Principal Investigators: Prof. (FH) Mag. Silvia Kucera

Collaborators: Master students 2007-08; Mag. (FH) Roksela Miha
Duration of the project: 8 months (exploratory phase)

Point of departure
The overall goal of this research endeavor was to gain a deeper understanding of intercultural working environments in the specific setting of the city of Vienna. This encompasses the examination of the employees’ appraisal of cultural impact factors on operative procedures, and likewise the puzzle of which of those impact factors are attributed to culture in the employees’ individual perception. To concretize our research objectives, we chose embassies, as their employees very likely constitute a sample which represents all factors to be analyzed in the subsequent research.

Research methods
During the exploratory phase, employees of Vienna-based embassies were interviewed as regards their perception of collaborating with local institutions, and potential intercultural impact factors in the relationship between themselves and external partners. By doing so, we were particularly curious to find out which of those impact factors were attributed to culture. In order to isolate key variables, which are pertinent to culturally informed perception differences, we focused on the items listed below: local and national holidays and calendars, time management in the context of locally accepted and time-related behavior, personality aspects (such as punctuality, table manners, and greeting etiquette), the language barrier, and perceived cultural differences of service providers (e.g. education facilities, health sector enterprises, financial institutions, shops, and public means of transportation). The core empirical research instrument employed in this project comprised structured interviews by e-mail, phone and in person (standardized questionnaire). The pilot study was conducted on all Vienna-based embassies (n=101), consulting one non-Austrian employee per embassy.

Results and findings
In this study, most significant results were revealed in the category of greeting behavior. Cross-tabulation with age variables demonstrates that the perception of greeting behavior correlates with the respondents’ age structure. People aged 41 to 60 identified local greeting patterns as a negative impact factor on their work behavior. In contrast, the cohort of respondents aged below 30 holds rather positive perceptions of the local greeting etiquette, whilst study participants between the ages of 31 and 40 displayed indifference to this item. We could not extrapolate either local and national holidays, location- and time-bound patterns of behavior, or personal aspects (e.g. punctuality) as cultural problem factors. Strikingly, table manners appears to cause intercultural perception differences. The low response rate on this item, however, does not allow for inferences of statistical relevance. It can only be assumed that this trend is being shaped by a gender-specific correlation. Likewise, no significant results were found in the realm of enterprises (i.e. provision of services). Yet, the positive perception of the Viennese public transport system across all categories (such as gender and age) proved to be an exception to this rule. The continuation and further elaboration of this study is currently in the stage of planning, thus corresponding with LBS’s special interest in temporary and permanent migration of highly skilled workforce.



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Congratulations to the Class of 2019

On June 28 we were pleased to welcome numerous families and friends to the Lauder Business School campus for a graduation celebration. In his welcome address our Executive Director Alexander Zirkler congratulated the graduates and introduced our Guest of Honor, the US Ambassador to Austria – his Excellency Trevor D. Traina.

Fireplace Talk with the CEO of Austrian Airlines

On June 19 we were delighted to host the CEO of Austrian Airlines, Dr. Alexis von Hoensbroech, in the Lauder Business School ball room. He delivered an inspiring fireplace talk about his career path, the aviation industry in general, and the Austrian Airlines company structure and strategy.

Cooperation Agreement with the City of Vienna

Lauder Business School signed a cooperation agreement with the City of Vienna together with 22 other Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences located in Vienna. On May 14, 2019, Mayor Michael Ludwig signed a cooperation agreement with the Viennese higher education institutions in the City Hall, together with rectors, directors and board members of 23 universities, colleges and universities of applied sciences.

Researching Innovation in Austria

Christian Reiner, senior researcher at LBS, has co-authored the “Austrian Research and Technology Report 2019”. This annual report has been published by three Austrian ministries and written by external experts from applied research institutes and universities. Given the importance of the report for the wider public, it is an honour to contribute to this official publication.

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