The procedure at the Institute for Innovation Management (IIM)
In light of changing guidelines due to COVID-19 at LMU, the below timelines for writing a thesis at our institute are subject to change. Any changes will be announced on this website. For further information, please see the ISC website.
1. General Information
As a business administration student at the LMU, you have the possibility of writing your Bachelor thesis at our institute. We are offering several application deadlines during the year. The topics are updated regularly. You can find the corresponding dates and topics below.
2. Admission Requirements
The number of thesis students for supervision depends on the available capacity at IIM. We are able to consider students for supervision who meet the following requirements:
- Passed seminar(s) and lectures at the IIM
- Interest in phenomena and theories relating to innovation management
Please also check the examination regulations of your study program at the ISC website.
3. Application and Exposé
The theses are assigned after application within the stated deadlines.
Please apply online and provide your topic preference (see list below). Once you receive confirmation, you will have one week to prepare an exposé (one-page description specifying the research question and methodological approach).
Upon your supervisor’s approval of the exposé, we will register your topic at the ISC. The date of registration with the ISC starts the clock on the eight (8) weeks to write your thesis.
You will present a progress report on your thesis work mid-way through the eight (8) weeks, where you will receive feedback and guidance on content- and process-related aspects of the thesis in progress. Please note that presenting the Colloquium on the stated date is mandatory and no exceptions are possible.
5. Schedule 2020/2021
|Topics||Application||Confirmation||Exposé||Registration (ISC)||Colloquium||Submission thesis (ISC)|
6. Topic list
Title: Same stuff, different domain - Innovation through and towards compliance
Topic Description: Consumer compliance, also often referred to as adherence, is an ongoing behavior that extends the consumer’s role beyond the mere interaction with a service provider, is often difficult to maintain (e.g. fitness training, personal finance) but an integral part of the service. You will work towards exploring compliance and adherence behaviors across different domains (such as personal finance, education and healthcare) and how they can be harnessed towards service innovation.
Title: Designing for adherence – Building for desired behaviors
Topic Description: Consumer compliance, also often referred to as adherence, is an ongoing behaviour that extends the consumer’s role beyond the mere interaction with a service provider, is often difficult to maintain (e.g. fitness training, personal finance) but an integral part of the service. Pharmacists have in-depth knowledge of the medication as well as insight into their customers’ preferences, behaviors and mind-set. The research will focus on understanding the link between the medication service provider and the customer, and aim at identifying innovative service solutions for an old problem.
Title: Ready for Impact: Preparing Startups to meet the emerging economic, social and ecological challenges
Topic Description: Due to growing social and environmental challenges all around the world, Sustainable Development gains importance in daily life, media and also in academic literature. Accordingly, even profit-driven companies can no longer solely focus on economic output but must also consider social and ecological aspects. Such comprehensive (economic, ecological and social) effects of a company are known under the keyword "impact". By preparing startups for these challenges and enabling them to meet these entitlements, their great transformative potential can be leveraged. Accelerator programs often aim at educating and preparing startups in an early stage, which makes them a suitable starting point.
Title: Lack of diffusion: Reasons why consumers do not adopt sustainability-oriented innovations
Topic Description: Due to growing social and environmental challenges all around the world, Sustainable Development gains importance in media and daily life. Consumers’ attitudes towards ecologically and socially beneficial products are positive and improving. However, studies show that user innovations with the potential to enhance social welfare do not diffuse. Surveys suggest that non-diffusion applies to approximately 80–90% of user innovations within developed economies. This lack-of-diffusion phenomenon is also evident in the sustainable innovation field. For innovators, it is essential to understand why their innovations do not diffuse
Title: Critical Success Factors of Sustainability-oriented Startups
Topic Description: A better understanding of the factors that contribute to startup success represents a critical aspect of entrepreneurship studies as it is essential for future entrepreneurial activities. Various studies deal with the success factors of different kinds of profit-driven startups. Sustainability-oriented startups have an explicit focus on social and/or ecological issues. Therefore, success factors for sustainability-oriented startups might differ from those of other, purely profit-driven startups.
