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Publications 2016

When chasing the offender hurts the victim: The case of insider legislation

Backers and opponents argue over the pros and cons of legislation forbidding trading by informed insiders. Yet a lack of reliable empirical data about the effects of such legislation inhibits a conclusive scientific evaluation. We overcome this problem by resorting to laboratory markets and find that insider legislation has significant negative effects on multiple market dimensions: under insider legislation, (1) markets are less liquid, (2) markets are less informationally efficient, and (3) uninformed traders' earnings (before redistribution of illicit insider gains) are lower.

Palan, S. and Stöckl, T. (2016): When chasing the offender hurts the victim: The case of insider legislation, in: Journal of Financial Markets, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1386418116300623 [04.08.2016].

Contact: Stefan Palan, Department of Banking and Finance, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7306

 
Boon or Bane? Advance Tax Rulings as a Measure to Mitigate Tax Uncertainty and Foster Investment

Politicians and tax practitioners often claim that tax uncertainty negatively affects investment. In many countries, firms can request fee-based advance tax rulings (ATRs) to mitigate tax uncertainty. We analyse theoretically the circumstances under which investors request ATRs, how tax authorities should price them and how they can affect investment. We assume that tax authorities integrate investors' reasoning into their decisions. We find that in special cases the optimal fee tax authorities should charge is prohibitively high, thus firms will refrain from requesting ATRs. However, we find that revenue-maximising tax authorities offer ATRs if the ruling enables them either to significantly reduce their tax audit costs or to increase the probability of detecting ambiguous tax issues. Under certain circumstances, ATRs may effectively foster investment and potentially benefit both the tax authorities and taxpayers. Our results provide new explanations for why taxpayers that face high levels of tax uncertainty often do not request ATRs, even when the fee is rather low. Our results also hold when the tax authority maximises social wealth instead of its revenues. Regulatory changes in ATR requirements might serve as a natural quasi-experiment for an empirical study of our predictions regarding investment decisions.

Diller, M., Kortebusch, P., Schneider, G. and Sureth-Sloane, C. (2016): Boon or Bane? Advance Tax Rulings as a Measure to Mitigate Tax Uncertainty and Foster Investment, in: European Accounting Review, DOI: 10.1080/09638180.2016.1169939 [24.05.2016].

Contact: Georg Schneider, Department of Accounting and Reporting, Phone: +43 (0)316-380 - 3641

 
Voneinander und miteinander lernen in der universitären Übungsfirma

Kooperatives Lehren und Lernen stand thematisch im Fokus des Lehrpreises für das Studienjahr 2014/15. Gesucht waren Lehrveranstaltungen mit besonderem Augenmerk auf Kooperation und Teamwork, auf Dialog und Diskussion, auf Wissens- und Erfahrungsaustausch, auf voneinander Lernen ebenso wie auf miteinander Lernen (vgl. Lehr- und Studienservice 2015). Der Kurzfilm bei der Lehrpreis-Verleihung wies folgende Zutaten als erforderlich für eine auszeichnungswürdige Lehrveranstaltung zu ebendiesem Fokus aus: engagierte Lehrveranstaltungsleiterinnen, motivierte Studierende, handlungsorientierte Lehrmethoden, kooperative Lehr- und Arbeitsformen. Werden diese Zutaten an der Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz gut ‚durchgemischt’, so folgt im Lehrpreisfilm als Ergebnis eine Übungsfirma. Im Beitrag wird zuerst die Methode Übungsfirma und ihre Implementierung in Österreich vorstellt. Danach wird die Umsetzung am Institut für Wirtschaftspädagogik in Graz mit der zugrunde liegenden Lehr-Lern-Philosophie beleuchtet und es wird exemplarisch dargestellt, wie kooperatives Lehren und Lernen an der Universität gelingen kann.

Riebenbauer, E. and Stock, M. (2016): Voneinander und miteinander lernen in der universitären Übungsfirma, in: Augustin, E., Salmhofer, G. and Scheer, L. (Ed.): Option Kooperation! Voneinander und miteinander lernen in der Hochschule, Grazer Beiträge zur Hochschullehre, Band 7, Grazer Universitätsverlag, Graz, pp. 257-268.

