Executive Seminar

Ethical dimensions of strategic choice

The modern techniques which aid decision-making tend to present policy-making as a value-neutral activity, in which scientific methods help us determine the "best solution" which in some sense then becomes self-evident and unproblematic. But this is a mistaken perspective because there is no such thing as a "best solution", as even the most advanced techniques do not allow us to foresee the future, which remains opaque, unpredictable and shot through with unanticipated consequences.

There is no way around the fact: policy and decision-making at all organisational levels are inseparable from ethical dilemmas and or choices. This seminar does not pretend to present all round solutions to these dilemmas, which do not exist in the abstract and out of context. However, it will offer adequate sociological and critical perspectives during group-discussions and case-studies in a variety of contexts and cultures, in view of essentially two learning objectives: Firstly, it will confront participants with a series of typical ethical dilemmas emerging in particular during the implementation of policies. And secondly, it will help them become aware of these inescapable dilemmas, be less naïve about them and start to think through their implications for action.

This course can also be completed as part of the Certificate in Leadership and Management, the Certificate in Public Sector Innovation, or the Certificate in Stakeholder Communication.

Target group

Professionals from all sectors (public, private, and from NGOs)


  • Higher education degree
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience (average is ten years)
  • Good knowledge of English


  • 2.5 days in Berlin, as well as additional time for the preparation of the seminar
  • No follow-up assignment is required

Seminar times

  • Day 1: 11:00 - 20:00
  • Day 2:   9:00 - 18:00
  • Day 3:   9:00 - 16:00

Seminar fee

€ 1,690

Seminar fees are exempted from tax according to Value Added Tax Act (UStG) §4 Nr. 21a. In Germany and many other countries, tuition fees for continuing education programmes are also fully tax-deductible as professional training expenses.

Seminar fee includes: attendance, online access to course documents, materials during the seminar, beverages in the Hertie School cafeteria (open on weekdays), certificate of attendance. 

Terms and Conditions


Registration is possible throughout the year, on a first-come, first-serve basis via our online application module. Admission is subject to availability.

Seminar director