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Introducing our new institutes in the Department of Business

Bundling competences and creating clear priorities: The restructuring of the Department of Business at IMC Krems is intended to bring teaching and research even closer together. The new institutes therefore represent an important milestone on the way to the aspired internationally recognised AACSB accreditation.

oben (vlnr.):  Prof. (FH) Mag. Dr. Manfred Pferzinger, Kollegiumsleiter Prof. (FH) Dr. Martin Waiguny, Geschäftsführerin Mag. Ulrike Prommer, Geschäftsführer Prof.(FH) Dr. Karl Ennsfellner; unten (vlnr.): Prof. (FH) Mag. Christian Maurer, Dipl. Ing Dr. techn. Deepak Dhungana, Prof. (FH) Mag. Dr. Tina Grüber-Mücke, Prof. (FH) MMag. Christopher Schwand

The new heads of the institute are looking forward to their future areas of responsibility. 1st row (from left to right): Prof. (FH) Dr. Manfred Pferzinger, head of the department Prof. (FH) Dr. Martin Waiguny, managing director Ulrike Prommer, managing director Prof. (FH) Dr. Karl Ennsfellner; 2nd row (from left to right): Prof. (FH) Christian Maurer, Dipl. Ing. Dr. techn. Deepak Dhungana, Prof. (FH) Tina Grüber-Mücke, Prof. (FH) Christopher Schwand

The new academic year starts with an important change in the Department of Business at IMC Krems. The existing institutes have been restructured and a total of five new institutes have been created: The Institute of Business Administration and Management, the Institute of Health Management, the Institute of Digitalisation and Informatics, the Institute of Tourism, Wine Business and Marketing and the Institute of International Trade and Sustainable Economy.

Top priority: Continuous improvement of quality in teaching and research

The newly created institutes represent a visible sign of quality and show where the focus lies in teaching and research. The aim is to be prepared for the future, to offer students the best possible education and, as a university, to be an attractive partner for renowned research institutions.

The restructuring represents an important step on the way to the widely recognised AACSB accreditation. AACSB accredits business study programmes at universities worldwide through standards that ensure continuous quality improvement.

"In order to be internationally recognised, it is important for us to take innovative paths and to question the status quo. The new institutes in the Department of Business can, therefore, be seen as a significant development through which we want to further increase the quality of teaching and research," says Ulrike Prommer, CEO of IMC Krems.

"The new institutes offer the possibility of a strong profile and expertise which will have a positive effect on research-led teaching," explains Martin Waiguny, head of the academic board.

Exciting opportunities for further development in academia

The newly appointed heads of institutes are a further example of the many opportunities for further development and promotion for teaching and research staff at IMC Krems. Within just a few years, it is possible to advance to project leader of international research projects, programme director or head of institute at the Krems university of applied sciences.

The heads of the institutes have the important task of coordinating teaching and research and furthering internationalisation. The management of IMC Krems congratulates all newly appointed heads of institutes and wishes them all the best and much success with their new tasks.

Prof. (FH) Mag. Dr. Tina Gruber-Mücke

Tina Gruber-Mücke has been programme director of the English-language bachelor degree programme Business Administration since 2018. Since 1 September, she has been head of the Institute of Business Administration and Management and is responsible for the bachelor degree programmes Business Administration and Unternehmensführung as well as the master degree programme Management.

"The increasing digitalisation is turning our society upside down, changing our lives more and more, both in the private sector and in the world of work. To me, my work at IMC Krems is particularly exciting because I am able to meet these challenges in higher education and give students the joy of lifelong learning. In addition, I enjoy working on innovative ideas in research or with start-ups," confirms Gruber-Mücke.

Since 2017, Gruber-Mücke, who holds a doctorate in business administration, has been working as an expert for entrepreneurship, organisational development and innovation management at IMC Krems, most recently as programme director for the English-language bachelor degree programme Business Administration. She previously headed the Centre for Research in Educational Technology (Danube University Krems) and taught part-time at the Universities of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria and Salzburg. Prior to her professional activity in Krems, she was Professor of Organisational Development in Hagenberg (University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Faculty of Computer Science, Communication and Media) and before that she worked for many years as deputy institute director and assistant professor at the Institute for Business Start-ups and Corporate Development at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz.

Dipl. Ing Dr. techn. Deepak Dhungana

Deepak Dhungana is the new head of the Institute of Digitisation and Informatics and is also the programme director of the English-language bachelor degree programme in Informatics. His institute also includes the master degree programme Digital Business Innovation and Transformation.