Kontakt: Michaela Stock, Department of Business Education and Development, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7272

 
How Analytics and AI Are Driving the Subscription E-Commerce Phenomenon

In recent years, amid a lackluster shopping environment, an unheralded retail phenomenon has taken off quite dramatically – with growth rates exceeding 1,000%. The startups representing this evolving segment are collectively grouped under the label of subscription e-commerce. With such evocative names as BarkBox, Birchbox, Blue Apron, Harry’s, OwlCrate, Trunk Club, and Winc, these online companies mail monthly boxes containing specially curated items in beauty, fashion, food, personal grooming, and pet products priced between $10 and $80 per box right to their subscribers’ doorsteps. Attention was brought to this category when consumer giant Unilever snapped up one of the best-known startups – Dollar Shave Club – in July 2016 for an eye-popping $1 billion – five times its annual revenue. That acquisition has drawn considerable interest to these companies, the reasons for their burgeoning popularity, and the tactics underlying their business practices.

Sinha, J. I., Foscht, T. and Fung, T. T. (2016): How Analytics and AI Are Driving the Subscription E-Commerce Phenomenon, in: MIT Sloan Management Review, Blog, sloanreview.mit.edu/article/using-analytics-and-ai-subscription-e-commerce-has-personalized-marketing-all-boxed-up/ [06.12.2016].

Contact: Thomas Foscht, Department of Marketing, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7200

 
Propheten der Finanzmärkte. Zur Rolle charismatischer Ideen im Börsengeschehen

Finanzmärkte sind durch extreme Ungewissheiten gekennzeichnet. Gleichwohl sind Finanzmarktakteure unablässig gezwungen, Entscheidungen zu treffen. In diesem Beitrag wird der Frage nachgegangen, wie sie dieses Entscheidungsproblem bewältigen. In kritischer Auseinandersetzung mit orthodoxen Kapitalmarkttheorien, Behavioral Finance-Ansätzen sowie dem auf John M. Keynes zurückgehenden Konzept der „Erwartungs-Erwartungen” wird vorgeschlagen, Max Webers Charismakonzeption fruchtbar zu machen, um den Einfluss von „Börsenpropheten” auf Investment-Entscheidungen besser verstehen und in seiner sozialen Prozesshaftigkeit erklären zu können. Der Aufsatz ist in einem Sammelband erschienen, der auf eine Tagung des Max-Weber-Instituts für Soziologie der Universität Heidelberg im April 2014 zum 150. Geburtstag des Namensgebers zurückgeht.

Kraemer, K. (2016): Propheten der Finanzmärkte. Zur Rolle charismatischer Ideen im Börsengeschehen, in: Schwinn, T. and Albert, G. (Ed.): Alte Begriffe – Neue Probleme. Max Webers Soziologie im Lichte aktueller Problemstellungen, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, pp. 311-337.

Contact: Klaus Kraemer, Department of Sociology, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 3546

 
Handling the Complexity of Predator-Prey Systems: Managerial Decision Making in Urban Economic Development and Sustainable Harvesting

In this paper we deal with complex systems and how to handle them. We focus on a well-known class of dynamical systems, namely predator-prey models, firstly by applying this type of model to urban economic development and secondly by testing models in an experimental setting in order to ascertain how successful human decision makers are in managing such a system. Regarding urban economic development, we illustrate that residential density and air pollution can be understood in terms of a predator-prey model and show how pollution control affects the level of the long-run equilibrium and the transition path towards it. We do this to support the understanding of how urban economic development works today and how it can be managed by decision makers via different interventions to improve the quality of living in urban areas. Regarding the task of handling predator-prey systems, we analyse the results of an experimental study in which participants take the role of a decision maker who seeks to maximise revenues from simultaneously harvesting a prey and a predator species while avoiding their overexploitation. We find that participants fall significantly shorter of the optimal strategy when the price assigned to the predator species is very high, compared to the price assigned to the prey species, in contrast to the case where the price difference is smaller. We offer several explanations for this observation that shed light on the human capability to handle predator-prey systems in general.

Bednar-Friedl, B., Behrens, D. A., Grass, D., Koland, O. and Leopold-Wildburger, U. (2016): Handling the Complexity of Predator-Prey Systems: Managerial Decision Making in Urban Economic Development and Sustainable Harvesting, in: Dawid, H., Doerner, K. F., Feichtinger, G., Kort, P. M. and Seidl, A. (Ed.): Dynamic Perspectives on Managerial Decision Making, Springer VS, Wiesbaden, pp. 127-148.

