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Call for Applications:
ENGAGE.EU Think Tank 2025

Topic: Purpose: advancing research into purpose, organizations and society

Date: March 3-7, 2025

Location: WU Vienna University of Economics and Business

Application deadline: October 12, 2024

About the ENGAGE.EU Think Tank

ENGAGE.EU is an alliance of leading European universities in business, economics and social sciences, aiming to provide European citizens with the set of skills and competencies they need to face the current and future societal challenges.

The ENGAGE.EU Think Tanks provide a forum for intensive academic exchange. Researchers will exchange their ideas with colleagues from ENGAGE.EU partners and inform and learn from leading industry and policy experts. Participants can build new research collaborations and launch new projects, papers, or funding applications.

The Think Tank 2025 will bring together researchers from the ENGAGE.EU partner universities who share an interest in research on purpose, and implications for business contribution to the UN Sustainable Develop Goals and Societal Grand Challenges. The role that Business can play is seen as critical in the achievement of the UN SDG goals, and this Think Tank will provide a forum to explore the topic of defining and reconceptualizing purpose in the corporate / business context, and how this reconceptualization of purpose can influence a wide range of stakeholders, including individuals, organizations, and society in the achievement of SDGs.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:


  • What is purpose? Philosophical and ethical foundations of business organizational purpose. What values are associated with purpose? Can we measure purpose? What is the relationship between CSR and purpose?
  • What is the relationship between business models and organizational purpose?
  • Identity and organizational purpose: How does a business organization’s identity contribute to the formulation of purpose and vice versa? How can organizations align their business logics, identity and purpose? How does the interplay between business organizational purpose and identity influence strategic decisions? What is the interplay between business purpose and mission and vision?
  • Objectives and organizational purpose: how does a business organization’s objectives reflect purpose in strategic planning? What mechanisms can ensure that an organization’s objectives are consistently aligned with purpose? How does purpose influence the setting of objectives at different levels within the organization?
  • Performance and organizational purpose: How does business organizational purpose influence organizational performance? What is the influence of purpose on employee behaviors and motivation? How does purpose influence job satisfaction and well-being? How does organizational purpose influence ESG performance? How does purpose influence resilience?
  • Purpose and organizational change: How does business organizational purpose influence organizational change? How does purpose influence organizational response to a rapid change/crisis? How does purpose influence innovation and entrepreneurship?
  • Purpose and system transformation: What role does business purpose have in system transformation? How does purpose influence collaboration with others within systems?

Purpose in management practice

  • Developing purpose within organizations: How is purpose developed within business organizations? What factors influence the development of purpose within an organization? What is the role of leadership in developing purpose?
  • Purpose, people and relationships: How does business organizational purpose influence relationships with employees, customers and other stakeholders? What role does purpose play in managing and resolving conflicts?
  • Purpose and culture: What is the relationship between purpose and organizational culture?
  • Consciousness and purpose: How does business organizational consciousness influence the formulation and realization of individual, organizational and societal purpose? Can heightened levels of organizational consciousness lead to profound and impactful purpose?
  • Individual and organizational purpose: What is the relationship between individual and business organizational purpose?
  • Stakeholders and purpose: Which stakeholders influence the development of business purpose, and the roles of internal and external actors? How does societal expectations influence business purpose?

Organizational Purpose and Societal Outcomes: How does purpose translate into organizational response? What are the directional flows and relationships between organizational purpose and societal goal setting and impact?

Policy and Governance

  • Legal frameworks and purpose: How do legal frameworks influence the formulation and realization of a business organization’s purpose? What are the implications of corporate purpose for company law?
  • Corporate governance and purpose: what are the implications of purpose for corporate governance models and mechanisms? What are the implications of new legal forms of “for-purpose, for-profit” for governance systems?

Opportunities for participating researchers

The ENGAGE.EU Think Tank 2025 aims to attract researchers (senior and post-doctoral) from various fields, expertise and disciplines who share an interest in research on organizational purpose. During the research stay in Vienna, participants will explore shared interests and build research projects with an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers specialized in similar research topics. In part, the Think Tank will be the start of the process of developing a distinct study area. Participants will gain new insights into current research developments, through keynotes, roundtables, and workshops.

To ensure that the programme corresponds to your needs and expectations, details of the programme will depend on the final group composition and specific research interests.

The goal of the Think Tank is to establish an active network of purpose scholars within ENGAGE.EU, to develop a clear research agenda around Organizational Purpose, leading to an active and collaborative community of scholars, dedicated to the development of the field.

The research stay will include an extensive academic programme and access to the facilities at WU. Accommodation will be covered by WU. Please contact your institutional coordinator for the details on travel expenses.

Application requirements

Your Profile

The ENGAGE.EU Think Tank is open to senior and post-doctoral researchers affiliated with the universities of the ENGAGE.EU alliance and who:

  • explore topics related to business organizational purpose,
  • aim to develop their expertise in their field of research,
  • are interested in collaborative and interdisciplinary dialogue,
  • want to engage in a scholarly network which is developing the organizational purpose field.

Our Expectations

As part of the ENGAGE.EU research stay, researchers are expected to:

  • participate in exchange on the EU research collaboration platform and in three online workshops in November 2024, January and February 2025,
  • stay at WU for the duration of the Think Tank (March 3 – 7, 2025) and take active part in all activities,
  • Exchange ideas and interact with Think Tank participants and other relevant stakeholders about their research and research related projects,
  • Be interested in continuing the collaboration after the Think Tank, in the form of workshops, publication projects or funding applications.


The application for the Think Tank has two steps:

  1. Fill out the online application form (also embedded below) by October 12, 2024.
  2. Submit a brief CV, including list of publications to the Think Tank contact point at your university.

An information session on the Think Tank will be held in mid-September 2024. Successful candidates will be informed in early December 2024.


Submitted applications will first be evaluated by each ENGAGE.EU partner. The selection committee made up by the vice presidents/vice rectors of research from all partners make the final selection.

Applications are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • demonstrated high-quality research potential and interest in collaborative research projects,
  • established interest in and relevance for research in the theme of the Think Tank,
  • relevant research ideas for future research or ongoing papers,
  • potential for contributing to ENGAGE.EU’s mission.

Final decisions also consider criteria for cohort composition, including but not limited to complementarity of research interests, disciplinary balance, institutional diversity and demographic diversity.

Application Form