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You are generally welcome if you are interested in a dissertation supervised by Prof. Franke. Below you will find some important information.  

What is a dissertation?  

A dissertation is an independent, general scientific research contribution on a relevant topic. In principle, the same rules apply as for master's theses (please be sure to take a look at our 'Guidelines, Notes and Tips' on the website; the text on real theory is also important), except that the scope and requirements are of course different. In addition to the obvious theoretical part, a quantitative empirical part is generally expected, for example in the form of an own survey, a secondary analysis of existing data or a meta-analysis of existing research results.  

Conceptually, a dissertation consists of two parts. In the first step, you develop a scientific question. To do this, you create a state-of-the-art analysis of a specific topic area. They show the (of course international) state of research and identify a research gap. As a rule, such a gap is narrow, i.e. there is a very specific research question. They explain why this research question is relevant and therefore worth investigating. Models for this first part of the dissertation are (state-of-the-art) articles in international scientific journals.  

In the second step you answer this question. You fill the previously identified gap by deriving preliminary answers from theory and gaining your own empirical insights. It is therefore necessary to plan and carry out an empirical study precisely. It is your most important personal contribution. However, your research contribution arises from the entirety of a precise inventory, thorough identification of the gap, theoretical penetration of the problem, your own empirical study and the connection of the results with the state of research.  

Scientific articles in international journals should be the model for dissertations. These often clarify what is meant better than many existing dissertations, even if they are of course very condensed.  

Your goal: an international research contribution  

Your goal should be to expand the state of international research with your dissertation project, i.e. to create new, relevant knowledge. This means that one should seek scientific discussion. It is a shame and a waste of energy when dissertations get moldy in archives.  

First of all, it makes sense to seek discussion at international conferences. You can benefit greatly from feedback, especially when you have preliminary results. Examples of conferences at which the institute's doctoral students have presented in the past include the Academy of Management Conference, the American Marketing Association (AMA) Conference, the R&D Management Conference, the RENT Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Conference, and the European Academy of Management (EURAM). There are of course others.  

The next step is to publish the results in written form. First, the actual dissertation should be published as a book, if possible by a renowned publisher. The crowning achievement, however, is the publication of an article in an international journal. This is the most effective way for the scientific community to gain access to the research results.  

These goals are very demanding. However, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. At the institute there is a lot of know-how, process knowledge, experience and contacts that can help you and are available to you as part of your dissertation supervision. The successes of young scientists at the institute (including American Marketing Association Best Paper Award, Stephan Koren Prize, Rudolf Sallinger Prize) show that as a doctoral student you can very quickly be in a position to make significant research contributions. The prerequisites are of course high skills, the willingness to learn and a clear performance orientation.  

Your qualifications should be very high  

It should be clear that a dissertation is expected to have a remarkable scientific achievement, even on an international scale. Your qualifications for scientific work should be correspondingly high. A dissertation is by no means just a 'continuation of your previous studies', but rather something completely new in terms of quality. Very good knowledge of empirical methods (empirical social research, statistics, econometrics, etc.) is particularly important. Formal requirements must be clarified with the WU dissertation office.  

Possible topics: Research focus of the institute  

The topic of the dissertation is the research focus 

Learn more!

Selected research articles (full text open access)