Contact: Birgit Bednar-Friedl, Deparment of Economics, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7107

 
Tax-induced distortions of effort and compensation in a principal-agent setting

Common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) and tax allocation via formula apportionment (FA) are hotly debated in the European Union (EU). The objective of this paper is to analyze the tax-induced distortions of managerial incentives and remuneration packages caused by FA. We set up a LEN-type principal-agent model with agents in two different jurisdictions. There are no transactions between the two jurisdictions, thus all findings are driven by FA. If payroll enters the FA formula, the principal demands increased effort and pays an increased compensation to managers in low-tax jurisdictions compared to the bench mark case. Managers in high-tax jurisdictions face the opposite effect. Furthermore, the composition of the remuneration changes, which distorts incentives in addition to the excessive pay. Lastly, net profit increases because FA offers new potential for profit shifting.

Martini, J. T., Niemann, R. and Simons, D. (2016): Tax-induced distortions of effort and compensation in a principal-agent setting, in: Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, Vol. 27, pp. 26-39.

Contact: Rainer Niemann, Department of Accounting and Taxation, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 6444

 
Contract Bargaining and Location Choice

We study how managerial bargaining power affects outcomes and payoffs in a Hotelling-type duopoly framework with restricted and unrestricted locations. We show that bargaining power only affects the distribution of the surplus between owners and managers but does not affect the locations, prices, managerial incentives, and consumer welfare. This is in stark contrast to van Witteloostuijn et al. (2007) and related contributions where bargaining power has real effects. We argue that the difference between our irrelevance result and their findings originates from the fact that their approach seems to be based on a behavioral assumption and not on microeconomic principles of owner–manager bargaining.

Kopel, M., Pezzino, M. and Ressi, A. (2016): Contract Bargaining and Location Choice, in: Managerial and Decision Economics, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 140-148.

Contact: Michael Kopel, Department of Organization and Economics of Institutions, Phone: +43 (0)316-380 - 7182

 
Maximin fairness-profit tradeoff in project budget allocation

Companies typically select those projects that maximize their profit as the primary criterion, within the limited budget at their disposal. This criterion may lead to some company departments getting an exceedingly large share of the overall budget and induce a negative perception of unfairness among the less favorite ones. We investigate how profit optimization can be sought after while achieving the desired level of fairness at the same time. Adopting a maximin approach to fairness and using an Integer Linear Programming solver, we show that a linear trade-off is possible, since fairness and profit exhibit a nearly perfect linear anticorrelation. Fairness can be improved by even a relatively small reduction of profit, especially in large companies (i.e., managing a large number of projects).

Naldi, M., Nicosia, G., Pacifici, A. and Pferschy, U. (2016): Maximin fairness-profit tradeoff in project budget allocation, in: Procedia Computer Science, Vol. 100, pp. 313-320.

Contact: Ulrich Pferschy, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 3496

 
Analytical Strategy for Dealing with Neutrality and Implicit Masculinity Constructions. Methodological Challenges for Gender Studies in Science and Technology

On the basis of an empirical example, we offer in this article a methodological discussion of the challenges and pitfalls gender studies scholars face when analyzing how gender norms are attributed to epistemic cultures in science and engineering. Faced with actors who claim neutrality and objectivity for themselves and their work, the challenge is to analyze gender norms that are mostly implicit without reifying gender differences. Committed to the goal of opening this black box, we propose an analytical strategy for qualitative empirical research to unveil these subtle, highly normalized, discursive practices of attributing gender norms to the epistemic subjects, objects and activities in science and engineering, and exemplify it with reference to our own empirical study. By comparing the patterns of distinction with respect to epistemic boundaries and to gender differentiations, it is possible to trace connections between the symbolic gender order and epistemic cultures within the data. The allegedly neutral scientist as well as the engineering scholar is then shown to be the androcentric construction of a masculine coded epistemic subject.

