RHI AG is a world market and technology leader in high-grade ceramic refractory materials. A global player with headquarters located in Vienna, RHI employs roughly  8,100 people worldwide at 33 production sites in Europe, North and South America, India and China, and is represented by over 70 sales and service sites in four continents. In the 2013 business year, RHI reported revenues of EUR  1,755 million. The RHI share is listed at the Vienna Stock Exchange in the leading ATX index.


RHI produces  roughly 2 million tonnes of refractory products annually: refractory bricks, mixes, mortars and functional products. Most of the raw materials come from the group’s seven mining and extraction sites. Refractory materials are used in the steel, cement and lime industries, in the production of glass and nonferrous metals, in environmental and energy technology as well as in the chemical and petrochemical industries. Refractories are indispensable to all industrial processes involving extremely high temperatures. RHI products ensure that e.g. steel converters and glass tanks resist extreme thermal, mechanical and chemical stress.


With tailor-made refractory system solutions, RHI enables its more than 10,000 customers to improve the value added in their production processes. RHI constantly deploys a large number of refractory specialists on site with customers in order to develop individual complete solutions, comprising the product, top engineering and special machinery for efficient application. RHI’s technology leadership is based on long-standing successful research and development activities, with more than one percent of revenues invested in R&D each year.

A leading partner of Lauder Business School

Lauder Business School is extremely proud to join forces with RHI in the areas of internships, traineeships and graduate career development. LBS students and alumni are actively recruited thanks to their internationally oriented business education. Furthermore, LBS seeks to contribute to RHI’s success by executing applied research projects in the field of international management. Commissioned bachelor works and master theses are a great opportunity for all stakeholders involved; in particular for graduating students who can apply their conceptual knowledge to the real-world business challenges of a major global industry player. To further develop this highly promising cooperation, RHI and LBS representatives regularly exchange ideas and expertise.


Please visit the RHI website: www.rhi-ag.com

Master theses

The common practice of Stakeholder Management in the industry-related market environment of RHI AG

Oliver BERGER (IML 2012)


The common practice of Stakeholder Management in the industry-related market environment of RHI AG


LBS Coach: Prof. (FH) Mag. Julius Dem, MBA
RHI Coach: Ing. Mag. Andreas Drescher
Completed in July 2014


This thesis contributes to a better understanding of stakeholder management practices of mining and metal organizations. The topic of this thesis as suggested by LBS’s corporate partner RHI AG focuses on stakeholder management, stakeholder dialog, materiality, and common reporting practices. These activities drive for a better engagement of their stakeholders. Today, more and more organizations publish reports on non-fiscal issues; hence the importance of such reports is increasing. These reports provide an excellent opportunity for the organizations to express and communicate their activities and commitments towards their key stakeholder groups. Therefore, the non-financial reports of selected organizations were chosen for this investigation.
Consequently, this thesis adopted a qualitative content analysis approach in order to explore stakeholder management practices. Following preliminary research to identify relevant companies in the mining and metal segment (MMS; i.e. the same industry RHI AG is operating in), the latest sustainability reports were collected from the official websites of selected organizations. Thereafter, they were analysed by means of a literature-based code system.
By way of conclusion the thesis argues that the selected organizations use similar communication channels, frameworks and standards. They are familiar with stakeholder theories, materiality issues, and stakeholder management. Nevertheless the research pointed out that the main shortcoming of their practices refers to transparent explanations of their procedures, mainly regarding materiality-related issues. Moreover, this thesis suggests recommendations for RHI AG’s further action in the stakeholder management field.

