Some 1,600 academic staff members are currently doing research at WU, including teaching and research associates, post-doctoral researchers, assistant and associate professors, and full professors. Their combined academic output amounts to over 1,100 academic publications per year, from book chapters to journal articles. See our FIDES research database for an overview of all WU researchers and their publications.
In March 2016, WU introduced the Researcher of the Month series. Below you can find an overview of our recent Researchers of the Month:
Researcher of the Month
British trade policy in the 1930s: Protectionism with drastic consequences
The global financial crisis in the 1920s and 1930s was the most far-reaching economic event of the 20th century, and world production and global trade fell dramatically. Great Britain played a central role in the trade networks of the time and in their collapse. In a recent study, economic historian Markus Lampe and his co-authors examined the consequences of a protectionist trade policy favoring the British Empire. The results show clearly how drastic the effects can be if multilateral trade and equal market access opportunities are no longer guaranteed.
Increased protection for shareholders when companies relocate
Freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services are important principles of the European Union. Companies have the option of relocating their businesses’ registered office after a majority vote of the shareholders. However, discrepancies in national corporate law may result in disadvantages for minority shareholders and others affected by the changes. Martin Winner examines how to create corporate legislation that provides adequate protection to shareholders affected by this type of change.
Women continue to be under-represented in upper-level management. IThe reasons for this are a topic of heated debate among researchers – as are possible ways to combat the problem and bring more women into top management and supervisory board positions. “We need clear goals and increased public visibility of success in reaching these goals,” says WU researcher Heike Mensi-Klarbach.
Natural disasters often result in massive humanitarian crises, requiring immediate relief from aid agencies. Private donors play a very important role, and respond especially well to fundraising campaigns for specific emergencies. Incident-specific, earmarked donations are not always the best way to help, however, according to studies conducted by Tina Wakolbinger.
How the tone from the top influences internal auditors
In a recent project, Anne d’Arcy investigated how internal auditors’ judgements change when they have to report to both the management and the supervisory board and when they are told to aim for different goals.
We develop our sense of ownership very early in our lives, when we are still toddlers. Bernadette Kamleitner investigates how and why we develop a sense of ownership, and draws interesting conclusions for better product design, better data security, and stronger involvement in environmental protection measures.
Speeding, rushing through intersections when the traffic lights change to yellow – all of these behaviors harbor risks that are of special interest to insurance companies. Alexander Mürmann has investigated the effects of people’s driving behavior on their risk of having an accident and on their choice of insurance policies.
Commuters willing to pay more for shorter travel times when driving
On average, Austrians spend over an hour a day commuting. In her current research, WU transport economist Stefanie Peer investigates how commuters make mobility-related decisions, especially with regard to choice of transport mode and arrival time.
In 2017 alone, the EU spent around € 53.5 billion on funding for European regions. These funds are intended to strengthen the regions’ economies and create jobs. A current study conducted by Harald Oberhofer has shown that EU funding has an influence on inhabitants’ voting behavior.
“Sharing economy” refers to the increasing trend towards “sharing rather than owning”. A study by Markus Höllerer demonstrates that city administrations worldwide are confronted with various opportunities and challenges, and that cities show considerable variation both in their interpretations of the sharing economy and in corresponding governance responses.
Not all customers are equally valuable to an organization. In his research, Thomas Reutterer is looking at how we can measure and predict the imaginary long-term value of customers, a concept called customer lifetime value. Professor Reutterer’s work shows that the regularity of customer interaction is a crucial factor.
Facebook, Google, and Amazon pay on average less than 10% corporate tax in the EU, in spite of enormous revenues.The EU wants to change this, and has put the taxation of digital companies on the politcal agenda. Alexander Rust is critical of these plans, however, and warns of far-reaching consequences.
As businesses in German-speaking countries become increasingly international, the topic of English as a lingua franca is also attracting ever more attention. Changing the corporate language is more complex, than it might seem. Miya Komori-Glatz studies English as a lingua franca in multicultural teamwork and the implications of introducing a foreign language in the workplace.
