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- PublicationAI in academia: An overview of selected tools and their areas of applicationAs a result of OpenAI's ChatGPT, there has been increasing interest in AI and web-based natural language processing (NLP), including in academia. In this article, we provide an overview of the tools that can be used for academic purposes. The overview was conducted from the perspective of a university educator and was intended to guide educators in higher education on emerging AI technologies. The tools discussed ranged from searching the literature and attributions to peer-reviewed articles, scientific writing, and academic writing and editing. The objective is to foster an informed approach to the integration of AI tools in academic settings, ensuring that educators are well-equipped to leverage these technologies to enhance the quality and output of academic work.
- PublicationOn the state of a political party of a regional municipality against the background of a crisis and exploring ways to develop new perspectives(University of Applied Sciences Burgenland, 2021)This paper summarizes the results of the 2018 internal retreat on the then current organizational state of a local social democratic party at the municipal level in Austria. The aim of the survey was to gather personal experiences of party officials and the challenges of working together against the backdrop of an organizational crisis. An experimental research design was developed for the data collection, which used participatory methods of moderated public participation. The collected units of analysis in the form of Post-Its, author’s memos, and other methodological artifacts were interpreted, categorized, and summarized. Furthermore, items were additionally weighted by frequency for illustrative purposes. A clear organizational crisis was evident. Considerable knowledge deficits regarding contemporary organizational leadership and communication work can be suspected. The results should help to stimulate future research on organizational cooperation in predominantly volunteer-led and socio-demographically heterogeneous local parties against the background of contemporary communication practices.
- PublicationIntraparty communication and permeability in the SPÖ from the perspective of local political actorsThe Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) has seen its electorate steadily decline in recent years. As the party struggles to communicate clear messages to voters, debates about the internal party’s communication and leadership are increasingly being played out in the media. This study examines the perceptions of local political actors of the SPÖ regarding intra-party communication between organizational levels. The research methodology includes problem-centered interviews and group discussions with 12 local SPÖ actors from Lower Austria and Vienna. The results of the study shed light on key issues such as the need for improved intra-party communication and better transition structures for activists within the party organization. The recent success of the Communist Party (KPÖ Plus) in the federal state of Salzburg in April 2023 underscores the challenges facing the SPÖ in the current situation. Two of the three candidates for the membership referendum from April 24-May 10, 2023, in which the party base will make a preliminary decision on the future leadership of the SPÖ in order to end internal strife, argue for breaking through elitist bubbles and creating a grassroots participatory party that reflects the grassroots sentiment surveyed in this study.
- PublicationLocal Political Parties in Austria during the COVID-19 Era: A Comparative Case AnalysisThis article examines local political party organization of the SPÖ and its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The practices and initiatives adopted by local political, social, and democratic party groups in two Austrian regions, a rural town in Styria and an urban district in Vienna, during the COVID-19 pandemic were examined. Using Problem-centered interviews (PCI) and group discussions as instruments for data collection, it was investigated how these parties adapted their activities to maintain engagement and support from the population in the face of unprecedented challenges. The results showed that both parties transitioned to online formats for meetings and events. Measures such as telephone assistance for emotional support, projects to support local businesses, and social measures for those in financial need were introduced to meet the urgent needs of people in the communities. Despite some challenges such as fluctuating motivation, difficulties in maintaining online engagement, ICT competencies, and dealing with personal overload, local parties demonstrated resilience and adaptability during the crisis.