Bachelor and Master Theses
If you have decided to write your bachelor or master thesis at the Institute for International Business, please contact the corresponding professor or assistant for further information or to suggest your own topic. Please take the specific assignment procedures of bachelor and master theses into account.
Prof. Dikova & her team
By appointment as well as irregularly through the joint thesis appointment mentioned below.
Prof. Fisch, Prof. Mohr, Prof. Nell, Prof. Puck, & their teams
Professors Fisch, Mohr, Nell, and Puck & their assistants regularly publish a list of topics that are currently available to work on in a bachelor or master thesis on the IIB website.
Twice a semester, a list is published where the institute members outline their topics. Students can submit their applications for topics by emailing a completed application form to the supervisor (see link and deadline below).
Topics cannot be reserved in advance. Although it is not obligatory, we recommend completing the course "Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten" (Scientific Work) before applying for a thesis. Date and place of the assignment as well as the available topics (~1 week before the assignment) are announced on this site in time. Being familiar with International Business concepts (e.g. by completing the specialization International Business) is handy but not a prerequisite.
Next assignment (application deadline): 11.10.2021.
A list of all potential topics is now available: List of topics.
Please connect with potential supervisors by mail to discuss content of topics individually/bilaterally or if you/want/wish/need further information on a specific topic.
Submit your final application until Thursday, October 11 by email to your potential supervisor. Every student is only allowed to submit one application!
The following pdf-File contains all information you will need in order to apply for a thesis, in particular about the general procedure of the theses assignment at our Institute and the deadline for application.
Thesis assignment (procedure)
If you want to suggest your own topic, you should contact a potential supervisor four weeks before the assignment takes place at the latest. If your suggested topic fits the institute's research interest, it will be included in our list and published on the website along with the other topics. The application procedure remains the same as explained above.
Within four weeks after the topic presentation a proposal has to be submitted electronically to your supervisor. Based on the quality of your proposal, a final decision on thesis supervision will be taken. As a rule, there is no maximum to the number of students that work on one topic. The decision whether a student is supervised is taken solely based on the quality of the proposal.
Submission of your final thesis
Upload the final version of your thesis to Learn@WU.
Hand in one hardcopy of your thesis at the institute.
The submitted hardcopy has to be identical to your electronically uploaded version.
Please inform yourselves about necessary documents and administrative issues regarding the completion of your studies at WU.
Prof. Stahl & his team
(Stahl, Brand, Gruber, Miska)
If you are interested in having your thesis supervised by the academic unit (AU) Prof. Stahl, please follow the process and requirements outlined as follows:
Students have the opportunity to suggest thesis topics they are particularly interested in. However, proposed topics must be research-oriented rather than consulting- or practice-focused and must match one or several of the broadly defined core research areas of the AU. These are currently:
Corporate responsibility (CR), sustainable development, and business ethics in the context of IB (not generally) and in relation to MNCs
Grand societal challenges and their implications for IB and MNCs
Cross-cultural and diversity management in IB and MNCs
New forms of work and organizing in the context of IB and in relation to MNCs
Corporate Responsibility (CR) and its impact on individuals (micro-CSR)
Corporate Responsibility CR and its impact on employer branding of MNCs
International experience and cultural intelligence and their impact on individuals
Ethical decision-making processes and facilitators of unethical behavior in cross-cultural environments
NB: These are broadly defined thematic areas. Students are encouraged to focus on aspects they are interested in and to establish the linkages to the AU’s core research areas. For a detailed overview of the AU’s research, please click here. NB: Proposed topics outside the AU’s area of expertise cannot be supervised and will be rejected.
Both bachelor and master students need to possess good academic writing skills as well as the required research abilities matching their intended thesis projects (e.g., sound basics in data collection/multiple regression/multi-level analyses, etc. for quantitative work; sound basics in content analyses/grounded theory/ethnographic methodologies, etc. for qualitative work; etc.).
The following list includes more specified topics where the the AU would currently see great potential for a thesis.
