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Bachelor Thesis

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 offer several application deadlines during the year.

2. Topics

We offer a number of topics for students to work on as part of their bachelor thesis. The topics are updated regularly (at the latest on the "topic" date indicated in the table below). You will be asked to indicate your topic preference(s) during the application procedure. You can find the corresponding dates and topics below.

3. 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.

4. 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 have completed the online application, please send the following documents to the email address indicated at the end of the application process: short letter of motivation, CV, Transcript of Records.

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.

5. Colloquium

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.

6. Schedule 2021/2022

Topics Application Confirmation Exposé Registration (ISC) Colloquium Submission thesis (ISC)
11.01.2021 11.01.-15.01.2021 18.01.2021 18.01.-22.01.2021 29.01.2021 26.02.2021 (09.00-15:00) 26.03.2021
12.04.2021 12.04.-16.04.2021 19.04.2021 19.04.-23.04.2021 30.04.2021 28.05.2021 (09:00-15:00) 25.06.2021
30.06.2021 12.07.-16.07.2021 19.07.2021 19.07.-23.07.2021 30.07.2021 30.08.2021 (09:00-15:00) 24.09.2021
20.09.2021 04.10.-08.10.2021 11.10.2021 11.10.-15.10.2021 22.10.2021 19.11.2021 (09:00-15:00) 17.12.2021
23.12.2021 10.01.-14.01.2022 17.01.2022 17.01.-21.01.2022 28.01.2022 25.02.2022 (09:00-15:00) 25.03.2022
28.03.2022 11.04.-15.04.2022 19.04.2022 19.04.-22.04.2022 29.04.2022 27.05.2022 (09:00-15:00) 24.06.2022

7. Topic list


Title: Why do we consume negative services? Innovation through communication

Topic Description: Medication adherence (i.e., taking medications as prescribed) can be classified as a continuous negative service, as it is consumption over an extended period of time, that is undesired, may evoke stress or anxiety, and requires effort and attention. You will gain insight into an ongoing research project at IIM that seeks to understand negative service consumption patterns through various lenses: construal theory, consumers as experts, and social dimensions. We are looking for highly motivated students to work with us closely on qualitative, text-based data around medication adherence. You will have the opportunity to work with research data collected as part of a large mixed-methods study, which includes learning about and conducting qualitative analysis (inclusive of data preparation).

Last updated: June 23rd, 2021, 01:00 pm

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Title: Designing innovative complex services for complex settings

Topic Description: Given the added value potential of pharmacies as well as their changing roles and responsibilities in patient care and services, it is crucial to understand the needs of consumers and how service innovation and design practices can be utilized to meet those needs. This topic engages further with topics discussed in our bachelor seminar (SoSe2021). A limited number of seats are available for those wishing to explore the topic further and mature their study proposals or for students new to the topic area but wishing to learn more about the exciting interplay between healthcare service provision and innovation.

Last updated: September 17th, 2021, 11:00 am

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Title: Communication is Key

Topic Description: Communication with consumers is key and not only shapes consumer behavior, trust, and loyalty but also their perception of the communicator. This topic encompasses a mixed-methods, empirical study aimed at exploring a specific digital communication for customers of public pharmacies. It will encompass a semantic exploration of how product and service innovations are placed and communicated to consumers as well as the ways in which semantic frames may influence consumer perception of the communicator by applying a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Last updated: September 17th, 2021, 11:00 am

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Title: Innovation management and radical uncertainty

Topic Description: R&D departments in firms are constantly confronted with uncertainty when working on innovations: Uncertainty about future markets, about the success of the ideas and products, about unforeseen externalities, about customer perceptions, or about organizational changes. Researchers across business disciplines have used this ‘uncertainty context’ in new product development to explore different concepts related to a variety of topics (e.g., organizational behavior, team performance, etc.). The target of this thesis is to consolidate literature (mainly qualitative studies) that build on real new product development contexts (e.g., strategizing in R&D by Jorgenden & Messner, 2010 or an option approach by Lint & Pennings, 2008 or strategic partnerships Bonaccorsi & Lipparini, 1994). The consolidation of literature should also enable to characterize innovation management/ new product development with a focus on uncertainty building on the cases described in the literature.

