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Mission Statement

The centre utilizes highly topical research approaches: The modern economy is characterised by an advancing complexity which is why many traditional economic models lose their persuasive power. The development of the economy as a whole or as well in particular domains, as, for example the business sector, is not always characterised by fluent transitions, as suggested by numerous traditional models. In fact, discontinuities, jump discontinuities and apparently non-predictable turbulences occur, as it is shown by the development of share prices or the current economic crisis. Thus, economy and economy-related subareas can be understood as non-linear, dynamical systems. In this context one also speaks of complex systems.


Therefore, it is of particular importance to do research on new concepts and methods in the field of complex dynamical systems. To an increasing degree, the research approaches of this domain find their way into the economic science, for example in order to better understand complex order structures, which are generated by market-based systems.


Neither, "Complexity Sciences" disprove determinism, nor do they consider ordered systems as impossible. Although they suggest that the current state of a system possibly cannot be predicted, they nevertheless show that generally it is possible to model the overall characteristics of such a system. Consequently, Chaos Theory does not emphasize disorder, the inherent unpredictability of a system status, but rather the order structures, which are inherent to a system – the universal characteristics of homogeneous systems.


The possibility of researching chaos and therewith connected order patterns in complex systems became imaginable not until the development of modern computer technology. The multitude of calculations and the different types of visualisation of complex structures were unrealisable before. Because of this it does not astonish that especially at the beginning of the nineties of the last century this theory gained in importance.


In the meantime, the euphoria, which accompanied Chaos Theory in particular, has calmed down again and the amount of popular scientific new publications has decreased. But at the same time the amount of scientific publications, which try to transfer important aspects of "Complexity Sciences" to other areas of science, increased. In doing so, economics is not excluded, as one expects a better approach to economic reality from the models which are made possible by "Complexity Sciences" than, for example, the neoclassical paradigm can render.


For a real science, as, for example the economic science, the empirical verifiability of such models plays an important role. But so far, there has been a lack of this. A revolutionary doctoral dissertation on empirical research of complexity has recently been written at the chair of Prof. Liening, from which he and his team hope to gain significant empirical benefit.


Now, the findings of complexity sciences shall be used for the field of economic education at the new centre. Economic education is that part of general education which enables humans to act in a professional and responsible way in a world that is increasingly permeated by economic requirements. Accordingly, the education of teachers for economics as well as vocational further education (e. g. entrepreneurship education) play an important role in teaching at Prof. Liening’s chair. In Dortmund, the main emphasis is put on questions of business management. That is why the title of the centre contains the term "business education". In this context a number of research projects are intended, which build on already existing research projects of the chair, which complement them and which are divided into the five categories (A – E). Apart from that they orient towards the areas of research of economic education, where the input-oriented concepts are ignored due to the new orientation with regard to the increasing output orientation:


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