Paulitz, T., Kink, S. and Prietl, B. (2016): Analytical Strategy for Dealing with Neutrality Claims and Implicit Masculinity Constructions. Methodological Challenges for Gender Studies in Science and Technology, in: Forum: Qualitative Social Research, Vol. 17, No. 3, nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1603138 [14.11.2016]

Contact: Susanne Kink, Department of Sociology, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7084

 
Current Account Adjustment in the Eurozone: Lessons From a Flexible Price Model

This paper discusses the desired size of the internal devaluation in the Eurozone for a scenario of current account adjustment induced by shifts in relative demand. Based on Obstfeld and Rogoff, I develop a four-region model of the world economy consisting of the Eurozone-core, Eurozone-periphery, United States and Asia. In contrast to most of the existing literature, this model structure enables studying the impact of global current account adjustment on the rebalancing process in the Eurozone. In addition, the model allows for movements of factors of production between tradable and non-tradable sectors. The results point to the important impact of sectoral reallocation and increases in Asian demand on the size of the internal devaluation as well as on the implied length of the adjustment period.

Zwick, C. (2016): Current Account Adjustment in the Eurozone: Lessons From a Flexible Price Model, in: The World Economy, Vol. 39, No. 7, pp. 1025-1045, DOI: 10.1111/twec.12309.

Contact: Christoph Zwick, Department of Economics, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7114

 
A short History of Demography in Austria. From a Population Issue to Special Scientific Discipline

This paper deals with the very beginnings of demographic research in the Austrian Monarchy, the abusage of this young branch by the NAZI-regime and the renaissance as a scientific discipline in Austria in the 1960s. Since 1875 the K.K. Statistische Zentral-Kommission edited the Statistische Monatsschrift, containing many articles and reports on demographical issues, mainly but oriented on ”population”, even when there were detailed explorations about specific topics, even regarding data from the 18th century. In Europe’s 3rd most populated state, namely the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy, the state of the population played a strong role, like in other big nations too: A strong state needs a strong population. This motto, stemming from the times of Absolutism, still was decisive, even for research on population and demographic issues in the Inter-War period in the First Austrian Republic, when since 1934-1935 some statisticians argued that Austria could disappear, due to low fertility rates, lowered again by the Big Economic Crisis. In the NAZI-era population science and demography were massively abused in a racist sense. After 1945 therefore these topics obviously were somehow burdened for a longer time. Only since the 1960s research on historical demography, oriented on international standards emerged and was evolved as a specific scientific discipline. Besides the methodological, scientific aspect this paper tries to outline the political backgrounds of research on fertility decline.

Teibenbacher, P. and Exner, G. (2016): A short History of Demography in Austria. From a Population Issue to Special Scientific Discipline, in: Fauve-Chamoux, A., Bolovan, I. and Sogner, S. (Ed.): A Global History of Historical Demography. Half a Century of Interdisciplinarity, Peter Lang, Bern et al., pp. 117-130.

Contact: Peter Teibenbacher, Department of Economic, Social and Business History, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 3523

 
Why More Forward-Looking Accounting Standards Can Reduce Financial Reporting Quality

A premise of standard setters and of much empirical research is that improving the quality of accounting standards and their implementation increases information in capital markets. This paper challenges this premise and shows that there are situations in which 'better', that is, more forward-looking, accounting standards reduce the information content of financial reports. The reason is that a forward-looking accounting standard affects the smoothness of reported earnings, which can conflict with the manager’s smoothing incentive and her willingness to incorporate private information in the financial report. Although the manager could eliminate the effect by earnings management, it is too costly to do so. As a consequence, the capital market’s ability to infer the financial and nonfinancial information in reported earnings declines. This finding should increase the awareness that an 'improvement' in accounting standards, without considering incentives and other information residing in firms, can adversely affect the quality of financial reporting.

Ewert, R. and Wagenhofer, A. (2015): Why More Forward-Looking Accounting Standards Can Reduce Financial Reporting Quality, in: European Accounting Review, DOI: 10.1080/09638180.2015.1043927, [02.06.2015].

Contact: Ralf Ewert, Department of Accounting and Auditing, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7168 and Alfred Wagenhofer, Department of Accounting and Control, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 3500

 
Interview: Re-Thinking the Diversity - Innovativeness Relation. A (Micro-) Political Approach

This book chapter, which is presented in the form of an interview by the volume’s editor Andreas Müller with Renate Ortlieb, discusses major shortcomings of extant research on the effects of work team diversity on innovativeness. While mainstream literature focuses on the input to teams in terms of socio-demographical or organizational-functional diversity, typically the concrete processes of innovation are relegated to the black box. Yet in order to understand the complex process that go on in innovation teams it is crucial to take account of power relations and (micro-)political processes prevailing through teams, since especially in highly diverse teams power mechanisms can hamper innovation success.

