Forging Ahead

Focus on Research

What are our researchers interested in? What are they investigating? Why are their findings so relevant? Our Researchers of the Month introduce their work and show us what we can learn from it.

Does globalization lead to a transfer of social norms?

Alyssa Schneebaum (Institute for Heterodox Economics) was interested in investigating the effects of globalization on the gender distribution among companies’ employees.

When companies from developing and middle-income countries interact with countries with high gender equality, this has a positive effect on gender distribution within the company.

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EU citizens in Great Britain: Go or stay?

Alexander Mohr (Institute for International Business) looked at how EU expatriates dealt with the uncertainty resulting from Brexit.

Expats who consider themselves well integrated and who are satisfied with their job indicated that they would stay in Great Britain even after Brexit. Those who are less well integrated and who don’t have a strong local network were more likely to consider returning to the EU.

Why do we still see huge cruise liners in the Venetian Lagoon?

Giuseppe Delmestri (Institute for Change Management) wanted to know what dynamics were working against the closure of the canals in the historical city center to cruise ships.

By making ‘concessions’ and offering support to the local government, the cruise industry successfully avoided a cruise ship ban on the passage to Piazza San Marco.

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How do different cultures deal with conflicts at the workplace?

Nadine Thielemann (Institute for Slavic Languages) wanted to know if there are linguistic-cultural differences in dealing with internal conflicts and expressing criticism in the workplace in different countries.

In all the languages and cultures investigated, complaints communicated to team members by supervisors were generally very solution oriented. However, differences were observed in the way the proposed solution was presented.

How can highly complex data be analyzed more quickly?

Gregor Kastner (Institute for Statistics and Mathematics) wanted to find out how large amounts of highly complex data can be processed faster and more easily. He developed algorithms and software that deliver reliable results in less time.

High-dimensional statistical data space can be reduced into a lower-dimensional space by determining what the individual time series have in common and discarding information that isn’t needed to answer the questions at hand.

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Can financial incentives lead to better health?

Marcel Bilger (Institute for Health Economics and Policy) investigated the effects of rebates on medication adherence in the chronically ill.

Even modest financial incentives are effective in increasing compliance in patients with chronic conditions. A copay reduction could be one such incentive, for example.

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Do government-owned companies apply tax avoidance strategies?

Eva Eberhartinger (Business Taxation Group) analyzed the tax avoidance strategies of government-owned companies.

Tax avoidance is most likely to be found in those companies with insufficient supervision by the public owners. A reduction in strategic tax planning is seen in those companies in which the government shareholders profit from tax revenues.

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Is critical discourse possible on the internet?

Susanne Kopf (Institute for English Business Communication) wanted to know whether critical discussions were welcome on different internet platforms.

In their guidelines, commercial platforms like YouTube encourage content creators to produce positive, advertiser-friendly content. Nonprofit platforms are better suited to critical discussions. The process of editing and reviewing articles on Wikipedia, for example, requires critical discussions to reach a consensus.

How can users keep control of their data on the internet?

Sabrina Kirrane (Institute forn Information Systems and New Media) is working to lay the technological groundwork for an internet that gives citizens, companies, and organizations more control over where their data are stored and how they are processed.

The goal is to create an internet that is decentralized, free, transparent, and serves the interests of the people. Priority should be given to values such as trust and transparency, to help combat antisocial behavior, fake news, echo chambers, and bias.

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Does the EU have enough say in member states’ energy policies?

Stefan Storr (Institute for Austrian and European Public Law) investigated the limits of the EU’s competencies in the energy sector.

EU member states are free to make their own national decisions about the use of energy resources. The EU is attempting to coordinate energy and climate policies using a governance system and common guidelines. However, imprecise wording allows for widely varying interpretations in governance and make it difficult to implement policies uniformly in member states.

Is there discrimination in health care?

Rupert Sausgruber (Department of Economics) wondered if there was discrimination against certain patients in out-patient health care.

In doctor’s offices, patients are not discriminated against because of their ethnicity but because of their insurance status. People with only statutory health insurance were 25% less likely to get an appointment than people with private insurance, and they also had to wait half a day longer for an appointment.

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