Research Fellows

The AIFMI offers excellent students the opportunity to become a Research fellow of the AIFMI and make their research & publications under the auspices of the AIFMI.


Magdalena FEIRER - „Methodologies for the Development of Strategies in medium-sized SME’s“


Globalisation has intensified competition between companies dramatically. European small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) have the additional challenge that new banking regulations (Basel III) increase the pressure on them to have a well thought-out strategy and business plan in order to get bank financing. In her thesis „Methodologies for the Development of Strategies in medium-sized SME’s“ Magdalena Feirer analyses different methodologies for the development of strategies that are especially suited for the needs and requirements of SME’s.


Magdalena FEIRER studies Business Management at the University of Applied Sciences FH Kufstein in Austria. She was an exchange student at the University of Guadalajara/Mexico, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Económico Adminstrativas (CUCEA). As a Visiting Associate at HIRT&FRIENDS Magdalena is a member of the H&F Strategy Practice and of the project team for the forthcoming HIRT&FRIENDS book „Strategy-Tools for Managers“.



Christian Rauhofer

Christian RAUHOFER – „The Role of Conventional Change Management Approaches in the Practical Implementation of Management Innovation

In the 21st century Change Management is one of the key competencies that companies need to stay successful. In a world of fast change and a challenging economic situation, companies need to create long-term competitive advantage to survive.

In his thesis „The Role of Conventional Change Management Approaches in the Practical Implementation of Management Innovation“ Christian Rauhofer describes how the Austrian Management Innovators, Sonnentor Kräuterhandels GmbH,

Zotter Schokoladenmanufaktur GmbH and Waldviertler Werkstätten GmbH deal with Change Management.

Christian RAUHOFER studies Business Administration and E-Business Management at the International Management Center (IMC) FH-Krems in Austria. As a Project Associate with HIRT&FRIENDS, Christian works on strategy and change projects and contributes to the publications and marketing activities of the firm. Prior to that he gained experience in the national and international high-end tourism and hospitality industry. His thesis on “The Role of Conventional Change Management Approaches in the Practical Implementation of Management Innovation“ is a pre-study for Michael Hirt’s next book “Leading the Management Revolution” (“An der Spitze der Management Revolution”) coming out in 2013.


Manuel Stepp

Manuel STEPP - "Transfering Learning into Behavior"

Austrian companies are investing annually 2,4 billion euros in education and training of their employees. Recent studies suggest that only 20% of vocational training contents are applied at work. In his thesis “Transfering Learning into Behavior” Manuel Stepp develops a concept to close this gap between learning and application and evaluates methods for improving the transfer of learning.

Manuel STEPP. Studies of Business Administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU Wien) as well as University of Richmond, Virginia/USA. Majors: Change Management and Management Development. Manuel is a certified Trainer by the Institute for Business Education at WU Wien. As a Junior Consultant at a German consultancy he worked on Retail and After Sales projects for one of the leading global automotive manufacturers. Prior to that engagement he worked as an Executive Assistant to the Head of Marketing at one of the leading global trading companies for used machines. One of Manuel’s key responsibilities and areas of expertise at HIRT&FRIENDS was to refine and further develop HIRT&FRIENDS’s unique and comprehensive IMPACT Approach to the transfer of training results into practical behaviorial change (“Making it Stick!”).