Research seminar

The Department of Econonomics of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS) invites external and internal speakers to present and discuss their latest research in economics and management.

Research seminar

Our research seminar takes place Tuesdays from 18:00–19:30.  

All seminars are online in Winter 2021/2022. If you want to attend the seminar, please contact 


Title: Augmenting a profession: How data analytics is transforming human resource management
Speaker:  Verena Bader (Universität der Bundeswehr München)

Abstract: In this work, we explore the effects of emerging digital technologies on professionalization within organizations. Specifically, we examine how the emergence of data analytics as a new cross-functional profession rooted in new digital technologies is challenging HRM as an established organizational profession. Our qualitative study reveals how rhetorical work and material work have established a symbiosis between data science and HR. Rather than leading to de-professionalization, new technologies are enabling HR practices to be augmented and new actors to be integrated into the professionalization project, thereby elevating the status of HRM. These findings contribute to the literature on the role of technology in institutional theory and its influences on the professionalization.

Title: When speech is only silver: Exploring the importance of silence in theorization processes
Speaker:  Dennis Jancsary (WU Vienna)

Abstract: In this conceptual manuscript, I aim at extending the ways in which we currently understand the impact of silence – that is, the absence of either sound/text or the omission of specific meanings – on the theorization and legitimacy of novel managerial ideas. Starting from the assessment that organization theory has so far conceived of silence in restricted and overly negative ways, I first unpack silence and discuss its different dimensions. After outlining my general approach to silence vis-à-vis communication, I suggest a conceptual framework classifying silence, on the one hand, according to whether it constitutes a communicative presence or absence and, on the other hand, according to whether it supports or restricts ongoing communication. I develop invitation, suppression, acquiescence, and concealment as four central communicative mechanisms enabled by silence. I then develop propositions about the ways in which each mechanism influences theorization processes. Based on these conceptual ideas, I discuss how both research on theorization and communication-centered organization research more broadly may benefit from a more holistic and systematic integration of silence.

Title: Pulp friction: The value of quantity contracts in decentralized markets
 Juha Tolvanen (University of Vienna)

Abstract: Firms in decentralized markets often trade using quantity contracts, agreements that specify quantity in advance of trade. We show that firms use quantity contracts to reduce the costs of trading frictions. Specifically, quantity contracts are valuable for two reasons. First, they increase trade between high surplus trading partners because they lock in trade prior to the point of sale. Second, they provide quantity insurance — we show that buyers and sellers are endogenously risk averse with respect to quantity. However, quantity contracts are costly due to their inflexibility to market conditions. Using proprietary invoice data from a large seller, we estimate a model of quantity contracts in the pulp and paper industry. We find that the median value of a quantity contract is 10% of net price. The median value would be 25% lower without quantity insurance and 84% higher without the cost of inflexibility. As trading frictions diminish, the seller uses fewer quantity contracts and profits increase.

18.01.2022Title:  Posterior predictive model checking using formal methods in a spatio-temporal model
Speaker: Laura Vana (Vienna University of Technology)

Abstract: We propose an interdisciplinary framework, Bayesian formal predictive model checking (Bayes FPMC), which combines Bayesian predictive inference, a well established tool in statistics, with formal verification methods rooting in the computer science community. Bayesian predictive inference allows for coherently incorporating uncertainty about unknown quantities by making use of methods or models that produce predictive distributions which in turn inform decision problems. By formalizing these problems and the corresponding properties, we can use spatio-temporal reach and escape logic to probabilistically assess their satisfaction. This way, competing models can directly be ranked according to how well they solve the actual problem at hand. The approach is illustrated on an urban mobility application, where the crowdedness in the center of Milan is proxied by aggregated mobile phone traffic data. We specify several desirable spatio-temporal properties related to city crowdedness such as a fault tolerant network or the reachability of hospitals. After verifying these properties on draws from the posterior predictive distributions, we compare several spatio-temporal Bayesian models based on their overall and property-based predictive performance.