Webster Vienna Private University is delivering new opportunities through innovation excellence based on its Strategic Plan. We are committed to high-quality, globally significant academic research combining theory and practice, an international perspective, and a strong integration with teaching.
Webster Vienna Private University is delivering new opportunities through innovation excellence based on its Strategic Plan. We are committed to high-quality, globally significant academic research combining theory and practice, an international perspective, and a strong integration with teaching.

Research at Webster Vienna

Business and Management Asso​ciate Professors Dr. Menbere Workie and Dr. Nikolaos Antonakakis, together with their colleague Boris Fisera, have published the paper, "Beyond Competitiveness: Is Productivity Everything?"


In this study, we examine the potential use of total factor productivity as conceptually less controversial and methodologically more robust metric for cross-country comparison of economic performance. Our empirical results seem to suggest three possible contributions to ongoing call of refining the approaches to country ranking.  

First, the ranking of countries based on normalized labor productivity yield the same results as those based on the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).

Second, the correlation between all the scores of the 12 sub-pillars of the GCI, as well as the overall GCI score and labor productivity yield strikingly similar results.

Third, based on a panel dataset for 68 countries over the years 2007-2019, our results obtained from a panel VAR (PVAR) model indicate that productivity has a stronger prediction power for both real GDP growth, as well as for the inequality-adjusted GDP growth than the GCI. Switching to a panel regression that is based on GMM, the findings indicate that higher values of rule of law, property rights, economic freedom and political stability do seem to explain why productivity is higher than the GCI.

Faculty — Business and Management

Faculty and Staff

Active in 2020-2021

Dr. Florin Abazi
Computer Science
Dr. Mehdi Ali
Dr. Maximilian Benner, M.Sc.
Mr. Alfred Dolecek, MSc.
Accounting and Marketing
Univ.-Doz. Dr. Claus Ebster
Marketing & Management
Mag. Alexandra Federer, MBA
Mr. Massimiliano Falcinelli, MS
Computer Science
Dr. Paul Fischer, LLM
Business Law
Dr. Andrea Gaal
Dr. Hossein Hassani
Ms. Casandra Hutchinson, MSc
Math & Statistics
Prof. Mag. Dr. Dr. Petra Inwinkl
Mr. Michael Kapfer, MBA
Marketing & Public Relations
Dr. Christian Kreuzer
Dr. Christopher Kronenberg
Management & Entrepreneurship
Mr. Charles La Fond, MBA
Dr. Xavier Matteucci
Mr. Alan Noble, MA
Dr. Heinz Palasser, MBA, MSc
Mag. Svetla Pehlivanova-Porenta
Dr. Hanno Poeschl, MSc, MBA
Finance & Management
Dr. Rudolf Rössel, MBA
Computer Science
Dr. Roman G. Seligo
Sales Management
Mag. Robert Senz
Dr. A. Nicholas Simon
Business Law
Dr. Christian Steineder
Mr. Miguel Suarez Vasquez, PhD, MSc, MBA
Business & Accounting
Dr. Owat Sunanta
Math & Statistics
Mr. William Tippin, DM, CMC
Management [Fall 2020 Visiting Sverdrup Fellow]
Mr. Emil Tsenov, MA
Dipl.Kfm. Norbert Wetzel, MBA
Finance & Human Resources Management
Mag. Christian Wozabal, MBA

"Gruppenbildung in der Chinapolitik der EU: Implikationen für die Kohärenz europäischer Außenpolitik"

(Group formation in the EU’s China policy: Implications for the coherence of European foreign policy) by Franco Algieri and  Joachim Honeck

Relations with China are of high priority in the context of the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy. They reflect strengths and weaknesses of the EU as an actor in international relations. Regarding the issue of coherence in European foreign policy in particular, it can be useful to analyse the Union’s China policy.

In light of a changing European China policy, this article identifies three groups that are of interest for the closer definition of this policy. Based hereupon, possible implications of this group formation for the further development of the European foreign policy and the European China policy are highlighted.



Assistant Professor Anatoly Reshetnikov has visited the University of Tartu (Estonia) as part of the Erasmus+ Faculty Mobility program. In Tartu, Reshetnikov delivered a public talk at the Center for Eurasian and Russian Studies (CEURUS) on Russia’s nebulous challenges to the liberal world order in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine. He also participated as a guest lecturer in the graduate course on Constructivism curated by Professor Viacheslav Morozov.

As part of his professional training activities, Reshetnikov joined the colloquium organized by the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies and met with the Institute’s faculty members.

The University of Tartu is recognized as one of the leading institutions in the “Emerging Europe and Central Asia” region (#2 in 2021, according to the QS rankings).


Professor Bátora conceptualizes differentiation and segmentation in the EU

The Routledge Handbook of Differentiation in the European Union

In a chapter for The Routledge Handbook of Differentiation in the European Union (edited by Benjamin Leruth et al., Routledge 2022),  professor Jozef Bátora and his co-author professor John E. Fossum (ARENA - University of Oslo) elaborate on the concepts of differentiation and segmentation in the EU. It is widely recognized that the EU that emerged from the financial and refugee crises of the last decade has become more differentiated. Such a development brings forth questions about the nature and character of the EU as a political system, and the kinds of processes and mechanisms that drive its development.

An important problem is that neither differentiated integration nor differentiation say much about the positive character or the distinguishing features of the EU as a political system. The claim that Bátora and Fossum set forth in the chapter is that the notion of the EU as a segmented political system provides a more apt and precise characterization of the EU as a political system. In addition, the notion of segmentation helps to capture some of the distinct dynamics that propel the EU’s development.

Faculty — International Relations

Faculty and Staff

Active in 2020 - 2021

Aner Barzilay, PhD
Topics in Modern European History
Dr. Elina Brutschin
Methods of Political Inquiry
Advanced Research Methods
Dr. J. Werner Druml
International Affair
Univ.-Ass. Mag. Dr. Marcel Fink
Comparative Politics
Dr. Eric Frey
International Political Economy
Mag. Gerlad Garber
Introduction to Political Argumentation and Debate
Dr. Sandra Goldstein
Middle East Area Studies
MMag. Dr. iur. Ralph Janik, LL.M.
International Law
Dr. Monika Mokre
Politics of Development
Refugee and Migration Movements
Prof. Iver B. Neumann, PhD
War and Diplomacy
Mag. Dr Dieter Reinisch MRes
The Age of Total War: Europe 1890-1945
Contemporary Europe: 1945-Present
Dr. Astrid Reisinger Coracini
International Law

Bradley Wiggins

Recently Dr. Bradley Wiggins, associate professor and department head, was contacted by Bored Panda, an online magazine which attracts around 100 million views a month, to get his response to a series of memes known as the asbolute unit meme based on his research. 

Dr. Wiggins' typically examines more serious topics such as the presence of conspiratorial thinking in online forums and far-right extremism expressed through shared visual expressions. Occasionally, Dr. Wiggins is asked to give his take on lighter topics, such as the absolute unit meme. In a twist, though, his perspective is that the popularity of this meme is due in large part to Elon Musk, who personifies meme-ness as much as Trump did in 2016 and in the years since. Here's a quote from the article:

"It bears noting that when Trump was elected president in 2016, online supporters posted on 4chan that 'we've elected a meme as president', or something like that. That idea of a person inhabiting meme-ness (whatever that means) isn't that new. And one of the reasons why the absolute unit spread is due to the participation of Elon Musk in the meme's spread and remix, in my professional opinion."

When it comes to the "absolute unit" meme, the professor noted it’s a relatively neutral category whose main component would be light humor. "It's therefore pretty attractive, you can remix it pretty easily by applying the absolute unit phrase to any image, for example, that shows an exaggerated proportion and this then serves as the joke." However, there is a catch.

"Being comically oversized also implies the potential for body-shaming, or sometimes called fat-shaming. It might also point to other physical attributes that the person affected has little or no agency over. However, it's very important to remember that in the history of humor in general, sometimes a bit of pain is necessary for the joke to succeed."



Dr. Löwstedt’s paper titled ‘Transcultural and Transnational Communication Values’ has been accepted for presentation in the first panel of the conference ‘Digital Governance and Transcultural Communications: Values and strategies in an era of neo-globalisation, digitalisation and platformisation’, to be held in Beijing-Sydney and online on July 8, 2022.

The paper explores continuity and near-consensus on basic communication principles throughout much of the world’s religious and philosophical traditions includes the ancient Egyptian, Abrahamic, and Indian traditions and Ubuntu, Confucian, Taoist, Stoic, Kantian and Habermasian philosophies as well as reformist socialism and political liberalism. They all either agree or do not express any opinion on any of the nine principles embodied in the International Federation of Journalists’ 1954 Bordeaux Declaration on the Conduct of Journalists.

But they do not disagree with any of them. Since international law was developed largely under the influence of the experience of the Second World War, it prioritized dealing with oppressive and excessive state powers, persecution, war, and genocide. Currently, we seem to be dealing increasingly with capitalism, environmental challenges, and the Internet instead. These precepts therefore carry much potential, for media regulation as well as for international law.

Faculty — Strategic Communication

Faculty and Staff

Active in 2020–2021

Phil Moran, PhD
Media Production
Rafal Morusiewicz, PhD
Film studies
Seth Weiner, BFA, M.Arch
Digital production tools

Fundamental Motives and Personality: A Replication Study

This Master’s thesis investigated the relationship between fundamental human motives and the Big Five personality traits, as well as demographic variables. It was also an attempt to replicate the findings of a research paper by Neel and colleagues published in 2016. The literature review focused on theories about motivation, the evolutionary perspective, and the Five Factor Model.

For the empirical part of this thesis, a correlational study was conducted using an online survey. The main instruments used were the Fundamental Social Motives Inventory (Neel et al., 2016) and the Big Five Inventory (John & Srivastava, 1999). The demographic variables of age, sex, income level, relationship status, and parenting status were also collected.

The final sample consisted of 63 respondents. Descriptive statistics, correlation matrices, contingency tables, linear regression models, and other statistical tools were used to explore the data in great depth. This study was able to successfully replicate many of the findings in Neel et al. (2016) and to contribute its own unique findings. Some limitations included a biased sampling strategy and a relatively small sample size for linear regression models.

This research was conducted by Evgeny Kandybko as part of a MA thesis, supervised by Dr. Marc Mehu.


Faculty — Psychology

Faculty and Staff

Active in 2020 - 2021

Aisha Bajwa, PharmD
Pharmacology, Psychoanalysis
Dr. Christine Butterfield
Psychiatry & Psychotherapy
Dr. Helga Felsberger
Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis
Dr. Kathleen Hodkinson
Clinical Psychology
Dr. Jessica Howells
Clinical Psychology
Dr. Maria Lolich
Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Science
Dr. Isabella Sarto-Jackson
Biological Psychology
Dr. Gregory Bartel
Business, Marketing, Cognitive Science
Dr. Dezsoe Birkas-Kovats
Psychiatry & Psychotherapy
Dr. Ricardo Draghi-Lorenz
Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Dr. Romualdo Fernandes Ramos
Social Psychology & Occupational Health
Heather Moon-Vogels, MA
Counseling Psychology
Mag. Cornelia Kastner
Clinical Psychology, Organizational Psychology
Mag. Krista Rothschild
Clinical & Health Psychology
Mag. Sandra Velásquez
Clinical & Health Psychology
Antonija Pacek, M. Phil
Psychology of Education

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