Competence Centers

Emerging Markets & CEE

Head: Phillip C. Nell

The Competence Center for CEE expanded its profile to include emerging markets in 2016. Emerging markets are claiming an ever increasing segment of the global economy, and the competence center’s main goals are to stimulate the interest of both students and the general public in these countries, communicate WU’s diverse research work, and contribute to a closer connection between research, teaching, and the business community.

Empirical Research Methods

Heads: Manfred Lueger, Regina Dittrich

The function of this competence center is to ensure the high quality of empirical research at WU and concentrate existing methodological competence and know-how to make it easily accessible. The team’s work focuses on three main areas: expert advice for WU researchers on how to use methodological approaches and empirical methods, support for researchers in the project proposal and publication phases, and the further development and application of research methods.

Entrepreneurship Center

Head: Nikolaus Franke

The Entrepreneurship Center’s main goal is to increase entrepreneurial spirit at WU, and thus contributing to encouraging a campus-wide “can-do” mentality with regard to business start-ups. Ideally, this will result in independent, innovative entrepreneurial activities, both by students and faculty: Innovation is welcomed, unavoidable risks accepted, and starting a business is recognized as a valid career path and chosen accordingly. Long term, this should lead to more and better start-ups by members of the WU community.

Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship

Heads: Michael Meyer, Christian Schober, Ruth Simsa

This competence center’s main objectives are NPO and social entrepreneurship-related academic research and facilitating networks, encouraging contact and cooperation between researchers and the nonprofit and social entrepreneurship community. The center organizes regular conferences, workshops, research dialogs, and leadership training events. Research topics include impact-oriented evaluation, the analysis of social return on investment (SROI), innovation, civil society, and managing organizations dedicated to facing social challenges.


Head: Fred Luks

Sharpening WU’s profile on sustainability-related issues is one of the main functions of this competence center. The goal is to strengthen sustainability and make it more visible at WU in teaching, research, university management, and in third mission activities. The center sees itself as a coordinative facility, service center, and network hub. It is active in research (e.g. in book projects), teaching (workshops), university management (e.g. as a contributor to the environmental management system), and third mission (e.g. by organizing events).