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DPP Research Seminar: Presentations of 1st-year PhD Students

CEU Vienna
Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Laura Palencikova 

(PhD Student, DPP)

(Discussant: Kata Orosz, Assistant Professor, DPP)

Digital Transformation in Higher Education: Accounting for System-level Perspective 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has altered the full complexity of our lives. Along with the rest of society, the higher education sector has become immersed in the throes of unprecedented challenges as well. Digital transformation seems to be a prerequisite for successful adaptation to most of them. It is a complex multidimensional process that transforms institutions´ operations, strategic blueprints, as well as their value propositions. Existing research on digital transformation in higher education has remained dominantly focused on exploring its effects on educational practices, learning experiences, and understanding the implications through organizational and institutional perspectives, while paying limited attention to higher education system-level factors in digital transformation. As a result of not having systemic insights into whether, or by what means and how do governments support digital transformation of higher education, and what is the effectiveness of different policy interventions, not only that our theoretical understanding of the process and its implications remains incomplete, but further, effective and efficient, progress on the ground may be compromised. While contesting the post-structuralist approaches in educational policy research, this research will place modernist conceptualizations of power that imply inherent constraints by macro authorities in the education sphere back at the center of its examination. It will examine the state-level engagement with higher education digital transformation. While doing so, it will seek to understand how ´higher education system´ affects the institutional digital transformation, what are the key trends in national educational policies in this respect, including their success factors, barriers, benefits or drawbacks, and overall effectiveness.  


Simon Trlifaj

(PhD Student, DPP)

(Discussant: Michael Dorsch, Associate Professor, DPP)

Innovation: Theoretical Conceptualizations and Policy Impacts

Innovation is hoped to bring new technologies that would help address many policy priorities—economic development, climate change mitigation and adaptation, pandemic response. There is a consensus that public policies—public funding, tax incentives, intellectual property—are necessary to achieve optimal levels of innovation. However, the impacts of these policies on the behavior of inventors is often not clear both in magnitude and direction. My project aims at improving the theoretical conceptualization of knowledge and innovation and the estimation of the impact of these policies in three ways. First, by empirically challenging the mainstream conceptualisation of knowledge which is based on the public-goods model. Second, by empirically studying the factors that explain the cross-sectoral differences in knowledge-management strategies of firms. Third, by revising the theoretical models of how firms respond to the policies based on the empirical findings.