Ortlieb, R. (2016): Re-Thinking the Diversity - Innovativeness Relation. A (Micro-) Political Approach, in: Braedel-Kühner, C. und Müller, A. (Ed.): Re-thinking Diversity. Multiple Approaches in Theory, Media, Communities, and managerial Practice, Springer VS, Wiesbaden, pp. 133-138.

Contact: Renate Ortlieb, Department of Human Resources Management, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7189

 
A Household Is Not a Person. Consistency of Pro-Environmental Behavior in Adult Couples and the Accuracy of Proxy-Reports

Studies on environmental behavior commonly assume single respondents to represent their entire household or employ proxy-reporting, where participants answer for other household members. It is contested whether these practices yield valid results. Therefore, we interviewed 84 couples, wherein both household members provided self- and proxy-reports for their partner. For use of electrical household appliances, consumption of hot water, space heating, everyday mobility, and environmental values, many variables fail to achieve criteria for validity. Consistency (agreement between self-reports of household members) is higher if behaviors are undertaken jointly or negotiated between partners. Accuracy (agreement of proxy-reports with corresponding self-reports) is higher for routine behaviors and for behaviors easily observable by the partner. Overall, indices perform better than items on single behaviors. We caution against employing individual responses in place of the entire household. Interventions for energy conservation should approach the specific person undertaking the target behavior.

Seebauer, S., Fleiß, J. and Schweighart, M. (2016): A Household Is Not a Person. Consistency of Pro-Environmental Behavior in Adult Couples and the Accuracy of Proxy-Reports, in: Environment and Behavior, DOI: 10.1177/0013916516663796, [19.09.2016].

Contact: Jürgen Fleiß, Center of Entrepreneurship and Applied Business Studies, Phone: +43 (0) 316/380 - 7367

 
Kontroversen in der deutschsprachigen Soziologie nach 1945

Der Beitrag behandelt die zentralen fachdisziplinären Kontroversen der bundesrepublikanischen Soziologie nach 1945, die mitunter einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Institutionalisierung und Konsolidierung der Soziologie in West-Deutschland darstellen. Vielfach sind die Kontroversen im Kontext einer Aufarbeitung des Nationalsozialismus, der fachlichen und theoriepolitischen Neuorientierung zwischen sich bekämpfenden wissenschaftlichen und weltanschaulichen Lagern sowie im Rahmen der Werturteilsfrage angesiedelt.

Moebius, S. (2016): Kontroversen in der deutschsprachigen Soziologie nach 1945, in: Moebius, S. und Ploder, A. (Hrsg.): Handbuch Geschichte der deutschsprachigen Soziologie, Band 1, Springer, Wiesbaden, o. S., link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-658-07998-7_20-1, [04.03.2016].

Contact: Stephan Moebius, Department of Sociology, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7081

 
It is difficult to tell if there is a Condorcet spanning tree

We apply the well-known Condorcet criterion from voting theory outside of its classical framework and link it with spanning trees of an undirected graph. In situations in which a network, represented by a spanning tree of an undirected graph, needs to be installed, decision-makers typically do not agree on the network to be implemented. Instead, each of these decision-makers has her own ideal conception of the network. In order to derive a group decision, i.e., a single spanning tree for the entire group of decision-makers, the goal would be a spanning tree that beats each other spanning tree in a simple majority comparison. When comparing two dedicated spanning trees, a decision-maker will be considered to be more satisfied with the one that is ”closer” to her proposal. In this context, the most basic and natural measure of distance is the usual set difference: we simply count the number of edges the spanning tree has in common with the proposal of the decision-maker. In this work, we show that it is computationally intractable to decide (1) if such a spanning tree exists, and (2) if a given spanning tree satisfies the Condorcet criterion.

Andreas Darmann (2016): It is difficult to tell if there is a Condorcet spanning tree, in: Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Vol. 84, No. 1, pp. 93-104.

