6192 Strategies in CEE
Assist.Prof. Mag.Dr. Almina Besic, Dr. Jelena Cerar, M.Sc.M.A.
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/10/23 to 02/28/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Master Programs
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 05/30/23 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM D1.1.074
Wednesday 05/31/23 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM D1.1.074
Thursday 06/01/23 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM D1.1.074
Friday 06/02/23 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM D1.1.074
Tuesday 06/20/23 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM D1.1.074

Austria and especially Vienna have gained a strong reputation as a CEE hub due to their very good strategical positions between East and West. More than 200 foreign multinationals have established their regional CEE headquarters in Austria, including big players such as Henkel, Mondi and Lukoil. Besides that, more than 1,850 Austrian companies have their subsidiaries in at least one of the CEE countries. Austria is the biggest foreign investor in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia and according to the WKO, there are in total more than 400,000 employees of Austrian companies working in the CEE region. In addition, firms from Austria continue to be heavily interested in investing into the region due to persisting labor shortages at home and low labor costs in the region. Despite this interest, firms lack detailed knowledge on where to invest, what to expect from local management practices and how to deal with some CEE region specific issues.


This only shows that many of the current students might get a chance to work in a CEE subsidiary, regional headquarters for CEE or do consulting projects for companies in the CEE region. For this reason, the objective of the course is to better understand CEE business environment, reasons behind management decisions related to organizational structure and which things they need to have in mind when developing a strategy for CEE countries. We start with key economic and business characteristics of the region, followed by business characteristics from centrally planned and transition economies that still reflect the business environment in CEE today. We continue with analyzing organizational changes and factor markets in CEE (such as labor and financial markets) and finish with the main business challenges (such as management practices, ease of doing business and macroeconomic factors) and further perspectives of CEE economies. We will also visit one regional CEE HQ where we will discuss with managers the real organizational issues they are facing when working in the CEE region.

The course content will be organized as follows:

Session 1 (Jelena Cerar):

  • Introduction to CEE, the importance of the region and key economic and business facts
  • Centrally planned economies and how they reflect the business environment in CEE today
  • Case: Production of electronic equipment in centralized economy

Session 2 (Jelena Cerar):

  • Transition towards market economies: Selection of strategies and results
  • Case: Either MOL or Gorenje - transition from a state-owned enterprise to a privately owned regional-multinational company

Session 3 (Almina Bešić):

  • Organizational changes and factor markets in CEE (labor and financial markets) after transition
  • Organizational issues that Western managers are facing when working in the CEE region
  • Guest lecture

Session 4 (Almina Bešić):

  • Strategies for new CEE – current issues, best practices and further perspectives
  • Case: Regional production company

Session 5:

  • Final presentations of students
Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will:

  1. Develop the skills needed for solving the challenges faced by firms when working in the CEE region;
  2. Understand the most important historical events and strategies that shaped the CEE economies and business environment;
  3. Demonstrate an increased understanding of the business culture of the CEE region ;
  4. Understand current business issues regarding management practices, factor markets, ease of doing business, macroeconomic situation and further perspectives of the region.
Attendance requirements

Regular attendance is a requirement to pass this course. You cannot be absent for more than 20% of the total course time.

Teaching/learning method(s)

This course is comprised of lectures, in-class case analyses, and a team research project. This is a highly interactive course. Thus, students are expected to be fully engaged and participate in class discussions. The course is designed in such a way as to maximize your learning by balancing between lecture and your involvement in discussions, cases, and exercises.


Assessment will be based on both individual and team performance. Please note that successful in-class participation involves not only attending classes, but also frequently and thoughtfully contributing to the discussion by answering questions, engaging in a thoughtful analysis of the discussed topics and cases, building on other students’ ideas and synthesizing across discussions.

Assignments with percent of total grade:
Active in-class participation 20%

Test 30%

Team presentation 50%


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Availability of lecturer(s)

Please contact lecturers via e-mail for an appointment.

Last edited: 2023-01-13