Looking beyond the horizon. International Business and Economics

Starting this winter semester, the Faculty of Management and Economics will be offering a new English-language Bachelor’s degree programme, International Business and Economics. We asked the programme director, Dmitri Blüschke, a few pertinent questions..

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Building genuine (decision-making) behaviour into economic models

Economists endeavour to emulate the behaviour of actors in economic contexts in order to calculate the consequences. The difficulty is this: Many at times restrictive assumptions concerning the behaviour of actors do not reflect the real world. A new project funded by the Anniversary Fund of the OeNB (Oesterreichische Nationalbank) aims to get a better grasp on reality.

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A numbers person who models behaviour


Stephan Leitner realized at an early stage that he is a numbers person among the business and economics specialists, someone who feels more comfortable with the quantitative subjects than with the “softer” subjects. Today, following his recent habilitation, the newly minted associate professor pursues his research at the Department of Management Control and Strategic Management, where he is working on models that calculate the decision-making behaviour in companies as well as the effects of decisions, taking into account the behavioural sciences.

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Packages delivered by air: Drones as delivery service

What has travelled by road to reach us until now could be delivered by drones in the future. This has many advantages: Poor rural transport infrastructure or persistent congestion in large cities can be bypassed. In 2013, Amazon was among the first to announce the intention to deliver goods using small autonomous drones. But when might this technology truly become part of our daily lives? Drone researcher Pasquale Grippa provides some answers.

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The river, a legal entity

In November 2016, the Constitutional Court of Colombia decided to grant the Río Atrato personality rights. The judgement was published in May 2017. As part of his doctoral thesis, the geographer Moremi Zeil is investigating the framework conditions, causes and – above all – the consequences of this judgement. 

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Customers who pay for their purchases by card are less likely to remember the precise amount paid

The transparency of spending money depends on the mode of payment used: cash, single-function cards that offer only a payment function, or multifunctional cards which may also include bonus programmes, user identification or other functions. A recent study has shown that the recall accuracy associated with the act of paying is lower for both card formats than it is for cash transactions.

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Financial compensation: Handwritten messages & banknotes are better received

Money is money: so why should we care how it is given? A new study on complaint handling, recently published in the renowned Journal of Service Research, delivers fresh insights: People who complain react differently, depending on how the financial compensation is presented.

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Volunteering efforts encouraged by the company boost employees’ organisational commitment

Employees who volunteer are not only a boon for the image of the company: In cases where an organisation supports volunteering, it profits through increased organisational commitment. These are the key findings of a new study recently presented in the journal “Applied Psychology”.

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Performing good deeds and keeping employees informed

When companies perform good deeds, they do this for different reasons: From altruism to image considerations – the motives for so-called CSR measures are manifold. What is essential, however, is that CSR measures must be perceived as credible by the employees, as they are often the ones who constitute the “face” of a company. They implement the CSR measures and communicate the commitment beyond the borders of the company. Sarah Desirée Schäfer is investigating the perception and evaluation as well as the impact of CSR measures and CSR communication upon employees.

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More (open) facts for everyone: Publication of the new open access journal “Journal of Mechanism and Institution Design”

Research conducted at state universities is mostly financed with public money: As such, knowledge is a public good and should therefore also be publically accessible. Tradition dictates that research results are published in scientific journals, which are of vital importance for the career paths of researchers. However, even today, these journals are usually published by large publishing houses, whose respective business models prescribe the raising of revenues from public libraries and academic institutions. This is the case even though almost all of the articles that come to be published are penned by researchers who are largely publically funded. What is more, to a significant extent, the selection and peer review process applied to the articles is also conducted by researchers who receive publically funded salaries. In most instances, the performance of these duties – generally considered to be part of the scope of reputable academic activities – goes unpaid. Meanwhile, over the past few years, the trend towards “open access” has steadily gained pace: Conventional journal contributions are either “bought out” from authors’ contracts and published in a publically accessible manner (green road), or articles appear in journals established specifically for this purpose, which are committed to the provision of open access (gold road). The first batch of open access journals following the “gold road” is now beginning to emerge in the economic sciences, among them the recently initiated “Journal of Mechanism and Institution Design”.

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