Sustainable competitiveness of firms and regions


The four fields of research at the core of the LBS research agenda are motivated by the main economic challenges of our time and informed by the concept of competitiveness. We understand competitiveness in a wider sense as the ability to create welfare and in a narrow sense as sustainable productivity growth with the constraint subject to a socially desirable level of employment. Yet firms have to sell their goods and services in internationally competitive markets which, together with the mobility of production factors, lead to locational competition between regions.

Globalization, technological change, climate change and migration are the main factors that shape our current economic system. Of course, these challenges are of relevance for managers and policy makers alike. We aim to analyse the causes, effects and strategic responses to the challenges at the firm and the regional level through the perspective of competitiveness.

Our overall goal is to deliver excellent research that informs the decision-making of policy makers, entrepreneurs and managers in Vienna and Austria in a way that leads to sustainable and shared welfare creation. Additionally, research should be aligned and connected with our teaching activities so that students at the LBS can learn and profit from ongoing research projects. Research at the LBS strives for academic excellence. It is contextualised and applied in nature and motivated by the economic problems of our time.


An affiliate member of the Harvard MOC Network, LBS engages in spreading the seminal scholarship of Professor Michael E. Porter and the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School by means of teaching, applied research, and local outreach. The Institute for Competitiveness (IoC) at LBS serves as the hub of LBS’s competitiveness-related activities.


In addition to the following four fields of research, the LBS engages in applied contract research within the wider context of applied empirical economics and business administration.

  • Global Value Chains
  • Innovation and industrial policy
  • Green Growth
  • Migration and diversity