Sustainability is regarded as a key to the future of our planet, but the concept often tends to be oversimplified. Sigrid Stagl is working on methods that make it possible to measure the true costs of services, products, and economic policy decisions.
In 2006, new legislation entered into force in Austria that made it possible to hold corporations liable for criminal acts. Before that, criminal liability had been limited to natural persons only. In his research, Robert Kert looks at how corporations can actually be punished and which consequences they face if sentenced.
Taken together, the annual reports published by 100 large enterprises fill a total of 25,000 pages every year. Stéphanie Mittelbach-Hörmanseder investigates the reasons why there is so much variance in how different firms report their CSR activities.
Hardly anyone books a hotel without first scrolling through all the feedback posted by previous guests. In his research Ben Greiner investigates the factors that cause distortions in online feedback systems.
In 2016 alone, the three largest Spanish soccer clubs had a turnover of more than € 1.5 billion. Clubs generate substantial amounts of their revenue outside their home countries. Jonas Puck has been investigating how soccer clubs can best develop and implement successful internationalization strategies.
Kathrin Figl from WU’s Institute for Information Systems and New Media has investigated the potential of visual representations of business processes and looked at how process models need to be designed to be easily understood.
Why CO2 emissions aren’t sinking, in spite of governments’ best efforts
Global CO2 emissions are rising, although governments around the world are attempting to slow them. Klaus Gugler’s research focuses on current energy policies and their effects on competition. He attributes the problems mainly to misguided subsidization policies and too-low prices for CO2 certificates.
Among law scholars, the opinion has prevailed for many years that it was acceptable to fire employees for going on strike. In her research, Elisabeth Brameshuber shows clearly that while this in not, in fact, the case, not every type of strike is permissible.
In a large-scale research project at WU, Stefan Giljum is investigating the amount of natural resources required for the production and consumption of goods and services and the effects of globalization on our use of raw materials.
A recent study by WU Professor Michael Müller-Camen shows that there are considerable differences in how companies around the world define their priorities in sustainable HR management. These international differences are particularly striking when it comes to measures for supporting women.
It is rare, but not unheard of for municipalities or even provinces of federal republics like Austria to file for bankruptcy. Only very recently, for example, the Austrian province of Carinthia came to the brink of bankruptcy. At WU, Georg Kodek investigates the potential consequences of such bankruptcies from a legal perspective.
Improving energy storage efficiency for cheaper renewable energy
Due to the increased use of renewable energy sources, the generation of electricity is becoming increasingly dependent on weather conditions. Energy storage plants can benefit from this development by storing power when it’s plentiful and selling it when supply is limited and the price goes up. Uncertain weather conditions create a dilemma for storage plants, as they are in danger of missing just the right moment. Nils Löhndorf has spent years developing a decision-making model to help solve this problem.
Many urban planners are pinning high hopes on the freight bicycle as one of the key means of urban transportation in the future. Up to now, however, it has been unclear which logistics solutions are best suited to individual cities and which role freight bicycles play in these approaches. Together with her colleagues, Vera Hemmelmayr has developed an algorithm designed to tackle these challenges.
The problems with debt-based financing – personnel costs as a key factor
Many countries, Austria included, offer tax breaks that indirectly subsidize corporate borrowing, because interests paid to creditors count as deductibles and reduce a company’s tax burden. A recent study by Josef Zechner shows how the government’s indirect subsidization of corporate debt leads to higher risks for employees.
How the USA has racked up the world’s largest foreign debt
Starting from the late 1980s, the USA has moved from being a net creditor to having the world’s highest foreign debt. A study conducted by Katrin Rabitsch poses the question of whether this makes the US inherently dangerous. Her results show that part of the USA’s foreign debt can be explained by structural differences.
What kind of protection does the new EU Data Protection Regulation provide?
In 2016, the European Union adopted the new General Data Protection Regulation, designed to provide the European and national judiciaries with a completely new basis for data protection and privacy law. At WU, Harald Eberhard, professor of public law investigates various issues raised by data protection law. His current work focuses on the effects of the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation on Austrian data protection law. Read more