Contact: Andreas Darmann, Department of Public Economics, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7139

 
Advanced Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure for the Obnoxious p-Median problem

The Obnoxious p-Median problem consists in selecting a subset of p facilities from a given set of possible locations, in such a way that the sum of the distances between each customer and its nearest facility is maximized. The problem is NP -hard and can be formulated as an integer linear program. It was introduced in the 1990s, and a branch and cut method coupled with a tabu search has been recently proposed. In this paper, we propose a heuristic method – based on the Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure, GRASP, methodology – for finding approximate solutions to this optimization problem. In particular, we consider an advanced GRASP design in which a filtering mechanism avoids applying the local search method to low quality constructed solutions. Empirical results indicate that the proposed implementation compares favorably to previous methods. This fact is confirmed with non-parametric statistical tests.

Colmenar, J. M., Greistorfer, P., Martí, R. and Duarte, A. (2016): Advanced Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure for the Obnoxious p-Median problem, in: European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 252, No. 2, pp. 432-442.

Contact: Peter Greistorfer, Department of Production and Operations Management, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7244

 
Approximation of the Quadric Knapsack Problem

We study the approximability of the classical quadratic knapsack problem (QKP) on special graph classes. In this case the quadratic terms of the objective function are not given for each pair of knapsack items. Instead, an edge weighted graph, whose vertices represent the knapsack items, induces a quadratic profit for every pair of items, which is adjacent in the graph. We show that the problem permits an FPTAS on graphs of bounded treewidth and a PTAS on planar graphs and more generally on H-minor free graphs. We also show strong NP-hardness of QKP on graphs that are 3-book embeddable, a natural graph class that is related to planar graphs. In addition, we will argue that the problem is likely to have bad approximability behaviour on all graph classes that include the complete graph or contain large cliques. These hardness of approximation results under certain complexity assumptions carry over from the densest k-subgraph problem.

Pferschy, U. and Schauer, J. (2016): Approximation of the Quadratic Knapsack Problem, in: INFORMS Journal on Computing, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 308-318.

Contact: Ulrich Pferschy, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 3496

 
The Marketing-Mix - A Helicopter View

The mix concept is quintessential for marketing, as it links generic exchange functions – namely the generic product conception function, the generic pricing function, the generic communication function and the generic distribution function – to demand management. More concretely, the mentioned generic functions are realised by a „mixture” of controllable demand-impinging instruments for which a variety of pragmatic and mnemonic taxonomies or typologies have been developed in the past. Though, over the years, the limitations of these classifications have become apparent, e.g., as a result of the increased importance of promotion instruments in marketing practice that are needed to overcome inertia or to take advantage of favourable market developments. Especially, McCarthy’s widely accepted „4 Ps Classification” with its mixing up of strategic and tactical instruments and its negatively defined promotion category has been criticised.
Against this background, we propose a classification of the marketing mix instruments that (1) takes into account the primary generic function of the instruments and (2) clearly distinguishes between the strategic marketing mix functions and the tactical or promotional function which the instruments fulfil.

Van Waterschoot, W., Foscht, T., Brandstätter, M. and Eisingerich, A. B. (2016): The Marketing Mix – A Helicopter View, in: Baker, M. J. and Saren, M. (Ed.): Marketing Theory – A Student Text, 3rd ed., SAGE Publications, London et al., pp. 199-223.

Contact: Thomas Foscht, Department of Marketing, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7200

 
Who Overrates, Who Underrates? Personality and Its Links to Self-Other Agreement of Leadership Effectiveness

The study investigates if personality can explain why certain managers are prone to overrate or underrate their own effectiveness. Thus, the relationship between self–other agreement of effectiveness and personality was studied. In total, 214 managers completed a multisource feedback where their effectiveness was evaluated by supervisors, peers, subordinates, and themselves. Additionally, all managers provided personality data. Results show that more extraverted managers overrated their effectiveness in relation to their supervisors but had more accurate perceptions when self–peer and self–subordinate ratings were compared. Managers high on openness had more accurate perceptions when comparing self and supervisor or subordinate ratings while detail-oriented and highly conscientious managers received lower subordinate than self-ratings. Findings show that personality partly explains why some managers misjudge their effectiveness and thus can be used for understanding managers’ careers.

