Faculty in focus: Marion Garaus, Department of International Management

The intensity with which research is promoted and carried out, the attractive career opportunities and the varied teaching activities were the reasons which drew Marion Garaus to Modul University Vienna.

Research with high practical relevance

In September 2018, Vienna-born Marion Garaus joined the Modul University Vienna team as Associate Professor of the Department of International Management. After graduating secondary school from a ‘’Handelsakademie’’, she did not directly enter academia. ‘’At first, I worked for an international fashion company in sales,’’ she says. As she soon found the job prospects in office work and sales insufficient, she decided to study business administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. After earning a Master’s degree, she switched to the University of Vienna, where in 2013 her PhD dissertation was nominated for several prizes and was honored as one of the best of the year. From August to December 2016 she was a visiting scholar at the Copenhagen Business School. She most recently worked at the University of Vienna as a postdoctoral assistant at the Chair of Marketing and in 2018 submitted her habilitation entitled ‘’Consumer Processing Limitations in Consumption Situations’’, which earned her the credentials to become a full professor. However, after nine years at the University of Vienna, she finally looked for other options - and found what she was looking for at Modul University Vienna. The environment offered at the campus on Kahlenberg meets her needs very well. ‘’Modul University is one of the top private universities in Austria, where research and the introduction of new ideas are strongly promoted, interesting career advancement opportunities are available, the hierarchies are flat, and for me, important areas such as digital marketing have a high priority in the teaching,’’ she sums up. For Marion, the compatibility of her professional activities with her family life is also very important, because, with two children, a certain flexibility in working hours is necessary.

Between research and teaching

At Modul University, Marion Garaus is an Associate Professor of the Department of International Management and teaches marketing at the bachelor, master, and MBA levels. She is also responsible for the bachelor ‘’Industry Mentoring Program’’, where ‘’we invite our best students to gain practical insights into leadership activities in relevant sectors such as hotels, tourism, marketing, media planning, agencies, etc.,’’ she says.

As a researcher, she is particularly interested in subjects with a high practical relevance, such as the buying behavior of consumers at the point of sale. She has recently submitted – together with other authors – two relevant studies. In "Let me entertain you - Increasing overall store satisfaction through digital signage in retail waiting areas", she examined how digitization in shop design (e.g. digital signage) affects consumers, how negative feelings can be counteracted and how companies can benefit from it. ‘’Waiting situations in the checkout area are perceived by most consumers to be subjectively longer than they actually are, so it's important to shorten this waiting time and create pleasant waiting experiences,’’ she says. Their study showed that positive waiting times have a positive influence on the satisfaction with the shopping center. In another study in this area, Marion and her co-authors discuss how emotional digital signage content is not only better received and processed by consumers than cognitive, but also leads to increased buying behavior. In the study ‘’One color fits all: product category color norms and (a) typical package colors,’’ she was able to show that atypical packaging colors have a negative impact on the brand, increase consumer skepticism and – contrary to expectations – reduce interest in the product. Marion Garaus' research has been and continues to be published in numerous prestigious journals, producing important findings for producers and commerce. In addition, she has published a book titled ‘’Store Design and Visual Merchandising: Creating Store Space That Encourages Buying,’’ which is available in three languages (English, German and Portuguese). Further exciting research activities, subsequent publications and a demanding teaching schedule are to be expected of her.