Master Theses

To complete the Master of Arts in International and European Business, students have to write a master thesis in English. The master thesis has to be written in connection to one of the courses taken within the program. Generally, any professor who offers courses that can be accredited towards the MA in International and European Business can supervise master theses in the program. The Chair for International Management offers to supervise master theses. It is generally a prerequisite that a student who intends to write her/his master thesis at the Chair for International Management has successfully participated in at least one of the courses offered by the chair.

  • In general, the master thesis counts for 18 ECTS and has a writing phase of 7 months (2 months for the proposal acceptance and 5 for the thesis writing)

Different approaches are possible:

  • Students can submit a provisional research proposal for a specific topic that they wish to analyze in their master thesis. Obviously, the topics have to be related to the fields of International Management and/or European Business – possibly discussed in one of the lectures. In this case, the provisional proposal is evaluated, and if the chair agrees, the student can work under the guidance of the chair to develop a full proposal which is then the starting point for the master thesis.
  • Students may adopt a research topic suggested by the chair. In this case they should contact the chair first to discuss some ideas in order to facilitate the process of developing a provisional/final proposal. 

Simultaneously with the provisional proposal or the first contact with the chair, students have to provide the chair with a list of their grades and a short CV. Regarding the supervision the chair does not guarantee a specific supervisor, therefore you can be allocated to any of the chair’s employees according to their availability.

  • The proposal should be a short paper (ca. 3 pages) including:
  • A short introduction with the relevance of the topic
  • The main questions (research question(s)) to be answered
  • The planned methodology (e.g. is it planned to do expert interviews, is it planned to carry out a large-scale empirical survey, etc.)
  • A short literature review of the topic
  • A (provisional) table of contents

The proposal should already use relevant academic sources and the chair`s template. In addition to that, citations should be according to the chair’s guidelines. After the first meeting and the official acceptance of the supervision of the thesis by the chair, the student has 2 moths for the acceptance of the proposal by the chair.

After acceptance of the proposal, the student generally has 5 months for the master thesis, a time during which consultation hours by the chair are offered upon request of the students. Students may be invited to present the status of their thesis and their ideas within a colloquium with other master students.

Master theses have to be written following the formal guidelines of the chair, which can be downloaded here. To facilitate the application, we highly recommend using the MS-word template that we provide and that you can download here.

Master theses have to be written following the formal guidelines of the chair which can be downloaded here. To facilitate the application, we highly recommend using the MS-word template that we provide and that you can download here

Types of Master Theses 

Generally, three types of master theses are possible at the chair:

  • Empirical research oriented theses: 
    Students intend to finish a research project by themselves which includes an empirical survey, e.g. of companies or of consumers, and the necessary statistical analyses. Generally, the first part of such a master thesis has to contain a thorough review of the existing literature and previous studies on the topic. Then, a conceptual framework and the basis for a questionnaire have to be developed and finally the empirical study results have to be discussed.
  • State of the art oriented theses: 
    Students analyse systematically and thoroughly the existing (high-level) literature concerning a specific topic and explain the state-of-the-art as well as existing research gaps.
  • Practice-oriented theses:
    Students who intend to work closely with a specific company for the preparation of their master thesis, e.g. in the context of an internship, write about a specific problem of this company and analyse potential problem solutions. Alternatively, the specific situation in an industry can be analysed using one or several case studies from within the industry as empirical foundation. 
    However, it has to be emphasised that a master thesis is still an analytic – and not merely a descriptive – work which is based on a theoretical and conceptual foundation and has to fulfil a high academic standard. Even in the case of a practice-oriented master thesis, it is not a consulting paper for a company. 

Selection of topics for Master theses 

Below you will find a list of topics that the Chair proposes as Master theses:

