Welcome to the personal website of Urs Mueller – educator and researcher in the domains of business ethics, change management, strategy, and case study method.



In a recent talk (available in full length at Youtube; see embedded below) Matt Zwolinski, a political philosopher at the University of San Diego, argues that what is usually considered exploitation can at least be perceived to be morally better than the behavior most of us demonstrate in face of catastrophes and emergencies – namely …

The Open Syllabus Project

Last week a database of open access syllabi from many educational institutions around the globe, the Open Syllabus Project (http://explorer.opensyllabusproject.org), was published. This is a truly fascinating database (see also this article https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/opinion/sunday/what-a-million-syllabuses-can-teach-us.html). Even though it lacks representativeness, it does include references to a total of almost 1 million different readings from many syllabi from …

Dealing with white collar crime

The former CEO of the German conglomerate Arcandor, Thomas Middelhoff, was recently sentenced to three years in prison for mis-using company resources for private purpose. Despite the fact that Middelhoff can (and in fact did) appeal against this ruling, he was arrested immediately in the court room last Friday (November 14, 2014). The judge feared Middelhoff might otherwise …


Urs’ focus in research and teaching is in the areas of Business ethics, Strategy and Change management. He truly enjoys the opportunity and privilege to regularly discuss with executives the dilemmas that they really face in their daily life.

Urs joined ESMT European School of Management and Technology (Berlin/Germany) in September 2005 where he serves as Head of the Practice Group “Consumer Goods and Retail”.

After his studies of Philosophy, German Literature and Art History at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany) and at the Université de Fribourg (Switzerland), Urs taught at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, at the Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika in Torun (Poland) and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U.S.A.).

During and after working on his PhD at the Georg-August-Universität, Urs worked as management consultant for A.T. Kearney. Where he served different international clients.

At ESMT, Urs directs and teaches in various different open and customized executive education programs for customers such as Axel Springer, British American Tobacco, Coca-Cola, Commerzbank, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bank, EnBW, Johnson&Johnson, Lufthansa, McDonald’s, and METRO and Symrise. In addition to that he teaches in the MBA and EMBA programs of ESMT and at the Porto Business School (Portugal).

Urs is a best-selling and award winning case author and serves as visiting tutor on writing and teaching with case studies for “The Case Centre”.

His work has frequently been featured or quoted in several leading media such as BBC, BILD, Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, Handelsblatt, Spiegel Online, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Times.


Book and Book chapters

Müller, Urs and Martin Kupp (2016). “Combining Case Teaching and Case Writing Creatively.” In Case Studies as a Teaching Tool in Management Education, ed. Dominika Latusek. Hershey PA: IGI Global.

Müller, Urs and Shirish Pandit (2016). “Vodafone in Egypt: National crises and their implications for multinational coroprations.” In: International management: Managing across borders and cultures, text and cases, ed. Helen Deresky. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. (reprint of case study; see below)

Müller, Urs and Veit Etzold (2014). “Minimal change can be best option: Why Berlin snack bar resisted change.“ In Managing change, 6th ed. ed. Bernard Burnes, 301–302. Harlow: Pearson Education. (reprint of “Case study: Minimal change can be best.” Financial Times. April 30, 2012; also online: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/eda4a8ec-92b7-11e1-b6e2-00144feab49a.html)

Müller, Urs (2005). Feldkontakte, Kulturtransfer, kulturelle Teilhabe: Winckelmanns Beitrag zur Etablierung des deutschen intellektuellen Felds durch den Transfer der Querelle des anciens et des modernes. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag. (= Transfer: Deutsch-Französische Kulturbibliothek; 24)



Müller, Urs, Johannes Habel and Marcel Stierl (2017). “Exerting Pressure or Leveraging Power: The conventional and extended chain of CSR Enforcement in B2B Supply Chains” – accepted by Journal of Public Policy and Marketing.



Müller, Urs and Ulf Schäfer (2016). “The Dirty Dozen: How Unethical Behaviour Creeps Into Your Organisation.” European Business Review. July-August 2016. p.37-41.

Müller, Urs (2016). “Unkraut oder Blumenwiese?”. Forum Wirtschaftsethik. Jahresschrift des DNWE. 22. Jahrgang; 2014. p.48.