Bergner, S., Davda, A., Culpin, V. and Rybnicek, R. (2015): Who Overrates, Who Underrates? Personality and Its Link to Self–Other Agreement of Leadership Effectiveness, in: Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, DOI: 10.1177/1548051815621256, [18.12.2015].

Contact: Robert Rybnicek, Department of Corporate Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7355

 
Verbraucherorganisationen und Märkte. Eine wirtschaftssoziologische Untersuchung

Diese Studie nimmt Verbraucherorganisationen zum Ausgangspunkt, um den Einfluss kollektiver Akteure auf Märkte zu untersuchen. Anhand von empirischen Fallanalysen werden fünf Verbraucherorganisationen (VO) in Deutschland vergleichend untersucht: die Verbraucherzentralen der Länder und der Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, die Stiftung Warentest, die Verbraucherinitiative, Foodwatch und Utopia. Zentrale Merkmale, Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede dieser Organisationen sowie ihre Strategiewahl zur Vertretung von Verbraucherinteressen werden aufgedeckt. Die Effekte der teils variierenden Strategien von VO werden dann fallübergreifend im Hinblick auf Konsumenten- und Unternehmensentscheidungen sowie den Wandel und die Stabilität von Märkten analysiert. Hierbei wird ein Marktverständnis zugrunde gelegt, dass Märkte von seinen konstitutiven Bestandteilen her konzipiert: Von den darauf gehandelten Objekten, den daran beteiligten Akteuren sowie des zentralen Koordinationsmodus des Marktes, dem Wettbewerb. Indem Politik- und wirtschaftswissenschaftliche sowie soziale Bewegungsansätze diskutiert und für die Wirtschaftssoziologie fruchtbar gemacht werden, wird eine Brücke zwischen den Disziplinen ermöglicht, die auch neue Perspektiven für die Verbraucherforschung anregt.

Nessel, S. (2016): Verbraucherorganisationen und Märkte. Eine wirtschaftssoziologische Untersuchung, Reihe Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Springer VS, Wiesbaden.

Contact: Sebastian Nessel, Department of Sociology, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 3547

 
Scarce Means, Competing Ends: Lord Robbins and the Foundations of Contextual Economics

This paper analyses the role of Lord Robbins’s definition of economics (RDE) emphasizing scarcity and choice, as well as its usefulness for clarifying the foundations of contextual economics. The reasons for RDE’s appeal and some strategic benefits of its flexibility/openness are discussed, along with a brief analysis of some of the criticism which has been raised with respect to the methodological and epistemological background, notably the status of empirics, of introspective knowledge, of motifs and of value judgments. RDE is found to impose restrictions regarding contextual interdependences related to endogenous contract enforcement, preferences, and technologies. Following David Hume, scarcity moreover will be considered as a contingent contextual condition of the environment rather than an aprioristic starting point of economic analysis.

Sturn, R. (2016): Scarce Means, Competing Ends: Lord Robbins and the Foundations of Contextual Economics, in: Journal of Contextual Economics/Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 136, No. 1, pp. 1-28.

Contact: Richard Sturn, Department of Public Economics, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 3461

 
A least squares approach to imposing within-region fixity in the International Comparisons Program

The International Comparisons Program (ICP) compares the purchasing power of currencies and real income across countries. ICP is broken up into six regions. Global results are then obtained by linking these regions together at both basic heading level and the aggregate level in a way that satisfies within-region fixity (i.e., the relative parities of a pair of countries in the same region are the same in the global comparison as in the within-region comparison). Standard multilateral methods violate this within-region fixity requirement and hence cannot be used to construct the global results. A method is proposed here that resolves this problem by altering the price and quantity indexes by the least-squares amount necessary to ensure that within-region fixity is satisfied. This method is then compared–both in terms of its underlying structure and empirically–with other methods for imposing within-region fixity.

Hill, R. (2016): A least squares approach to imposing within-region fixity in the International Comparisons Program, in: Journal of Econometrics, Vol. 191, No. 2, pp. 407-413.

Kontakt: Robert Hill, Department of Economics, Phone: +43 (0) 316/380 - 3442

 
Exploiting Regulatory Changes for Research in Management Accounting

This paper describes recent regulatory changes in the European Union to illustrate opportunities for research in management accounting. Issues are whether a regulation is effective in achieving its objective, how it affects the organizational design and decision making in firms, and what additional data become available. I particularly consider the areas of management compensation, risk management, performance measures, non-financial information, the influence of financial reporting, and accountability.

