Master and MBA Theses
Student research activities are primarily expressed by the thesis, which is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree. Ideally, a master thesis establishes a link between theory and practice.
The theses published here have reached grades 90% or higher. By special requests of some students, their theses will be withheld for a certain time period (5 years max.) and will be published after that.
For maintenance reasons our theses will be offline for a short period.
You are cordially invited to attend our theses defenses here online via MS Teams.
17 July 2020, 09:00-11:00
Student: Angelo Nuzzo
Supervisor: Dimitris Christopoulos
Title: Austrian Innovation Strategy: Innovation Follower or Innovation Leader
MBA Innovation has the potential to create competitive advantage by providing new technologies, products and services, therefore is a key strategy for growth and sustainability in the current global economic environment. The European Union establishes its industrial policy and innovation strategy based on its Research Framework Programmes, as well as other financial instruments in order to foster innovation. In order to evaluate the efficacy and innovation performance of the Member States, the European Commission elaborate the Innovation Scoreboard, which year by year identifies which countries are the most innovative in Europe and which less. Based on this evaluation, in 2011, the Austrian federal government started to follow the "Strategy for Research, Technology and Innovation” with the aim is to push Austria from the group of Innovation Followers into the group of Innovation Leaders, i.e. the most innovative countries in the European Union.
Student: Hamid Azizi
Supervisor: Dimitris Christopoulos
Title: Reasons for using the Hawala system and association of the Hawala with organized crime in Afghanistan
This thesis explores the reasons for the use of the Hawala informal money transfer system in Afghanistan. It attempts to answer the following research questions: a) What are the reasons for the use of the Hawala system in Afghanistan and b) Is the Hawala system associated with organized crime in Afghanistan. The study further attempts to shed light on why the Hawala system operates in parallel to the formal banking system in Afghanistan. Hawala is a traditional money transfer system that emerged over a thousand-year ago, long before the paper money and the modern banking system were invented. However, the system is still operating in parallel to the current banking system not only in the developing countries with fragile economies and weak formal financial institutions but also in the heart of the most advanced countries in Europe and North America. This study is based on empirical and secondary research. As part of the empirical research, interviews were conducted in Kabul, Afghanistan, with 100 Key Informants using two different questionnaires. Fifty Key Informants were using a formal banking system; another fifty did not have a bank account. The primary research aimed to understand the reasons for the use of the Hawala system and the formal banking system from the client’s perspective. The secondary research aimed to examine the link between the Hawala system and laundering drug-related money in Afghanistan. The secondary research findings indicate that due to the weak regulations, secretive nature of the Hawala, and challenges with oversight, the Hawala system is vulnerable to misuse by organized crime groups, including drug trafficking networks and to launder money coming from illicit sources. Also, more than half of the Key Informants interviewed in Kabul stated that the Hawala system is associated with organized crime, and over 60 percent were in the opinion that the Hawala system is used to commit crimes such as violation of tax law. The empirical research findings indicate that the Key Informants used the Hawala system because of the following reasons: speed, reliability, low transfer costs, accessibility, flexibility, anonymity as well as public trust in the system. The reasons for not using the formal banking system were mentioned lack of a speedy process, high transfer costs, and a lack of trust in the banking system. Some Key Informants reported religious views as the reason for not using the modern banking system in Afghanistan. Those used the formal banking system mentioned reliability, convenience, trust, and security as the main reasons. The Key Informants from both groups had used the Hawala system to transfer funds to/from Afghanistan to/from Austria, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, China, and the United Arab Emirates. The transfer charges ranged from 0.7 to 5 percent, depending on the destination and amount. The majority of the Hawala users reported funds transfer through Hawala reached their destination the same day or within a maximum of 24 hours, and most of them stated they had not faced any problem using the Hawala system. Key Informant’s assessments of the Hawala system were diverse. Almost half of the Key Informants were in the opinion that the government is not able to control the Hawala system. The majority of those “without a bank account” said they would use the Hawala system regardless of it being registered with the government. In contrast, Key Informants “with a bank account” had an opposing view on this. A significant number of Key Informants stated that the government should keep the Hawala system in parallel to the formal banking system. Finally, over 60 percent of the Key Informants thought that the Hawala system faces security issues such as robberies and theft.
Student: Maximilian Künstner
Supervisor: Horst Treiblmaier
Title: Application Possibilities of Blockchain Technology in Tourism Since the creation of Bitcoin in 200
8, buzzwords such as ‘blockchain’ have led to an impending technological transformation among multiple industries around the world. Therefore, the tourism and hospitality industry is not only confronted by these technological advancements, but also affected by the ever-changing behaviour of tourists and travellers. Existing data suggests that blockchain technology has been successfully integrated into sectors such as banking or finance. Nonetheless, research on the applicability of blockchain technology within the tourism and hospitality industry is limited. Consequently, this master’s thesis aims to fill this knowledge gap and examines the current integration status of blockchain technology in the tourism and hospitality industry in Vienna, Austria. A mixed-methods research design laid the foundation for the data collection process. Local industry experts were interviewed in order to provide qualitative data. The interviews were then analysed and structured according to identified patterns hereby, a quantitative approach was utilised. Subsequently, commonalities between discussion themes were observed via a text mining strategy, including the use of VOSviewer software in order to generate deeper insights on the expert’s opinions. Key findings imply that blockchain-based solutions within the local tourism and hospitality industry are scare, totalling 15 businesses. These businesses showcased an overall satisfaction and consequently demonstrated interest in further expanding the use of blockchain technology. The data suggests that the potential benefits of implementing blockchain technology clearly outweigh its shortcomings, as blockchain-based solutions act as a customer-centric instrument. Nevertheless, the development of blockchain technology in the tourism and hospitality industry will be dependent on the willingness of service providers to further develop this technology and tailor it to the requirements of the industry.