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


Pernille Eskerod, PhD, Full Professor and Area Coordinator for Management and Organizational Behavior

Prof. Dr. Pernille Eskerod, Full Professor and Area Coordinator for Management and Organizational Behavior, presented in February 2023 some of her research on the Nineteenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability that was organized by the global On Sustainability Research Network and hosted by Ljubljana University in Slovenia.

The research was conducted together with MohammadJavad Bagherzadeh Polami, who is a WVPU bachelor student, and the presentation was called Stakeholder Engagement through Sustainability Labels - Strategic Choices within the Food Industry.


In recent times, labeling - not least within the food industry - has become a popular means for companies to communicate about sustainability efforts to their various stakeholders whether customers, investors, employees, partners, or the society. Our aim is to address the following research questions: How do companies aim to engage stakeholders through sustainability labels within the food industry? What are the costs and benefits of various sustainability label choices in selected segments of the food industry? In our research, we undertake a literature review on stakeholder theory and sustainability labeling. Further on, we conduct a qualitative multi-case study based on online secondary data collection on regional and global sustainability labels within the food industry, e.g. seafood labels. We offer within-case and cross-case analyses. Our research shows that food labels can take the form of governmental required labels, self-declarations, non-governmental endorsements, and third-party certificates. Each form comes with its own costs and benefits, and our research implies that any company should make informed and conscious strategic decisions on whether, which and how many sustainability labels to pursue. Our research implies that the cost side of third-party certificates is worth further research and discussion. Pursuing multiple third-party certificates may not bring more stakeholder benefits, however it may lead to significant extra monetary and non-monetary costs for the company at hand. We welcome practitioners and researchers for further dialogue.

The presentation was well-received by the audience, and it became clear that the interest for sustainability labels is both high and growing, not least when it comes to seafood labels.

Research done in cooperation between faculty and students is an example of a win-win situation at WVPU.

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

Prof. Jozef Bátora analyzes non-wars and the emergence of new organizational forms in global security

Jozef Batora

In a new article published by the journal Organization Studies, Prof. Jozef Bátora (opens in new tab) addresses the question of what effects contemporary hybrid types of conflict have on the ways in which states' defense and security capacities are organized. He suggests that combined organizational forms are emerging in interstitial spaces between the state, the market and civil society. Mechanisms of such re-combinations are technological platforms and capital.

This development has implications for the nature of state sovereignty and, more broadly, for the functioning of the international order, which is increasingly "medieval" - consisting, in addition to states, of an entire spectrum of various types of new actors emerging on the fringes of the state.

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

Recent graduate from Webster's BA in Strategic Communication program, Natalia Hatarova received this year's first ever 'Undergraduate Thesis Award', one of the WVPU Schön Nobel Awards for Academic Excellence. Her thesis, "Uncovering Ideologies in Slovak Conspiracist Discourses: Analyzing and Deconstructing Texts of Conspiracy Theorists in Online Participatory Culture", employed a research method known as CDA or Critical Discourse Analysis, whose primary advantage is the discernment of meaning in language expressions viewed as a social practice, with language meaning also visual forms of communication as well as textual. In addition, Dr. Bradley Wiggins, associate professor and head of the communications department, will assist Natalia in converting the thesis, currently over 20,000 words in length, into a journal-ready academic and peer-reviewed research article, which typically has a length of 5,000-8,000 words. 


The spread of the Internet and its multitude of functions not only made the world more comfortable; it also made information more accessible and gave most of humanity horizontal discursive power that previously was largely vertical. With ever-growing ‘information abundance’, many audiences who are frustrated over a failing world cannot keep up with the truth and turn to conspiracy theories that offer easy solutions and stable identity in the demanding and confusing world of globalization and the Information Age. Academia discusses the problem of this phenomenon mostly in the context of a few populous and powerful countries, but this problem is indeed global. Slovakia, just like any of the countries thoroughly discussed, also suffers from the rise of populism and conspiracism.

From January to February 2022, populism and conspiracism reached abnormal heights. A multitude of anti-vax and anti-West protests took place in front of the presidential palace with bold accusations made by the former prime minister, Robert Fico, about the current president committing treason and being a US spy. These events formed the historical background for this thesis: online websites that are the biggest spreaders of conspiracy theories in Slovakia will be analyzed and discussed in-depth. With the help of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and ethnography/native anthropology I will reveal major ideologies behind conspiracist texts, along with the cultural, historical, and geographical factors behind the pervasive influence of these conspiracy theories.

After investigating, analyzing, and discussing these texts, my findings will provide an understanding of what ideologies are present in the conspiracist discourses, what problems the persuaded/affected people have, as well as suggestions as to how we, as a society, can create preventive measures to stop the spread of harmful conspiracy theories.

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

Do you want to enjoy happy romantic relationships? Then it's time to work on your self-regulation skills!

This research was conducted by Reza Noori Khoondabi as part of a MA thesis, supervised by Marc Mehu, PhD
Individuals with higher levels of self-regulation experience a happier romantic relationship. Self-regulation is necessary for assessing a situation, assigning meaning to the experience, and regulating emotions to attain a goal, specifically in close relationships. This study aims to determine factors, such as attachment style, romantic jealousy and gender differences that influence the association between self-regulation and relationship satisfaction. 

To test the hypotheses: 

  1. the relationship between self-regulation and relationship satisfaction will be stronger among individuals with close attachment style;
  2. the relationship between self-regulation and relationship satisfaction will be affected by romantic jealousy;
  3. attachment style will moderate the direct and indirect relationship between self-regulation and relationship satisfaction via romantic jealousy, and 
  4. females will be more upset by emotional jealousy than males, but males will be more upset by sexual jealousy than females, an online survey was distributed on social media platforms and in person.

The results of 97 respondents revealed that the association between self-regulation and relationship satisfaction was not moderated by attachment styles, but was mediated by anxiety and close attachment styles. On the one hand, it seems that a good self-regulation capacity leads to reduced anxiety, and reduced anxiety is associated with higher relationship satisfaction. On the other hand, better self-regulation capacities are associated with closer attachment styles, which in turn increases relationship satisfaction. 

Cognitive and behavioral jealousy did mediate the relationship between self-regulation and relationship satisfaction, higher self-regulation skills led to less cognitive and behavioral jealousy, which in turn increased relationship satisfaction. Contrary to our hypotheses, there was no gender differences in sexual and emotional jealousy. 

The findings of the research highlighted the intricate connections between self-regulation, attachment styles, romantic jealousy, and relationship satisfaction, and also suggest that people who are better at self-regulation experience lower romantic jealousy and have a happier romantic relationship.

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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