Professor Thomas Maak is the inaugural Chair in Ethics at The University of Queensland Business School. Prior to joining UQ in 2023, he was Director for the Centre for Workplace Leadership and Professor of Leadership at the University of Melbourne. A business ethicist by training, Professor Maak is a global authority in the field of ethics and responsible leadership. He uses a multi-level lens to research leadership at the individual, group, and organisational level, linking ethical theory, political philosophy, relational thinking, and stakeholder theory. His research interests are at the interface of moral agency, corporate responsibility, social cognitive neuroscience, and the foundations and study of responsible leadership.

Professor Maak has lived and worked on five continents and has extensive experience in leadership development.  He worked for several years with PricewaterhouseCoopers on their award-winning senior executive program ‘Ulysses’ and worked with companies such as UBS, Shell, DONG Energy, Volkswagen, BMW, and Novo Nordisk. Through his work with leading social entrepreneurs in South Asia and South America, he is also interested in social innovation and more specifically, the advancement of human dignity in a fractured world.

Professor Maak started his academic career at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, 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 organisations, 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, before moving to Australia where he was appointed Head School of Management at the University of South Australia. 

Professor Maak is the immediate Past-President of ISBEE, the International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics and chaired the 2022 World Congress in Bilbao, Spain. In 2012, as one of the principal investigators in the “Neuroscience of Leadership”-project, he conducted the world’s first team neurodynamics-study with MBA students in collaboration with researchers from Arizona State University and Advanced Brain Monitoring (Carlsbad, CA). Thomas is listed in the Stanford University Ranking of university professors among the top 1% of professors worldwide. His publications have appeared in journals such as Academy of Management Learning & Education, Academy of Management Perspectives, Human Resource Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Organizational Research Methods and Journal of Management Studies. His honors include the Max-Weber-Prize 2008, the Academy of Management’s Carolyn-Dexter-Award Finalist, multiple best paper awards and the Jef Van Gerwen SJ Chair 2011 at the University of Antwerp in Belgium.