June 23rd 2015

MCI Impresses at Tiroler Sparkasse’s Graf Chotek Prize

MCI employee Mai Anh Dao awarded 2015 prize – MCI graduate Daniela Wiesinger scoops SME Special Award for 2015

This year, the coveted prize for outstanding theses with an economics or business management element went to Mai Anh Dao for her Master's thesis “The Common Ground Phenomenon and Its Influence on Cultural Integration in M&A,” which she wrote at the University of Innsbruck School of Management and which has already won several awards. Her work explores the influence of company characteristics on the success of mergers and acquisitions. Before following her Master’s program at the University of Innsbruck, Ms. Dao completed the MCI’s Bachelor’s program in Entrepreneurship & Tourism and is now on the academic staff at the Entrepreneurship School®.

Explaining the jury’s decision, spokeswoman Prof. Dr. Anita Zehrer said: “This year saw 37 outstanding theses entered for the Tiroler Sparkasse’s Graf Chotek Prize. Ms. Dao’s work won over the jury thanks to the skill she showed in tackling the subject and her extremely thorough bibliographical research, which offered both depth and breadth and thus built on the latest research findings as well as generating significant added value for industry players. The jury felt that the winning submission was truly exemplary as it showed an excellent understanding of the academic approach.” The thesis was supervised by Prof. Dr. Florian Bauer, Study Coordinator Strategy and Organization at the MCI and Director of the SMA Research Lab. “Company acquisitions are a key issue, not least because they are worth more in volume terms each year than the GDP of Germany, for example,” he said. “However, the success rate of acquisitions is very low at around 40 percent. In her truly exemplary thesis, Ms. Dao looked at informal coordination and was able to demonstrate that, in certain circumstances, it offers a real alternative to structured or ‘top-down’ approaches.”

The SME Special Award for 2015 went to Daniela Wieser, a graduate from the MCI’s International Business Master’s program, which is taught in English. This was in recognition of her thesis “Supply Chain Management as a Service: An Empirical Investigation in SMEs,” which studies the risks involved in procurement management.

Other nominees included Astrid Früh, Sandra Muxel, and Julia Zraunig, all three of whom completed a Master’s program in the MCI’s Tourism Department.

The Graf Chotek University Prize is sponsored by Tiroler Sparkasse and awarded every two years. It is an important initiative in support of young academics. “As a bank with over 190 years of history, we feel our responsibility also includes promoting Tyrol as a center of research,” said Dr. Hans Unterdorfer, CEO of Tiroler Sparkasse, explaining the motivation behind the award. “The Graf Chotek University Prize is designed to support hopeful, talented young individuals.” Entries are invited from the authors of theses dealing with current topics and problems in the fields of business management, economics, or social sciences and awarded top grades at the University of Innsbruck or the MCI. The winners are selected on the basis of the practical relevance and academic quality of the theses submitted. With a total of 5000 euros in prize money, the award is one of the biggest targeted at young academics.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Further information:
pdfBrochure on the Graf Chotek University Prize 2015
Tiroler Sparkasse media release

Press contact:
Mag. (FH) Ulrike Fuchs
Marketing & Communication
+43 512 2070-1510