Müller, Urs (2014). “Wieviel Bonus ist gerecht?”. Harvard Business Manager. April 2014. p.86-90.

Case studies

Müller, Urs (2016/2012). “Corruption in Russia: IKEA’s expansion to the East (A-D).” Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies Collection 2016; and ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–716–0169–1 (This case study was previously published in a sanitized version as: “Corruption by design? L’Antimarché’s struggles in Russia (A-D)”. Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies Collection 2 (1): 1-10. March 2012.)

Müller, Urs and Francis Bidault (2015). Dealing with low-cost competition in the airline industry (A-C). ESMT Case Study ESMT–315–0165–1.

Müller, Urs and Johannes Habel (2015). ESMT’s pitch to EAD Systems (A & B). ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–515–0163–1.

Schäfer, Ulf and Urs Müller (2015). Deutsche Bahn AG: The heartless train conductor. ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–715–0162–1.

Hofmann, Anna, Urs Müller and C.B. Bhattacharya (2014). Axel Springer and the quest for the boundaries of corporate responsibility. ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–413–0143–1. (Published in 2015 in an abridged version as ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–715–0156–1)

Müller, Urs and Shirish Pandit (2014). Vodafone in Egypt: National Crises and their implications for multi-national corporations (A & B). ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–714–0144–1. (Winner of the 2014 The Case Centre Case Award in the Case Competition hot topic: Crisis as opportunity; Highly commended at the EFMD Case Writing Competition 2014 in the category “African Business Cases”)

Müller, Urs, Ulrich Linnhoff and Bernhard Pellens (2013). Defining the purpose for Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA. ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–713–0134–1. (Winner of the 2013 ecch Case Award in the Case Writing Competition hot topic: The business of sport)

Müller, Urs and Veit Etzold (2012). Waltraud Ziervogel at Konnopke’s Imbiss: Re-inventing a Berlin icon. ESMT Case Study No. ESMT–512–0126–1. (Winner of the category “Family Business” in the 2011 EFMD Case Writing Competition)

Young, Mark and Urs Müller (2011). Motors for Munchao. ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-711-0122-1. (2017 The Case Centre bestselling case list in Category Ethics and Social Responsibility)

Müller, Urs (2011). Norman Nicholls at Seattle Management Consultants. ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-711-0121-1.

Müller, Urs and Ulf Schäfer (2010). Anna Frisch at Aesch AG: Initiating lateral change. ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-410-0112-1. (2014 The Case Centre Case Award in the Category HR Management / Organizational Behavior; 2014, 2016 and 2017 The Case Centre bestselling case list in Category HR Management / Organizational Behavior)

Schäfer Ulf, and Urs Müller (2010). Who’s responsible for the drawbridge drama?. ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-710-0104-1.

Korotov, Konstantin, Urs Müller and Ulf Schäfer (2009). “Do you really think we are so stupid?” A letter to the CEO of Deutsche Telekom (A-C). ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-409-0100-1. (2011 ecch best selling case; 2013 ecch Case Award in the Category HR Management / Organizational Behavior)

Other publications

Müller, Urs and Veit Etzold (2012). “Case study: Minimal change can be best.” Financial Times. April 30, 2012. (also online: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/eda4a8ec-92b7-11e1-b6e2-00144feab49a.html; reprinted in Burnes, Bernard (2014). Managing Change. 6th Edition. Harlow et al.: Pearson. p. 301-302. See above section on book chapters)

Müller, Urs (2011). “Authentizität lässt sich nicht kaufen.” Guest article in blog of Wolfgang Goebel, (Online publication; http://www.emplyerbranding-blog.de/2011/09/gastbeitrag-von-urs-mueller-authentizitat-lasst-sich-nicht-kaufen/)

Müller, Urs (2009). “What we can learn from the alcohol prohibition in the US from 1919 to 1933.” ESMT Newsletter (Online publication; http://www.esmt.org/sixcms/detail.php/262038)

Müller, Urs (2009). “Dealing with Ethical Dilemmas.” (Online publication; http://www.goodentreprenuer.com/Knowledge/Features/Dealing-with-ethical-dilemmas)


Feel free to reach out to me via the following contact form: