BUS Applied Research Projects

The Applied Research Call aims to promote research at the interface to practical applications that either solve or promote understanding issues related to the JKU Business School's research priorities as part of actual applications. The aim of the Applied Research Call is to further develop and use knowledge from basic research for practical applications, to strengthen knowledge and technology transfer between the JKU Business School and companies, and to intensify research and innovation in the area of application-oriented research at the JKU Business School. The supported projects are as follows:

Pr-I-oT: IoT-PrIvacy

Principal Investigator: Christian Stary, Institute of Business Informatics - Communications Engineering

Co-Principal Investigator: Richard Heininger, Institute of Business Informatics - Communications Engineering

Company Partner: Compunity GmbH

Abstract

Stakeholders (re-)gain digital sovereignty allowing various stakeholders to adapt Internet-of-Things systems according to their privacy needs, either on the organizational or individual level. Both are required, in order to preserve intellectual property, and handle control in a transparent way. The project thereby unlocks additional adoption potential for IoT-based products and services, affecting production, healthcare, smart home, and logistics. The basic enabler is digital twin modeling and execution. It uses a message-passing protocol for tracing privacy data, their collection, processing, distribution, and control. Hence, the approach significantly impacts digital literacy of IoT users and developers, while reducing development effort through its design-integrated engineering nature.


OSIC: Open Strategy in Times of Crisis: Strategising in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Principal Investigators: Almina Bešić,  Institute of International Management
Regina Gattringer, Institute of Strategic Management

Co-Principal Investigator: Maximilian Kuchenbauer, Institute of International Management

Company Partner: Fronius International

Abstract

The challenges faced by organisations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing them to rethink their strategy processes to cope with the resulting repercussions. Initial research shows that the crisis changes companies’ strategic practices in relation to their key stakeholders, and that openness can contribute better outcomes. In this sense, Open Strategy, in which organisations are transparent towards stakeholders including them in strategic activities, is of relevance in strategic practices in crises and beyond. In this study, conducted as a collaboration between the JKU’s Departments of International and Strategic Management and Fronius – the Austrian industry leader in the field of welding – we aim to understand how the COVID-19 crisis has affected the organisation’s strategic practices. We specifically aim to analyse how Open Strategy can contribute to managing the repercussions of the crisis and evaluate long-term implications. In terms of methods, we aim to investigate the role of Open Strategy by conducting a qualitative research including 30 interviews with Fronius and their main stakeholders. The study addresses a practical challenge for the company, by addressing Fronius’ need for more openness in strategic activities, not only because of the pandemic, but also due to ongoing changes in the industry. The results have direct implications for Fronius, and are wide reaching at the same time, by providing implications for other businesses with similar challenges. Moreover, as research on implications of Open Strategy and crises is limited, we contribute to a better understanding of the role of Open Strategy in strategic activities in times of crises.


IFRS 9: The effects of COVID-19 on reported expected credit losses in the banking sector- an analysis of forward-looking information requirements from the perspective of IFRS 9

Principal Investigator: Vera Schiemer-Haberl, Institute of Financial Accounting and Auditing

Co-Principal Investigator: Hannes Hofbauer, Institute of Financial Accounting and Auditing

Company Partner: Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich

Abstract

The spread of the unknown Coronavirus potentially puts actual accounting procedures into question. Especially the banking sector faces an unprecedented challenge in the accounting for expected credit lasses (ECL) for financial instruments in accordance with IFRS 9. The use of forward-looking information in determining the value of financial instruments is crucial in IFRS 9. Facing a high degree of uncerta nty [J"'e last montns as well as the variety of relief measures taken by European govemmems cred't institutions are challenged in using intensified application of judgement in the current accounting context.

The research project's main aim is to evaluate the disclosure quality from an investor's perspective in financial reports of European credit institutions. As Covid-19 is expected to increase ECL in the financial reports due to the pandemic the research focus lies on the required detailed disclosures regarding the assumptions taken and judgements made. Consequently the question is whether disclosure quality and quantity is higher in the first "Post-Covid19-outbreak" financial statements.


EEURO: Positive External Effects of Unmanned Retail Outlets in Rural Areas

Principal Investigator: Christoph Teller, Institute of Retailing, Sales and Marketing

Co-Principal Investigator: Ernst Gittenberger, Institute of Retailing, Sales and Marketing

Company Partner: Unimarkt Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG

Abstract

In the past decades, the retail industry and its environment have faced continuous changes like the increased importance of online retailing as well as the changed consumer demand for greater convenience. Related, wide-ranging economic and demographic changes have resulted in market-specific pressures leading to seismic strategic shifts across the industry (LeDoux & Vojnovic, 2013; Wrigley et al., 2019). The grocery retail sector, for example, has seen forays into online ordering and delivery, extensive store format innovation and changing store network provision affecting the balance between metropolitan centres and rural areas 2019). This restructuring has created geographical regions with inadequate food supply – commonly referred to as ‘food deserts’ (Adams et al., 2010; Bitler & Haider, 2011; Dennis et al., 2007). In order to solve the problem of supply gaps, retailer introduce a new form of retail outlets, which can be managed with a minimum amount of personnel resources.

The aim of this project is to explore the effect of unmanned automated retail outlets on the vitality of rural areas. Therefore, the authors propose an exploratory research design with interviews aiming to investigate stakeholders from two locations such as local businesses, local residents, administration, association, etc. on the one hand and a web-based and on-site administered surveys with disadvantaged shoppers from two locations (rural locations without grocery stores nearby, “food deserts”) on the other hand. The study has a longitudinal character and will take place across three collection times. This survey method enables the authors to ensure mid- and long-term results and identify relevant consumers’/residents’ perspectives, trends and behaviours.


DIGIAPP: Appetite for Digitalization? Platform-Based Business Models in the Restaurant and Food Services Industry in Upper Austria

Principal Investigator: Elke Schüßler, Institute of Organization Science

Co-Principal Investigator: Sara Maric, Institute of Organization Science

Company Partner: HungryLama

Abstract

The aim of this project is to better understand sustainable digital business models for the restaurant and food services industry in Linz and Upper Austria. Whereas many local businesses struggle to survive during the COVID-19 crisis, digital platforms thrive. Even before, online food delivery platforms have challenged the restaurant business. While there has been growing research regarding the dire situation of food delivery workers, little is known about food delivery platforms and their relationship to restaurants. In collaboration with a  newly founded, locally oriented food platform in Linz, Hungry Lama, this collaborative research project seeks to better understand why restaurants do or do not cooperate with an online platform for food delivery. As a result, a better understanding of sustainable digitalization strategies for restaurants as well as locally-oriented food platforms, themselves competing with international players, will be developed. This case raises wider questions which are interesting from both a practical and a theoretical lens: How can the restaurant experience be supported even in the context of online food delivery? Is the Covid-19 crisis a threat or an opportunity regarding the digitalization of traditional sectors?


NFO-OID: New Forms of Organizing and Organizational Identity Developement

Principal Investigator: Barbara Müller, Institute of Leadership Change Management

Co-Principal Investigator: Maria Farkhondeh, Institute of Leadership Change Management

Company Partner: ChabaDoo GmbH

Abstract

Opportunities through digitization: Rethinking learning. Redesigning organizations. In the context of digital transformation processes organizations are faced with environments that are constantly becoming more insecure, dynamic and complex. Researchers as well as practitioners have an increasing interest in understanding as to how organizations can cope with uncertain dynamics and continue to call for exploring more flexible and increasingly digitalized work arrangements and new forms of organizing to meet the requirements of our new age (Lee & Edmondson, 2017). chabaDoo GmbH – the company partner for this project – is a young educational IT company, who does not only want to reshape education through digital transformation processes but who also wants to be “different” from conventionally driven and structured organizations by using means of digitalization and a set of practical “new forms of organizing” conceptualizations to support the design of more flexible and collaborative work arrangements. So far, research findings about the dynamics of adoption and implementation of such concepts are still scarce and contradictory. Understanding how these concepts are put into practice and how they influence the formation of an organizational identity becomes even more relevant in increasingly digital work settings with reduced face time. The research project aims at addressing questions such as “Which processes constitute chabaDoo’s identity?”, “How is its identity formation influenced by its flexible and increasingly digitally driven work arrangements?”, “What tensions emerge in this regard?” and “What does this mean for leading and developing the organization?”.