Title: Managing Innovation and NPD Portfolios (Bachelor thesis)
Topic Description: The management of innovation / NPD portfolios in firms is a dynamic decision-making process enabling the evaluation and selection of the most promising projects. Portfolio management thus supports a strategic allocation of limited resources under uncertain outcomes. In the innovation/NPD context, portfolio decision-making is primarily driven by trade-offs between quality, cost and speed to market. Research has investigated various aspects affecting the effectiveness of innovation/NPD portfolio management, with major questions relating to, among others, the following:
- What determines the effectiveness of portfolio management in innovation / NPD?
- Which theoretical lenses are used to explain innovation / NPD portfolio management effectiveness?
- Should innovation / NPD portfolio management be approached differently across firm types (e.g., profit vs. not for profit), firm sizes, or industries?
Student(s) working in the domain of innovation/NPD portfolio management will explore these or other questions using a conceptual research approach, including literature reviews and syntheses.
Title: Annual reports as a source of information (Bachelor thesis)
Topic Description: Corporate disclosure of information to the public is critical for functioning markets. Besides voluntary disclosure in the form of management forecasts or press releases, the most critical channel for information disclosure towards shareholders and stakeholders is the annual report. For research, annual reports are a fruitful source of information to investigate different aspects related to e.g., firm’s operational management, firms’ R&D priorities, or firms’ understanding of their role towards society.
Student(s) working within this topic will synthesize and consolidate relevant literature to answer the question: "Why are annual reports a legitimate source for research (in detail for innovation and social value related topics)" and provide comparative examples (annual reports as well as related research founded on annual reports).
Title: The dark side of involving customers in innovation: Risks and downsides for the firm and for customers
Topic Description: Customer involvement approaches have primarily been investigated in terms of the benefits and advantages it can provide for the firm and (to a smaller extent) for the involved customers. However, many firms are still hesitant when engaging their customers in innovation because of the potential downsides it can have. To achieve a more balanced view on the positive and negative outcomes of customer involvement in innovation, it is important to also investigate the potential risks and downsides of engaging customers (i.e., the dark side).
Title: The role of customer involvement in innovation for firms’ explorative and exploitative learning (processes)
Topic Description: Firms often involve their customers to learn from and with them. However, learning can be further classified and categorized by different types of learning, such as explorative and exploitative learning. With each learning type, several learning processes are associated. To get more detail into which type(s) of learning and associated processes are connected to customer involvement, it is critical to understand how learning with and from customers can work in detail, given the different forms that customer involvement can take. Based on this knowledge, we can get insights into how different customer involvement approaches may be improved or optimized to support organizational learning (and complement organizational learning strategies).
Title: Differences and similarities of the concepts responsible innovation, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility
Topic Description: The terms RI, sustainability, and CSR are often used as synonyms or without further differentiating them, which can create confusion regarding what these concepts actually mean. Providing a clear and defined understanding of each concept's meaning is also critical for high-quality research in the corresponding domains. Therefore, to provide a good foundation for future research, defining and differentiating the three concepts is highly important.
Title: Differences of involving customers in innovation in B2B versus B2C contexts
Topic Description: Firms increasingly involve their customers in innovation. Most of the research in this domain is focusing on the B2C context. However, in the B2B domain, customer involvement is equally important and popular. Therefore, it is critical to get more insights into how customer involvement in innovation looks like in the B2B domain (e.g., are the different CI forms relevant in the B2C domain also relevant in a B2B domain) and what the main differences are when comparing the B2B-involvement approaches with those identified in the B2C domain.
Title: What is it about games?
Topic Description: Consumer compliance, also often referred to as adherence, is an ongoing behavior that extends the consumer’s role beyond the mere interaction with a service provider, is often difficult to maintain (e.g. fitness training, personal finance) but an integral part of the service. Aspects of gamification including financial incentives, competition, social exchange, tracking, and reminders, among others, have the potential to increase adherence – the question is which of these aspects can be harnessed towards adherence.
Title: Success Factors for Innovation in FMCG
Topic Description: Some innovations succeed, some don't. Especially in the context of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), it is partly driven by consumer adoption to innovation. However, there is more to successful innovation. Students are asked to synthesis the key success factors for innovation in FMCG. In doing so, it will be essential to define what success means - e.g. firm performance, social impact, acquisition value - and to differentiate between different types of innovation - e.g. breakthrough versus incremental.
Last updated: September 30, 2020; information subject to change.
- English language for Colloquium and Thesis
- Further details can be found in the specific examination regulations of your studies (ISC).