Wagenhofer, A. (2016): Exploiting Regulatory Changes for Research in Management Accounting, in: Management Accounting Research, Vol. 31, pp. 112-117.

Contact: Alfred Wagenhofer, Department of Accounting and Control, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 3500

 
Diversity management across borders: The role of the national context

The paper analyses the question how context-specific diversity management (DM) is and whether DM concepts are transferable by organizations from one country to another. It uses the example of an Austrian company operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Based on a relational framework proposed by Syed and Özbilgin the paper empirically examines differences between the Austrian headquarters and the Bosnian subsidiary. The analysis reveals that transferability of the DM concept is very limited. The findings indicate that in particular in the case of transition economies, contextual factors present significant barriers to the transfer of organizational practices. Hence, both theoretical models and business strategies in practice should take account of the context.

Besic, B. and Hirt, C. (2016): Diversity management across borders: The role of the national context, in: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 123-135.

Contact: Christian Hirt, Department of Human Resource Management, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 3648

 
Research-based Learning and Service-Learning als Varianten problembasierten Lernens

Die hochschuldidaktischen Konzepte „Research-Based Learning“ und „Service Learning“ gewinnen vor dem Hintergrund der Bologna-Reform zunehmend an Bedeutung. Sie basieren auf den didaktischen Grundprinzipien problembasierten Lernens, werden jedoch unterschiedlich akzentuiert ausgestaltet. Im Beitrag werden die Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede beider Konzept erörtert, Möglichkeiten ihrer Anwendung anhand von Beispielen aus der Lehrpraxis der Universitäten in Leipzig und Graz veranschaulicht sowie offene Forschungsfragen zur Weiterentwicklung der Konzepte thematisiert.

Schlicht, J. and Slepcevic-Zach, P. (2016): Research-based Learning und Service-Learning als Varianten problembasierten Lernens, in: ZFHE Zeitschrift für Hochschulentwicklung, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 85-105, www.zfhe.at/index.php/zfhe/article/view/948/717 [18.05.2016].

Contact: Peter Slepcevic-Zach, Department of Business Education and Development, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7271

 
Sociology in Austria since 1945

Sociology in Austria has been frequently affected by political developments in the country. This first history of sociology in Austria examines the impact of the break-up of the Habsburg Empire and of two consecutive dictatorships, which destroyed academic freedom by means of forced migration and imprisonment. Even after 1945 the re-established Second Republic did not dismiss professors promoted during the Nazi period, and failed to invite exiled academics to return home. The author argues that the result has been a continuation of favouritism and conformism, with compliance to political regimes sanctioned at the expense of meritocracy and that in the light of this chequered past we should celebrate instances of de-institutionalization.

Fleck, C. (2015): Sociology in Austria since 1945, Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Contact: Christian Fleck, Department of Sociology, Phone: +43(0)316/380 - 3544

 
Nonparametric long term prediction of stock returns with generated bond yields

Recent empirical approaches in forecasting equity returns or premiums found that dynamic interactions among the stock and bond are relevant for long term pension products. Automatic procedures to upgrade or downgrade risk exposure could potentially improve long term performance for such products. The risk and return of bonds is more easy to predict than the risk and return of stocks. This and the well known stock-bond correlation motivates the inclusion of the current bond yield in a model for the prediction of excess stock returns. Here, we take the actuarial long term view using yearly data, and focus on nonlinear relationships between a set of covariates. We employ fully nonparametric models and apply for estimation a local-linear kernel smoother. Since the current bond yield is not known, it is predicted in a prior step. The structure imposed this way in the final estimation process helps to circumvent the curse of dimensionality and reduces bias in the estimation of excess stock returns. Our validated stock prediction results show that predicted bond returns improve stock prediction significantly.

Scholz, M. (2016): Nonparametric long term prediction of stock returns with generated bond yields, in: Insurance Mathematics and Economics, DOI: 10.1016/j.insmatheco.2016.04.007, [06.05.2016].

Contact: Michael Scholz, Department of Economics, Phone: +43 (0)316/380 - 7112

 

 

 

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