European Study Research: Vienna

ESR Vienna: join for an amazing week full of companies, culture and clubs!

This year's destination of ESR Spring will be Vienna! From the 10th until the 18th of May, a group of 25 students, 2 professors and 6 committee members will join together for a week to visit the beautiful and vibrant city of Vienna to conduct research. The trip will consist of a combination of cultural activities, company visits with the aim of finalising the research, and chances to experience the amazing nightlife the city has to offer.

European Study Research is an incredible event for students. It is an opportunity to add something unique to your university experience, a chance to broaden your network, diversify your (international) skill set, meet new people, and an amazing way to create unforgettable memories. All of this in the exciting city of Vienna!

Vienna, the capital city of Austria, is an astonishing city with great history and exciting nightlife, combined with an unique combination of multinationals from a variety of industries and exciting startups with great prospects. This year, the research theme will be ‘’Discovering the potential of Austria's diverse economy". You will be split up into teams of 5 students, each with a specific sub theme to focus the research on. More information about the sub themes can be found under the theme tab.

Your ESR experience begins with an opening dinner, followed by 7 weeks of lectures, dinners and socials every Monday night. A variety of different topics, lecturers and points of view will be discussed each week. After we return, there will be another 2 weeks of lectures before the final dinner in order to put the finishing touches on our work.

The total cost of joining the trip to Vienna will be €225,-, which includes train tickets, accommodation and transportation during our stay, as well as various other activities to take part in.

The ESR experience is one that is unique, and should not be missed! In order to take part in this amazing project, click on the register button! Applications open on the 8th of February and close on the 25th of February, 23.59! This is also the deadline for sending your CV and motivation letter.

The applications are open to bachelor students of the FEB with at least 45 ECTS and (pre-)master students.

For any other remaining questions about this trip, feel free to contact us at



Application deadline

Sunday the 25th of February, 23:59

Interviews and selection

Monday the 26th of February until Thursday the 7th of March

Introduction dinner

Monday the 11th of March

Weekly lectures, dinners and socials (7 times)

Every Monday at 18:00 from the 18th of March until the 6th of May, with exception of the 1st of April (exams)

Theme party

Monday the 29th of April

Research trip to Vienna

Friday the 10th of May until Saturday the 18th of May

Lecture, dinner and social after the trip (2 times)

Monday the 20th of May and Wednesday the 5th of June

Closing dinner

Wednesday the 5th of June



In the 7 weeks prior to the trip there will be a lecture (6-8pm), dinner (8-10pm) and a social (10pm onwards) every Monday which you will be expected to attend. In the lectures we will discuss how to conduct research, there will be presentations by the various subgroups and several workshops. The dinners and socials are a great way to get to know everyone. Next to these activities you are expected to actually prepare your specific research together with your subgroup, which will mostly be done during the preparatory phase of the trip. In total, ESR will cost you about 6-10 hours per week.

ESR Research


The Austrian economy is quite remarkable. Austria is one of the world's wealthiest countries, ranked 12th in the world, with a gross domestic product per capita of $56,802 in 2023. Vienna, the capital, is considered to be its most significant business hub and to be Austrian economic center, outperforming the rest of the country. It accounts for more than a quarter of all the jobs in the country and the total Austrian GDP. Hence, it is a true powerhouse. Benefitting from exports, tourism, commerce, and advanced manufacturing, Vienna poses itself as a true business hub, domestically and internationally. It is consistently working to bolster its international standing, aiming to attract businesses, foster employment, encourage foreign direct investment, and draw in top talent. Renowned for its high quality of life, the city boasts an exceptional and highly developed infrastructure alongside a skilled workforce. Positioned strategically between Eastern and Western Europe, Vienna has become an attractive hub for numerous international companies, universities, and research institutions. This economic success is also the result of the diverse and resilient nature of Vienna's economy. It thrives on international business, with high industrial capacity but also a well-developed services industry with rich cultural traditions and modern research and technology. Vienna has a very supportive business environment, both politically and economically, allowing companies to succeed on a domestic, regional, and global scale. This contrasts with other large cities that depend on one or two industries. 

Additionally, in 2023, Vienna received the title "Most Livable City" for the second time. This title aligns with the growing number of international investors and businesses choosing Vienna as their operational base. Thus, there seems to be immense potential for both domestic and international companies, but also for people to choose Vienna. How can companies, organizations, and institutions unlock this potential?

As a participant of ESR, you will be divided into five subgroups to conduct research on the theme “Discovering the potential of Austria’s diverse economy”. In these subgroups, you will receive a separate subtheme, and you will investigate research questions and conduct research specific to your subject. Every sub-theme is linked to the main research theme. During the lectures and the preparations, you will also get the chance to acquire the necessary skills to conduct business research and come up with a theoretical framework and conceptual model. Together with your subgroup, you will discuss your findings during the lectures and get the chance to get feedback from the committee and the professors. The final product will be a research paper, including advice from every group to the companies and organizations we will visit in Vienna. All companies and organizations will receive your report. With the main research theme in mind, we have established five sub-themes by which we want to investigate our main research theme more thoroughly. These five sub-themes are: Digital Transformation, Sustainable Transition, Innovation Climate, Strategic Human Resource Management (HRM), and lastly Political, Legal & Economic Context.


-       Digital Transformation

In the ever-evolving digital age, marked by the emergence of new players like TikTok and Meta, companies in Vienna must adapt to the changing dynamic environment. Not only in Vienna but the entire world. Digital business, in the broadest sense of the word, is the process of using digital technologies to reshape and improve how businesses operate, innovate, and interact with customers. The utilization of data and digital tools has become crucial for corporations, providing valuable insights into their business landscape and enhancing their products and services. Although this can pose challenges, their use often proves their worth. For example, during COVID-19, when the pandemic broke out, companies had no choice but to focus on digital business. The use of Zoom or Skype is an excellent example of the impact digitalization can have on companies.

-       Sustainable Transition

Sustainability revolves around the concept of meeting present needs without compromising future possibilities, urging companies to consider the planet and its inhabitants. Vienna, particularly, stands out for its commitment to sustainability, characterized by excellent quality of life and a dedication to protecting the climate and resources. This theme opens the door to a bunch of potential research topics. Think of everything that falls under sustainability and the transition to a greener future. Everyone is affected by this. With this, you could research Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR has been gaining a lot of traction over the years and it's becoming increasingly important. You can dive into how companies are trying to be more sustainable, the challenges they face, and the benefits or opportunities that come their way. This is quite a broad theme, which means that there are a lot of topics to research. It is up to you and your group! You have the freedom to explore various aspects of sustainability, from CSR to consumer perceptions, allowing you to explore what you truly find interesting and which contributes to the broader theme of discovering the potential of Austrias diverse economy.

-       Innovation Climate

This subgroup's primary focus lies in researching how companies in Vienna maintain their competitive edge through innovation. Innovation propels companies forward; as the Dutch saying goes, "stillstand is achteruitgang" - standing still is moving backward. It ensures that companies stay ahead in the market, adapting to changes and uncertainty. Innovation is crucial for businesses, facilitating faster market penetration, increased competitiveness, and the creation of new opportunities. Essentially, innovation is the cornerstone of achieving and sustaining leadership in the global market. Vienna's position as the 17th in the Global 500 City Rankings Results of Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023 underscores its dedication to innovation. Austria's investments in research and development, alongside its thriving industry clusters, attract foreign companies and startups. Moreover, the city fosters a tight-knit relationship between education, business, and innovation, offering incentives for research. Austria also stands out within the EU, leading in patents and trademarks relative to its GDP, surpassing innovation leaders like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. This has resulted in Vienna emerging as a hub for international business and startups.

-       Strategic Human Resource Management (HRM)

Human resource management (HRM) in Vienna represents a vital component of the region's economic landscape. Human resources can be described are a part of the intangible assets of an organization and are valuable since employees have a unique skills and knowledge that contribute to the success of an organization. These human resources also come with a price. For example, labor costs can be a reason for companies to seek other places to run their production. However, human resources can also be one of the reasons why a company decides to produce in that specific location. Knowledge in the field of technology for example can make a place very attractive for companies operating for example in the high-tech industry. Therefore, understanding the distinct characteristics of HRM in Vienna and its impact on business success is crucial. Also for businesses this is crucial. For example, talent acquisition and retention represent an important  aspect of HRM in Vienna. How can organizations and businesses improve this aspect in their business? What is unique about HRM in Vienna that might contribute to the success of business organizations and how does this contribute to the attractiveness of Vienna? How can companies improve their HRM practices?

-       Political, Legal & Economic Context

This sub theme encompasses a broad spectrum of factors shaping the business climate in Vienna, offering many different areas to research. Regarding political and legal considerations, the focus is on regulations, laws, and policies that exert significant influence on businesses of all sizes. Examples include tax incentives for R&D, which can benefit startups, and regulatory measures like the UK sugar tax, which impact multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola. Economic considerations delve into stability, currency strength, recession, exchange rates, disposable income, inflation, and other financial conditions that shape market dynamics. While these factors may be beyond direct control, understanding and adapting to them is essential for strategic planning. Vienna boasts a high level of social security, political stability, and legal certainty, contributing to its reputation for a high standard of living. In sum, Vienna's political, legal, and economic landscape offers a fertile ground for businesses to thrive, underpinned by stability, innovation, and strategic positioning in the heart of Europe.

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