"My goal is to position and establish the relatively new research field of digitisation at IMC Krems. With this goal, I have my finger on the pulse of the times, because the examination of digitisation and its many technological, social and business facets is becoming increasingly important in order to meaningfully drive forward the digital transformation of our society," explains Dhungana with conviction.

Born in Nepal, Dhungana came to Austria at the age of 18 to study computer science at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. Since then he has been working as a computer scientist in Austria and internationally. Dhungana is an experienced senior research scientist and project manager with professional experience in various industries. He completed a post-graduate programme with a focus on digital transformation at the Vienna University of Technology. After completing his PhD in 2009, he worked as a post-doc in Ireland at the University of Limerick, then went to the TU Vienna, also as a post-doc. After a short time he moved to Siemens, where he worked for eight years in the research department "Corporate Technology" as researcher, consultant and project manager for internal and external research projects. His core competencies are in the field of software engineering and the use of artificial intelligence in system design. His special research interest lies in the individualisation and customisation of products and services.

Prof. (FH) Mag. Dr. Manfred Pferzinger

In addition to his functions as deputy chair of the academic board and programme director of the master degree programme Management von Gesundheitsunternehmen, Manfred Pferzinger now heads the Institute for Health Management. The institute is home to the business programmes Betriebswirtschaft für das Gesundheitswesen (bachelor degree programme) and Management von Gesundheitsunternehmen (master degree programme) and dedicates its research capacities primarily to the focus on Health Management & Policy.

"The aim of the new institute is to translate scientific findings while consistently taking into account the needs of patients on the one hand and health professionals on the other," says Pferzinger.

Manfred Pferzinger studied at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (Faculty of Economics & Management) and at Högskolan i Skövde (Sweden) at the Institutes of Health Sciences, Economics and Business Administration. After his dissertation on the development of medical guidelines, at the Department for Public Health and Health Technology Assessment of UMIT Tyrol, he remained active as an associated university researcher at the Institut für Management und Ökonomie im Gesundheitswesen (IMÖG).

The entrepreneurial spirit and founder has more than ten years of business experience in the fields of food production, ophthalmic optics, hearing aid acoustics, eHealth and organisational architecture/design. In teaching and research he uses the approach of Design Thinking as a collaborative and interdisciplinary element for customer-centred solutions to problems in health care.

Prof. (FH) Mag. Christian Maurer

Christian Maurer remains committed to his role as head of the institute and takes over the management of the Institute of Tourism, Wine Business and Marketing, which comprises the English-language bachelor degree programmes International Wine Business and Tourism and Leisure Management as well as the master degree programme Marketing.

"By means of practice-oriented teaching and research projects and a lively exchange with business partners, we want to ensure that our students receive the best possible education for the new demands on the job market and that they can quickly and successfully embark on the desired career paths after graduation. We also want to position the institute as a competent and sought-after research partner for national and international companies," says Maurer, summarising the objectives of the Institute for Tourism, Wine Business and Marketing.

The expert for e-Tourism and e-Marketing has already been active in teaching and research at IMC Krems since 2005, and in 2018 he took over the position of head of the now restructured Institute of International Business at IMC Krems. As programme director of the master degree programme in Marketing, he was instrumental in the further development of the study programmes offered at IMC Krems. Maurer is the author or co-author of numerous publications in scientific journals and specialist books and a sought-after speaker at international conferences. He is also the founder of the "International Student Conference in Tourism Research" (ISCONTOUR), which has been held annually since 2013.

Prof. (FH) MMag. Christopher Schwand

In addition to his position as programme director of the bachelor degree programme Export-oriented Management, Christopher Schwand will assume the role of head of the Institute for International Trade and Sustainable Economy in the winter semester 2020/21. The institute consists of the internationally oriented bachelor degree programme Export-Oriented Management as well as the master degree programmes International Business and Economic Diplomacy and Umwelt- und Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement at the locations Krems, Ventspils, Kiev and Tashkent.

"As head of the institute, I have set myself the goal of driving forward applied research and projects and thus offering students at all locations of IMC Krems an attractive and up-to-date range of courses," explains Schwand.

The expert in the field of international market research has been working at IMC Krems since 2006. As programme director of the bachelor degree programme Export-oriented Management (since 2010), he has played a key role in the further development of the programme and in the supervision of students.