About us

Positioning

The Department of Business Administration at the University of Zurich is one of the leading research and teaching facilities in the German-speaking world. The Department’s areas of expertise encompass all aspects of Business Administration, including Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Management, Marketing, Operations Research, Organization and Strategy. Our approach is interdisciplinary, drawing from Management Studies, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, and Political Sciences. The Institute offers cutting-edge study programs leading to Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees. As part of its commitment to the community, the Department offers access to scientific findings, publications and expertise that are relevant to management practice, economics, politics, and the society as a whole.

As the Faculty’s mission statement highlights, we encourage the development of scientific skills, creative thinking, and ethical reflection and foster self-reliance and flexibility in our students. Our graduates emerge fully qualified for international careers as specialists or executives in the areas of science, economics, and politics and are in a position to compete successfully with the graduates of leading universities worldwide. We are proud to attest that our alumni reflect their role in the global economy in a responsible manner and take into account the economic, social and environmental consequences of their decisions.

History

The idea of creating an educational center for Business Administration in Zurich was first introduced in the late 19th century. It materialized in 1903, when the Chair for Commercial Studies (Handelswissenschaften) was established – the first in a German-speaking country. At around the same time, the Department of Commercial Studies (Handelswissenschaftliches Seminar) was established, which over the years evolved into the modern Department of Business Administration. In its early days, the Department mainly focused on Accounting, as Commercial Studies was initially a niche area of Economics. The Chair for Operations Research was established in 1958, and the Department of Business Administration in 1967. A little later, in 1968, the Swiss Institute of Banking and Finance was created, which today constitutes a separate department.

The Institute for Research in Business Administration (Institut für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung) was launched in 1970 in order to enhance Management research. It was explicitly decided not to restrict research to particular fields or even specific research programs. In addition to promoting research, from the start the Institute was committed to making available research results to private companies and public administration. In 1972, when the Institute’s doctoral degree regulations were implemented, Business Administration as a field of study attained the same status as Economics.

Since then, the form and content of the courses offered were continuously developed and updated and Business Administration as a field of study became increasingly specialized. In the course of the Institute’s ongoing modernization the Department of Commercial Studies (Handelswissenschaftliche Seminar) was renamed Institute of Accounting (1996), while the Institute for Research in Business Administration (Institut für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung) was split into the Institute for Strategy and Business Economics and the Institute of Organization and Administrative Science at the end of 2003. Our new Department of Business Administration was created in the context of the latest reorganization of our faculty in January 2011, replacing and integrating the former Institute of Operations Research, the Institute of Organization and Administrative Sciences, the Institute of Accounting, and the Institute for Strategy and Business Economics.