Die Stiege zum ersten Obergeschoss des D3 Gebäudes.

Gerhard Speckbacher

Univ.Prof. Dipl.Math.-oec.Dr.rer.pol. Gerhard Speckbacher

Univ.Prof. Dipl.Math.-oec.Dr.rer.pol. Gerhard Speckbacher

Institute for Strategy and Managerial Accounting, Department of Strategy and Innovation

Education and Previous Positions

Gerhard Speckbacher studied Mathematics, Economics and Philosophy and earned a Diploma degree in Mathematics/Economics, a PhD in Economics (Thesis “Public Pension Schemes and Intergenerational Justice”) and a Habilitation degree in Economics and Business (Stakeholder Theory, New Institutional Economics, and Theory of the Firm) at the University of Ulm.   Before joining WU, Gerhard Speckbacher has been Full Professor for Accounting at the Catholic University of Eichstätt and Professor for General Management at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald. He worked as Visiting Researcher at numerous Universities in Europe, North America and Australia.


For his teaching Gerhard Speckbacher has received the Austrian State Award for Excellent Teaching, "Ars Docendi 2016", WU’s Excellent Teaching Award, the University of Ulm Teaching Award and the “WU ÖH Best Undergraduate Lecturer Award”.

Gerhard Speckbacher teaches classes on General Management, Strategy Implementation, Performance Management, and Management Control. From 2007-2011 he has been director of the MBA Program Controlling & Finance. Since 2000 he directs the specialization in Strategic Management and Management Control (SBWL Unternehmensführung) which has repeatedly been the best rated specialization at WU according to student and alumni surveys. He served in WU’s steering committee to develop the new WU Bachelor program and co-designed and co-directs WU’s Master program Strategy, Innovation and Management Control. He initiated and implemented WUs introductory course to Business (“Einführung in die BWL”) which is based on a new concept of “problem-based learning.” He teaches this course to groups of 2.000-3.000 students using a range of interactive teaching and blended learning concepts which have earned several teaching awards.

The Institute of Strategic Management and Management Control, headed by Gerhard Speckbacher, has launched a range of initiatives in innovative teaching:

  • “Business Project Seminars” for groups of 20-30 students where students practically apply their theoretical knowledge and act as “real world consultants” for Austrian and international organizations. Such project seminars have been conducted for Austrian Airlines, Axa Vienna, A1 Telekom, Boehler-Uddeholm, NXP, OMV, Palfinger, Philips Eindhoven, Unilever Austria, Johanniter Wien, Wirtschaftskammer Wien, ÖBB, ÖGB. Since 2011 such seminars are offered for mixed groups of Master and Bachelor students, where Master students take responsibility for small groups of Bachelor students. Master and Bachelor students’ common practical experience within these projects is used in-class to discuss and develop responsible leadership and teamworking skills.

  • The “Consulting Partnership Program”, a program where students do real world case studies coached by leading Strategy Consultants such as McKinsey, Strategy&/Booz & Co., BCG, AT Kearney and Roland Berger

  • “IfU Dienstagsbier” a weekly event where students meet Austrian Top Managers.

  • The “International ERMAC Summer School and Research Conference”, an international professional development program for excellent PhD students and young researchers.

For more than ten years Gerhard Speckbacher has directed WU’s support program for outstanding undergraduate students (WU Top League), since 2009 he directs the Center of Excellence for the best students from WU’s Master programs.

Gerhard Speckbacher is Alumnus of the ITP Program, a faculty-development program arranged by the International Schools of Business Management (ISBM) and originated by Harvard Business School. He completed the ITP program at IMD Lausanne. Moreover, he has been member of several accreditation teams for international Business Schools and programs.


For his research Gerhard Speckbacher has received several awards such as the “Nonprofit Management and Leadership Best Contribution Research Award” (Los Angeles, USA), the “VMI-Award” (University of Mannheim, Germany), the “Senator Wilfing Research Award” (Vienna, Austria), the “Erste Bank Research Award” (Vienna, Austria) and the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly Best Paper Award (Denver, USA).

For almost 10 years Gerhard Speckbacher served as an Editor of the Journal für Betriebswirtschaft/Management Review Quarterly; he is serving on several editorial boards and acts as a regular reviewer for the leading journals in his field.

Areas of expertise in research:

Management Control/Performance Measurement (selected publications)

  • The Cost of Creativity: A Control Perspective. Accounting, Organizations and Society 48, 31-42, 2016 (with I. Grabner).

  • The Impact of Family Control on the Use of Performance Measures in Strategic Target Setting and Incentive Compensation. Management Accounting Research 23 (1), 34-46, 2012 (with P. Wentges).

  • A Descriptive Analysis on the Implementation of Balanced Scorecards in German-Speaking Countries. Management Accounting Research 14, 361-387, 2003 (with J. Bischof, T. Pfeiffer)  

Strategy and Stakeholder Management (selected publications)

  • Resource Relatedness and the Mode of Entry into New Businesses: Internal Resource Accumulation vs. Access by Collaborative Arrangement. Strategic Management Journal 36, 1675-1687, 2015 (with W. Hoffmann and K. Neumann).

  • The Effect of Interorganizational Trust on Make-or-Cooperate Decisions: Disentangling Opportunism-dependent and Opportunism-independent Effects of Trust. European Management Review 7 (2), 101-115, 2010 (with W. Hoffmann, K. Neumann).

  • A Note on Stakeholder Theory and Risk: Implications for Corporate Cash Holdings and Dividend Policy. Frontiers in Finance and Economics 6 (1), 51-72, 2009 (with P. Wentges).

Management of Nonprofit Organizations (selected publications)

  • The Use of Incentives in Nonprofit Organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 42(5), 1006-1025, 2013.

  • Nonprofit versus Corporate Governance: An Economic Approach. Nonprofit Management and Leadership 18 (3), 295-320, 2006.

  • The Economics of Performance Management in Nonprofit Organizations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 13, 3, 267-281, 2003.

Microeconomics and Sustainable Investment/Growth (selected publications)

  • Comparing financial investments by their state dependent returns: A one-way log utility representation. European Journal of Operational Research (EJOR) 193, 323-326, 2009.

  • Utility Maximization Under Capital Growth Constraints. Journal of Mathematical Economics 33 (1), 1-12, 2000 (with K. Hellwig, P. Wentges).

  • Present Value Based Portfolio Choice. Economics Letters, 44, 261-265, 1994 (with S.H. Friis).

Transfer of Research into Practice

Gerhard Speckbacher is regularly providing his consulting services to various Austrian and international firms as well as nonprofit organizations and public institutions such as the Austrian Ministry of Finance.

For more than 10 years Gerhard Speckbacher has been co-organizing the IfU Dialog (together with J. Risak), a monthly event at WU where top managers of leading Austrian and international firms discuss with management researchers today’s strategic management challenges.

Since 2015, Gerhard Speckbacher co-organizes the Thought Bridge together with the Austrian Controllers’ Institute (ÖCI), an event where the leading researchers in Strategy, Finance and Management discuss future challenges with top executives.

Gerhard Speckbacher is Deputy Head of the supervisory board of the Austrian Controllers’ Institute (ÖCI) as well as a board member of Uniforce (Consulting Company run by students) and AIESEC Austria (International Students’ Organization).