Disentangling the construct of international experience: Review of extant conceptualizations, comparison of different forms of measurement, and illustration of prevailing ambiguities
Different forms of cross-cultural experiences as antecedents of cultural intelligence: A literature review
Deep vs. broad or rather quality vs. quantity? A review of the different types of international experience and their impact on a range of individual-level outcomes
“The dark side of…” - an overview of recent investigations of detrimental effects in international and cross-cultural management research
The construct of cultural intelligence: making sense of its various components – a literature review
Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): recent advancements and best practices – a literature review
When sustainability backfires: a review of negative implications of sustainability from an employee perspective
Why do companies engage in corporate responsibility and sustainability? Disentangling different conceptualizations of organizational motives from an job seeker and employee perspective - a literature review
Great Expectations: a literature review on the concept of (un)met expectations in the workplace
Sustainable employer equals prestigious employer? The relation between sustainability and organizational reputation from a job seeker and employee perspective
Corporate responsibility and sustainability and its implications on trust in leadership: a literature review
Should I stay or should I go? A review on how corporate responsibility and sustainability affects employees' wiliness to leave their current employe
Students confident about the above prerequisites are invited to submit a thesis proposal that aligns with the AU’s research expertise. The AU reviews thesis proposals and informs students about the acceptance or rejection of their proposals within ten working days after the following submission deadlines:
NB: Submissions prior to these deadlines do not result in earlier information about the acceptance or rejection status of students’ thesis proposals.
Thesis proposals must be submitted via email by the above submission deadlines, be written in good academic English, include supporting in-text references, should be sufficiently specific, well-structured, approximately three to five pages in length, and need to include the following elements:
A working title
Student name, ID, contact information
A brief general description of the proposed topic
The research gap to be addressed
A statement how the proposed topic ties in with the AU’s core research areas
Intended time line of the thesis project
Complete reference list
Incomplete proposals are not considered for review and are desk-rejected. For reasons of fairness, the AU does not discuss intended thesis proposals in person or via email before students submit their proposals. Thesis proposals are assessed based on their quality and the extent to which the AU has the expertise and capacities to supervise the proposed topics.
If students feel that they do not possess the necessary skills and competencies for a thesis project, it is highly recommendable that they take courses in foundations of scientific research (e.g., managing and organizing literature, quantitative/qualitative methods, etc.) and academic writing (e.g., paragraphing, meta-communication, etc.) prior to embarking on their thesis projects.
The AU expects students to fully comply with academic standards in regards to citing and referencing relevant literature. Acts of plagiarism are taken very seriously and entail consequences. For additional information, please refer to the WU Directive on plagiarism
The AU requires research-oriented theses, which is why a sufficient review of relevant academic literature is foundational prior to the submission of a thesis proposal. The AU’s own research provides a starting point for reviewing relevant literature.
Bachelor students should complete a first full thesis draft after three months. Master students should complete a first full thesis draft after six months. Students are required to meet these time frames and to plan their workload accordingly. NB: The AU’s thesis supervisors may decide to terminate supervisions if students unreasonably exceed these time frames. It is the students’ responsibility to plan ahead and to manage time in order to submit their theses in a timely manner so that additional deadlines (e.g., completion of studies, CEMS Graduation Ceremony) can be met. Therefore, it is important that students consider in their planning the time required for feedback by the AU’s thesis supervisors as well as the time needed for the final evaluation. After the final submission of the thesis on learn@WU is completed, the evaluation process can take up to one month for a bachelor and two months for a master thesis.
The AU does not define specific formatting requirements in terms of font type or citation style for thesis proposals or theses. However, it is recommended that students choose a commonly applied style guide (e.g., APA6, AOM) and use it consistently throughout their entire works. As for language, it is advisable to have English native speakers and those with a good command of academic English proofread texts prior to final submissions.
Responsibilities of accepted students
After a thesis proposal is accepted, it is the students’ responsibility to ensure that all WU requirements regarding proper procedure, formality, and completion related to Bachelor and Master theses are met.
The AU wishes all students under the supervision of its members the best of luck for a successful completion of their thesis projects, and hopes that they will benefit from this experience.