How Does Digitalization Affect Headquarters and What Does It Mean for CEE-focused Headquarters in Austria?

Phillip C. Nell, Jan Schmitt, Benoit Decreton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


Headquarters (HQs) represent central units within corporationsi and their goal is to add value to the firm and its respective subunits. They do so by taking over various responsibilities, such as allocating resources within the firm, coordinating and monitoring subunits, and identifying and realizing synergies, among others. HQs are also important for the economy of the countries they are located in, as they offer for example high-value employment, increased demand for related business services (e.g., legal and financial services), and represent a non-trivial source of tax income. Additionally, there is scientific evidence suggesting that the location of the HQ influences its investment decisions and consequently adjacent economies (e.g., investments that are in regions close to the HQ are favoured). Thus, many countries consider it important to attract and maintain HQsii. In this article, we will focus on a topic that has not received much attention yet. Specifically, we discuss how digitalization (i.e., recent advancements in areas such as big data analytics, automation, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, etc.) influences HQs in Austria, most of which have a strong focus on CEE countries. Companies are dealing with a variety of issues stemming from digitalization, which results in changes to business models, firm processes, and company culturesiii. Yet, digitalization also affects the role and value added of the HQs but we still lack a clear understanding of thativ. In the following, we first discuss Austria as a location for HQs, then the impact of digitalization on HQs, and finally, we explore how the digitalization might influence the attractiveness of Austria for CEE-oriented HQs. Thereby, we refer to recent empirical material that we have collected.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat is Central & Eastern Europe's Role in Europe? : Leading Economists, Politicians & Top-managers on CEE's Future
EditorsManfred F. Berger, Arnold Schuh
Number of pages5
Place of PublicationWien
PublisherGrow East
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9783950411935
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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