola M., Murphy, Matthew, Maak, Thomas and Sengupta, Atri (2021). Societal challenges and business leadership for social innovation. Society and Business Review, 16 (4), 535-561. doi: 10.1108/sbr-10-2020-0129

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Book

  • Nicola Pless and Thomas Maak eds. (2021). Responsible leadership. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/b22741

  • Thomas Maak, Nicola M. Pless, Marc Orlitzky and Sukhbir Sandhu eds. (2021). The Routledge companion to corporate social responsibility. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis. doi: 10.4324/9781003152651

  • Steve Kempster, Thomas Maak and Ken Parry eds. (2019). Good dividends: responsible leadership of business purpose. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis. doi: 10.4324/9781315102306

  • Pless, Nicola M. and Maak, Thomas (2012). Responsible leadership. Springer Netherlands. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-3995-6

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision