Publications

  • Alexandra Rausch, Friederike Wall
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose - Traditional budgets are usually tied to a finite time span, e.g. one year, and are heavily criticized both for hampering efficient resource allocation and also for encouraging dysfunctional budget spending behaviours such as wasteful spend-downs at the end of the budget year and inappropriate holding back of funds early on. The purpose of this article is to investigate whether a greater flexibility in the budget time-structure, which allows for shifting budgetary funds beyond the budget year, does in fact mitigate inefficiencies in budget spending. Design/methodology/approach - A research framework is proposed which draws on critical perspectives developed in prior research and an analytical model put forward by Pollack/Zeckhauser that is adopted as the basis for the development of the hypotheses. In an explorative study, data from an empirical questionnaire survey administered to 219 practitioners, mainly managers, from Austria are then used to substantiate the hypotheses. Findings - Finite-period budgets and fully flexible budgets, which allow subordinates both to save unspent funds beyond the budget year and also to borrow funds from future budgets, cause inefficiencies in budget spending. Subordinates who are allowed to spend and save funds at their discretion without being threatened by the loss of funds or imminent debts spend their budgets most efficiently. Originality/value – The present paper contributes to the management accounting literature by investigating a heavily criticized but rather underexplored area of budgeting and by subjecting theoretical propositions from prior research to explorative empirical testing. Enhanced understanding of the temporal effects of the budget cycle structure will help practitioners improve budget spending and should encourage further research.
    Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change 01/2015; 11(2).
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    Stephan Leitner, Alexander Brauneis, Alexandra Rausch
    01/2015: pages 1-12; , ISBN: 978-3-319-09577-6
  • Alexandra Rausch, Alexander Brauneis
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to refine accountability theory by taking findings from prior research into the impact on decision making of accountability—an individual’s expectation of being called upon to justify his/her behavior to an audience—and applying these findings to the processes management accountants run through when pre-processing information for management reports. We conduct a laboratory experiment with 191 graduate and undergraduate students in which we manipulate process accountability and ask subjects to select a relevant set of information for managerial decision-making purposes. As expected, under accountability conditions, subjects report more information to management, and expend significantly greater effort and more time on pre-processing the information. Beyond this, accountability also draws subjects’ attention to different types of information, puts them under higher pressure, and reduces both satisfaction and self-confidence. The findings of our study might encourage re-thinking how best to formulate job instructions, and how to handle such mechanisms in organizations as formal reporting relationships, employment contracts, and performance monitoring, particularly for employees in service functions such as management accounting.
    Review of Managerial Science 05/2014; · 0.10 Impact Factor
  • Alexandra Rausch, Tim Lindquist, Monica Steckel
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    ABSTRACT: Research in business ethics supports a positive relationship between individuals’ perceived importance of ethics (PIE) and ethical decision-making. A number of antecedents are discussed in the literature suggesting reasons for why some individuals have higher levels of PIE than others. Since previous research suggests that national culture impacts ethical decision-making, our study investigates national culture as an explanatory variable to predict levels of perceived ethics. In a laboratory experiment we find that U.S. nationals have significantly higher levels of perceived importance of ethics (PIE) evaluating two unethical vignettes as compared to a matched group of Germanic European nationals. As international management must adjust to different cultures’ moral attitudes, values, and behaviors and respect possible differences in ethicality due to nationality, implications for management and businesses operating in the U.S. and Germanic Europe are offered.
    Problems and Perspectives in Management. 01/2014; 12(2):190-199.
  • Alexander Brauneis, Alexandra Rausch
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    ABSTRACT: When making decisions about capital investments, SMEs in both Austria and Germany are traditionally restricted by a low equity base that usually causes high risk premiums imposed by creditors – particularly banking institutions – and by expensive loans. Since the financial crisis has further enhanced the already tensed financial situation of SMEs, SMEs are more frequently confronted by difficulties in financing and more likely threatened in their existence. For this reason it is even more important for SMEs to allocate limited capital funds in a way that both the short- and long-term liquidity is ensured and profits are maximized. In this article we analyze the impact of decisions about the capital structure and the risk of an investment on liquidity and profit. By employing a Monte-Carlo simulation we aim to show how suboptimal decisions and misinterpretations with regard to target figures such as liquidity and profit occur and how the risk of insolvency might increase for SMEs.
    ZfKE ? Zeitschrift für KMU und Entrepreneurship 11/2013; 61(4):265-290.
  • Alexandra Rausch, Alexander Brauneis
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    ABSTRACT: Managerial decision-making often rests on preprocessed and, as a result, considerably reduced information. In our study we investigate to what extent the frame in information processing (inclusion or exclusion) affects the managerial information basis in quantitative and qualitative terms. In an experimental setting, graduate and undergraduate students are asked to prepare a proper foundation for the management’s subsequent decisions by selecting figures they consider to be of particular importance. In two treatments subjects are instructed to (1) actively select relevant figures or (2) exclude figures they do not find relevant. Depending on the particular treatment and on the profit/loss-situation, the subjects’ selection of information and, thus, the managers’ decision-making basis differs significantly.
    EURO Mini Conference 2013, Graz/Austria; 10/2013
  • Alexandra Rausch
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    ABSTRACT: • Eine empirische Untersuchung und Praxisbeispiele zeigen, dass Führungskräfte sowohl analytische als auch intuitive Entscheidungen treffen. • Ob sie sich auf Zahlen und Fakten oder auf ihre Intuition stützen, ist allerdings in hohem Maße von der Entscheidungssituation und dem jeweiligen Entscheidungsträger abhängig. • Da Intuition unbewusst ist, benötigen Führungskräfte insbesondere bei intuitiven Entscheidungen die Unterstützung durch das Controlling. • Die Aufgabe des Controllings ist dabei, Führungskräfte bei kontrollierbarem Risiko zu intuitiven Entscheidungen zu ermutigen und gleichzeitig Intuitionsdefekte aufzudecken und einzugrenzen. • Harte Fakten und Analysen sind für gute Unternehmensentscheidungen ebenso wichtig wie Intuition. • Je größer die Erfahrung und das Wissen der Führungskräfte, desto verlässlicher sind ihre intuitiven Entscheidungen. • Die besten Entscheidungen werden getroffen, wenn das Bauchgefühl durch Zahlen und Analysen bestätigt wird. • Das Controlling soll Führungskräfte situationsabhängig zu intuitiven Entscheidungen ermutigen und bei Selbstüberschätzung Intuition einbremsen.
    Controlling & Management Review. 06/2013; 57(3):14-22.
  • Alexandra Rausch
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    ABSTRACT: Forschungsfrage: Wie effizient und effektiv sind Face-to-Face-Meetings und was kosten sie? Wie kann ihr Nutzen erhöht werden? Methodik: Empirische Untersuchung und Literaturrecherche Praktische Implikationen: Meetings verursachen hohe und facettenreiche Kosten, deren Notwendigkeit häufig fraglich ist. Die Erfassung und Bewusstmachung sowohl der Kosteneinflussfaktoren als auch des Nutzens von Meetings können dazu beitragen, diese effizienter und effektiver zu gestalten. Research question: How efficient and effective are face-to-face-meetings and what do they cost? What can be done to increase the benefits? Methodology: Empirical survey and literature research. Practical implications: Meetings cause high and multifaceted costs; the necessity is often called into question. The identification and the awareness of cost factors as well as the benefits of meetings might contribute to making them more efficient and effective.
    PERSONALquarterly. 04/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper constitutes a first empirical attempt to analyse the level of development of current controlling practice and sustainable development in four selected European countries, i.e. Austria, Croatia, Greece, and Poland. It specifically aims to increase the awareness for country-specific differences and to capture key factors of advantages and shortcomings that companies in these countries experience with respect to controlling and sustainable business practice. We hypothesize that companies in more mature countries have a higher level of development in this respect than companies in less mature countries. To this end, we use a questionnaire and analyse a sample of 146 companies. Contrary to our hypotheses we reveal that Austrian and Croatian companies are more advanced in controlling practice towards sustainability while Greek companies offer the highest potential for further development. On the basis of our findings business executives and public officers should be able to cope with present shortcomings in a more appropriate way and to initiate improvements towards sustainability, particularly in the four countries under investigation.
    Zagreb International Review of Economics & Business. 01/2013; XVI(1):37-63.
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of companies to sense and adapt to environmental uncertainty by leveraging corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies is of critical importance. However, for many companies CSR awareness and knowledge is insufficient or underdeveloped. Further, there is no clear perception among business people on the benefits entailed from the implementation of CSR practices. In this paper, using a sample of 146 companies operating in Croatia, Greece, Poland, and Austria, we examine how these entrepreneurial entities perceive CSR and how they value the importance of CSR in the sustainable development of their business. By applying a questionnaire survey methodology, our findings provide a useful insight into the conditions and various levels of CSR implementation used by these countries.
    The Holistic Approach to Environment. 01/2013; 3(3):153-173.
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    Alexandra Rausch
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    ABSTRACT: Meetings sind ein fester Bestandteil des Führungskräftealltags. Sie können ein wirksames Managementwerkzeug sein, wenn sie effizient und effektiv gestaltet werden. Die Autorin stellt in ihrem Beitrag die Ergebnisse einer empirischen Studie vor und zeigt auf, welche Faktoren hier vornehmlich für den Misserfolg und Erfolg von Meetings verantwortlich zeichnen und inwieweit Entwicklungsmaßnahmen wie Kommunikationstrainings zu einer Verbesserung der Meeting Performance beitragen können.
    Controlling & Management 05/2012; 53(6):376-383.
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    ABSTRACT: In management decision-making is without doubt one of the most important aspects of the job. Thus, the effectiveness and quality of managerial decisions largely determine organizations’ future success. Among the most important managerial decisions there are those relating to the allocation of scarce resources which we would expect to be based upon expectations about future performance. However, ongoing research in managerial decision-making suggests that under certain conditions managers are influenced by a phenomenon termed escalating commitment due to sunk-costs: Since managers who are held accountable for an investment aim at justifying prior decisions, they tend to allocate further resources to the course of action despite negative feedback. While a large body of research in management science and economics has replicated this phenomenon in various contexts, activities and concepts to enforce de-escalation have received relatively little attention. In this paper we investigate reasons for escalating commitment in a management context and exemplarily analyze the contribution of information supply concerning consequences to enhance de-escalation. In an experimental study 390 managers were set into an escalation situation with a failing course of action for which they were held accountable. We manipulated the information supply concerning the amount and the kind of information on possible consequences of the decision. The results provide broad support for the occurrence of the sunk-cost effect in the light of accountability and the need for justification. Nonetheless, the study reveals further key factors for escalating commitment and indicates that the information supply concerning consequences is not sufficient for de-escalation, but that it should be accompanied by other management practices and changes in norms and management culture.
    Problems and Perspectives in Management. 01/2012; 10(2):93-106.
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the importance of early warning systems (EWS) in revealing weak signals on environmental changes and in constructing a solid base for timely and appropriate business response particularly against the backdrop of business crises, empirical evidence - especially at the country level - still lags behind. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the practical and theoretical knowledge about EWS by providing empirical evidence from companies located in three different European countries, i.e. Croatia, Austria, and Greece. We propose that companies in richer countries, i.e. measured in terms of GDP, have a higher implementation level of EWS and more likely meet the current state-of-the-art of EWS while company’s in countries with lower GDP rather reveal a lesser level of development. Moreover we explore the reasons for not implementing EWS. For our survey we used a structured questionnaire. Against our hypotheses there are no significant differences between countries concerning the level of implementation of EWS. However, there are some differences concerning the kind of EWS. Overall, EWS are predominately short-term oriented and operative in all three countries. The main reasons for not implementing EWS are the shortage of employees and the lack of management initiatives.
    Review of Marketing Theory and Practice. 01/2012; 24(2):201-218.
  • 01/2009: pages 339-378; , ISBN: 978-3-7073-1444-1
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    ABSTRACT: One important human factor that influences the efficiency and quality of employees’ and managers’ work in companies is their communicative behavior. Empirical surveys have proved that the main part of managers’ job consists in communicating and participating in organizational meetings but also that those meetings are quite frequently neither efficient nor effective. This fact is well known in most organizations, but the factors that are decisive for meeting success und communication success in general are elusive and therefore largely unknown. To prove the impacts of communication behavior on meeting success we developed a theoretical model based on the traditional input-process-output philosophy. With the help of an empirical survey with 300 managers of a multinational industrial enterprise, we identified concrete success factors that influence communication behavior and suggested ways and “qualitative measures” to get hold of them. Furthermore, we could show that the consequent orientation on communication behavior and continuous improvement of communication and meeting skills are necessary to achieve sustained success.
    IPPM; 09/2008
  • 2nd International Converence on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics. 01/2008;
  • Alexandra Rausch
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    ABSTRACT: Although meetings are an integral part of organizational life, they are often neglected in theory in practice. It is proved, however, that productive meetings can be an effective instrument for management. Nevertheless, they are seldom as successful as they are expected to be. This fact is well known in most organizations, but the factors that are decisive for meeting success are elusive and therefore largely unknown. In research on the factors for success, qualitative factors are usually not paid enough attention because adequate instruments to measure those soft facts that determine the success of communication processes in organizational meetings are missing. The aim of this doctoral thesis was to develop an instrument for measuring meeting success and relevant key factors. Based on a profound research concerning theory and empirical surveys, a theoretical model was created based on the well known 3E-Concept to measure effectiveness and efficiency. Applied to the communication processes in meetings input factors (e.g. group and individual characteristics), process factors (e.g. participation, teamwork), output factors (e.g. efficiency), outcome factors (e.g. effectiveness) and impact factors (e.g. satisfaction) were distinguished. In order to ensure the later implementation of this instrument in practice, the model was validated in an empirical survey. With the aim to prove the hypothesis that the communicative behaviour of participants has strong influence on meeting success and that communication trainings are useful to increase meeting success, the survey was conducted in 3 steps: a status quo-measurement, a feedback measurement after a communication training and an omega-measurement 6 months later. About 300 managers of an internationally operating company in Austria took part in the survey. Using statistic analysis in spss and pls the main key factors and causal relationships were identified. According to the results of this validation the model was modified and revalidated. With the help of the model and its validation in an empirical survey, practitioners were given concrete key factors that have to be optimized and shown where they have to focus their activities for improving organizational communication processes especially in meetings. Finally, it was proved that the proposed model is adequate for its application in practice.
    01/2008; Gabler Verlag., ISBN: 978-3-8349-0925-1
  • Alexandra Rausch, Rainer Petek, Werner Mussnig
    01/2007: pages 327-356; , ISBN: 978-3-7143-0102-1
  • Alexandra Rausch, Werner Mussnig, Melanie Hoppe
    01/2007: pages 147-188; , ISBN: 978-3-7143-0102-1
  • Alexandra Rausch, Rainer Petek, Werner Mussnig
    01/2007: pages 301-326; , ISBN: 978-3-7143-0102-1

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