  • Lifecycle Models of International Alliances
    • Which models with which stages have been proposed in literature? What are their advantages/disadvantages? How do they compare to each other? Is there a model that becomes standard?
  • Internationalisation and Digitalization of Manufacturers’ Services – An analysis of the options of manufacturers to provide their services cross-border
    • State-of-the-art: What has literature shown about that? Which categorisations of services are proposed in literature? Are there already insights on the advantages/disadvantages of the different forms of providing digital services across borders?
  • ”Retail Media” – Options and challenges
    • In recent years, retail companies have started to create additional revenue streams for themselves by giving brand companies and others access to their channels, for example, to digital screens instore, or to position advertising on their websites (e.g., Amazon). This may be strategically highly relevant in the future but also bears challenges (e.g., about data protection). This new field should be analysed about potential effects, benefits, options and challenges.
  • Re-entry in Foreign Markets – How does the financial situation of the parent company influence the re-entry decision of the company in foreign markets?
    • Here, companies that previously exited a foreign market and then re-entered after a certain time, are to be analysed.
  • Re-entry in Foreign Markets – How does the institutional environment influence the performance outcome of a re-entry?
  • Re-entry in Foreign Markets – Do firms re-enter faster in closer (cultural/geographical/economical/administrative) markets?
  • Re-entry in Foreign Markets – Does a change in joint venture partner lead to a better performance outcome of a re-entry?
  • Business Models and Internationalisation – A state-of-the-Art analysis
    • State-of-the-Art: What has been found in existing literature and previous studies? How does the Business Model of a Company Influence the Internationalization?
  • Business Models and Internationalisation – Analysing case studies
    • How does the Business Model of a Company Influence the Internationalization? Use several case studies to show how certain elements of the business model are linked to certain internationalisation strategies (e.g., how fast the company internationalizes, or which entry modes are used).
  • Exploring the Role of Organizational Culture in Fostering Strategic Resilience in MNCs Management
  • Exploring the Role of Diversity in Enhancing Organizational Resilience in MNCs
  • Exploring the Role of Organizational Structures and Governance in Driving Organizational Resilience in MNCs
  • Exploring the Role of Resource Abundance in Driving Organizational Resilience of MNCs
  • Strategic Human Resource Management for Enhancing Organizational Resilience in Multinational Corporations
  • Stakeholder Management and Organizational Resilience – How do the relationships with stakeholders influence the organizational resilience of MNCs?
  • Resilient Supply Chain Strategies in International Operations
  • Building Strategic Alliances and Partnerships for Organizational Resilience of MNCs in Global Markets
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Organizational Resilience of MNCs
  • How are Organizational Structures of MNCs associated with the Corporate Strategy? – Case studies from multinational consumer goods companies
  • Corporate Culture as Coordination Instrument in MNCs – Analysis of case studies
    • Corporate culture can help to coordinate international activities, e.g., because the employees share the same values and “know” how they should act in this company. How exactly are these mechanisms working in specific companies? How is the corporate culture influencing how the employees across different countries act?
  • The Role of E-commerce Platforms in Swiss Retail
  • Platform Economy – Examining the role of marketplaces in facilitating B2B transactions
  • Platform Economy - Examining the role of marketplaces in facilitating B2C transactions
  • Cross-Border E-commerce and its Impact on Swiss Retail: Analyzing the competitive advantages of foreign players in Switzerland
  • Omnichannel Retailing Success Stories: An analysis of best practices and key success factors
    • This topic would involve examining successful omnichannel retailers (case studies) and identifying the strategies and tactics they use to create seamless and integrated customer experiences across multiple channels.
  • Omnichannel Retailing Failure Stories: Lessons learned from unsuccessful cases
    • This topic would involve analyzing cases where omnichannel retailing initiatives have failed to deliver the expected results, and identifying the common pitfalls and challenges that retailers face in implementing these strategies.
  • The Relevance of Central Data Warehouses vs. Data Silos in Omnichannel Retailing: Opportunities and challenges
    • This topic would involve examining the use of central data warehouses in omnichannel retailing, and exploring how retailers can leverage these to create a single view of the customer, optimize inventory management, and enhance personalization and targeting.
  • Mapping the Customer Journey in Omnichannel Retailing: Understanding touchpoints, pain points, and moments of truth.
    • This topic would involve analyzing the customer journey in omnichannel retailing, and identifying the key touchpoints, pain points, and moments of truth that shape the customer experience.
  • Customer Relationship Management of a Multichannel Retailer: What are the key challenges and opportunities for retailers in managing customer relationships across multiple channels?
  • CRM of a Multichannel Retailer: How do retailers use data analytics and customer insights to personalize the shopping experience and build customer loyalty?
  • CRM of a Multichannel Retailer: What role do social media and other digital marketing tools play in customer relationship management, and how can retailers effectively leverage these channels to engage with customers?
  • CRM of a Multichannel Retailer: How do retailers measure the effectiveness of their CRM strategies, and what metrics are used to evaluate customer satisfaction, loyalty, and lifetime value?
  • Measuring the Effectiveness of Omnichannel Retailing Strategies: Metrics and KPIs
    • This topic would involve developing a framework for measuring the effectiveness of omnichannel retailing strategies, and identifying the key metrics and KPIs that retailers can use to evaluate their performance and optimize their initiatives.
  • The Impact of Omnichannel Retailing on Store Design: Creating seamless and integrated physical spaces
    • This topic would involve examining how omnichannel retailing is changing the design and layout of physical stores, and exploring how retailers can create seamless and integrated physical spaces that complement and enhance their digital channels.
  • The Role of Social Media in Omnichannel Retailing: Leveraging user-generated content and influencer marketing
    • This topic would involve examining how social media is being used in omnichannel retailing, and exploring how retailers can leverage user-generated content and influencer marketing to enhance their digital presence and drive customer engagement.
  • Nonfood-Discounter in Germany - Development, strategies and reasons for their success
    • e.g., Action, Tedi, Euroshop, HEMA
  • Nonfood-Discounter in Europe – International players vs. local heroes
    • How is the competitive situation between international players, like Action and Kik, vs. many purely domestic players
  • Gescheiterte Lebensmittel-Online-Shops in Deutschland: Eine Multi-Case-Study-Analyse
    • Thesis in German or in English