The strategic location of HR ratios in a company and/or within the HR department with special reference to RHI AG

Yevgeniya YELNYAKOVA (IML 2012)


The strategic location of HR ratios in a company and/or within the HR department with special reference to RHI AG


LBS Coach: Prof. (FH) Mag. Julius Dem, MBA
RHI Coaches: Dkfm. Michael Merzbach, Head of Human Resources; Sabine Leisentritt, MA
Completed in July 2014


This paper investigates the role of human resource metrics in contemporary human resource management (HRM) as well as the state of art metrics currently used by companies. Numerous business trends have significantly changed the needs of companies over the past years. In order to stay competitive, companies had to change their type of management to a more strategic one.
The research at hand aims to analyze the trends and tendencies which influence the HR departments in various companies as well as the adaption levels of the firms from an analytical perspective. Based on a presentation of the main HRM theories, the empirical research includes qualitative data gathered through semi-structured interviews with HR specialists. Subsequently, the interview findings are being compared with corporate information from RHI AG. This allows for conclusions as to how developed and up-to-date the practices by the studied company are.
One further goal of the paper is to define if factors such as the company’s size, maturity, corporate culture, and industry show tentative effects on the HR department and the choice of which ratios it calculates. In case they do have effects, it is also being asked which of these can be considered of high importance.
The paper concludes with recommendations for RHI AG regarding the metrics most widely used and the ones which are state-of-the-art in contemporary HRM.



From left to right: Prof. (FH) Mag. Julius Dem, MBA (Thesis Coach), Dkfm. Michael Merzbach (Head of Human Resouces, RHI), Yevgeniya Yelnyakova, MA (IML 2012 graduate), Sabine Leisentritt, MA (Recruiting, RHI).

Bachelor theses

Industry benchmarks in HR departments: Where does RHI's HR department stand?

Haydar Ozan CELIK (IBA 2011)

LBS Coach: Prof. (FH) Mag. Julius Dem, MBA
RHI Coaches: Sabine Leisentritt, MA
Completed in May 2014


Industry benchmarks in HR departments: Where does RHI’s HR department stand?


Internship Haydar Ozan CELIK (IBA 2011, spring 2014)

I am Haydar Ozan Celik from Istanbul, Turkey, a recent graduate of Lauder Business School and am currently doing my master’s degree at the University of Vienna. As part of the LBS Bachelor’s Program, I was blessed to have the chance to do my mandatory internship at the RHI AG in the Global Human Resources and Organizational Development Department for four months which turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences in my life.

I was in the beginning very skeptical about doing an internship, since I have worked before and I was afraid that it won’t be a real job but thanks to all my colleagues at RHI, I have learned a lot. They made sure that my internship would be a true learning experience and also that I always felt included. I got an insight to what a career in the HR area looks like and how a company on a global scale functions. I had all sorts of analysis tasks (one of which was also my bachelor thesis “Industry Benchmarks in HR Departments: Where does RHI’s HR department stand?”), day-to-day HR work as well as administrative tasks such as translations or processing applications that come into the department.

At the end all I can say is that I would highly recommend doing an internship at RHI for those who are looking for a real job or a challenge not just an internship.

Internship Yacov L. (IBA 2011, summer 2013)

During the summer of 2013, in the months of July and August I worked as a intern for RHI AG. RHI is a market leader in the field of mining, production and development of refractories. The firm operates in tens of countries, employs thousands of employees and has annual revenues of Billions of Euros. I worked in the headquarters of the company, which are located in Vienna.

I worked for the sales department that is responsible for the markets of Russia, CIS, Middle East and North Africa. My main tasks were to conduct internet research of several topics that were very important for the firm to investigate. The main aim of the research was to gather a holistic understanding of the local markets, and to analyze the data in relation to the company’s requirements.
The area I was responsible for was a small chapter of extensive research that was conducted by the company and spread over more then a year. I was required to use methods that I had studied during my studies at LBS, and to use professional terms and instruments. I dealt a lot with financial reports and profiles of firms, which is a topic that I learned a lot about during the first and the second semesters.
Undoubtedly, my studies at LBS prepared me well for my position. I am sure, one hundred percent, that this unique experience of participating in “real” business before graduating (in a form of internship), will be a key factor in my future success.