Assistant Professor Dr. Rainer Michael Rilke
Economics Group

Assistant Professor

+49 (0)261 6509 814

Short biography:
Since May 2016, Dr. Rainer Michael Rilke has acted as assistant professor for 'Business Economics' at the IHK-Chair for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises at the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management. His particular focus of research is in the field of “Behavioral Business Ethics”. Dr. Rilke tries to answer pressing questions like „What kind of incentives influence unethical behavior of employees? What are potential motives of employees, who tend to behave unethically? What can firms do in order to prevent these tendencies?” The basis of Dr. Rilke’s work is behavioral economics and uses field- and laboratory experiments to approach his research questions.

Dr. Rilke studied economics at the University of Bonn before he completed his dissertation at the University of Cologne (Chair of Corporate Development and Business Ethics, Prof. Bernd Irlenbusch). In his dissertation “Experiments on Ethical Behavior in Strategic Interactions: Cooperation, Honesty, and Fairness” he worked on the topic how incentives, bonuses and feedback systems influence lying and free riding of employees. In 2014 he finished his dissertation at the University of Cologne with a short research scholarship at the Harvard Business School.

After his dissertation he joined a consultancy firm with a focus on 'Forensic Investigation and Compliance'. Here he helped firms to discover unethical conduct and advised firms to install proper compliance measures.


Date University Degree
2014 University of Cologne Doctoral degree at Department of Corporate Development and Business Ethics (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bernd Irlenbusch)
2009 University Bonn Diploma in Economics
2003 Irmgardis Gymnasium Cologne Abitur


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