Last updated: June 22nd, 2021, 03:30 pm

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Title: "Letters to shareholders" in management research

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 and all its components, e.g., the introductory CEO letter to shareholders. For research, letters to shareholders 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. Within this topic, students will synthesize and consolidate relevant empirical literature to understand how business literature uses CEO’s letters to shareholders in research. Additionally, we expect the student to develop a suitable tool to collect letters to shareholders from available databases automatically.

Last updated: June 22nd, 2021, 03:30 pm

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Title: Factors that influence food products’ nutritional composition beyond regulation

Topic Description: It has been found that soft laws, such as front-of-pack labeling, can drive products’ nutritional composition (Lim et al., 2020). However, there may be other firm- and country-level drivers. This review identifies different factors beyond regulatory means that may have impacted a change in nutritional composition, e.g. health campaigns, change in CEO. It identifies and reviews both existing literature but also annual reports and press releases from large food & beverage manufacturers (i.e. Unilever, Nestle, Coca-Cola).

Last updated: June 28th, 12:05 pm

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Title: Trust is everything? What role does consumer trust play in consumers (not) responding to external consumption information in different consumer involvement contexts?

Topic description: When making consumption decisions for low involvement goods (e.g., toothpaste), consumers often do not engage in comprehensive and conscious information-processing and decision-making processes (as in the case for high involvement goods such as cars). Instead, decisions are made unconsciously, without spending much (cognitive) effort, and often by using decision-making ‘short cuts’. When external actors (e.g., firms) aim to influence such low involvement decisions through their communication efforts, one possible short-cut for consumers could be the level of trust towards the communicating actor. In contrast, the trust may be less important when making decisions for high involvement goods as consumers spend great (cognitive) effort in looking for, interpreting, verifying, and evaluating external information themselves. As the research on the role of trust in influencing consumers’ information-processing and decision-making processes in different involvement contexts (i.e., high versus low involvement) is relatively scarce, future theses are invited to investigate the role of trust in different stages of the mentioned processes.

Last updated: June 29th, 2021, 06:30 pm

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Title: Green New Curriculum Revisited: A historical review of the integration of sustainability in business school curricula

Topic description: Business school curricula are increasingly imbued with and reflect the zeitgeist of sustainability. Implementation of sustainability in curricula has evolved over time from simple course-adage, "saddleback solutions" (Prof. Stuart Hart) to initial experiments by renowned higher education institutions (see e.g. Princeton Reviews’ "Best Green MBA" ranking) to recent calls for systemic institutional integration (SII) (Painter-Morland et al., 2016). This development towards ever greater systemic integration reflects the evolution of academia’s understanding at large of what constitutes sustainability and what system configurations are adequate for working towards it (Carayannis et al., 2012; Carayannis et al., 2016). But what have actually been the main factors and/ or events that influenced the development of integrating sustainability into business school curricula? To provide an answer to this question, the student will conduct a literature review of the history of sustainability integration in business school curricula. The focus will be on the historical perspective of the development of the conceptual paradigm by exploring and highlighting the most relevant events (e.g., academic contributions, public policy enactments, or significant social and political events) that have shaped the understanding and definition of sustainability integration for business schools and how they have done so (e.g., which management disciplines change curricula; pedagogy and/or methodology (delivery and development) (see, e.g., Aragon-Correa et al. (2017)).

Last updated: July 1st, 04:00 pm

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Title: Everything social: a literature review of the terms and labels surrounding social value creation by startups

Topic description: Social entrepreneurship originally depended on philanthropy and donations from private and public actors, which can be described as outsourced corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments. Over the past decade, CSR has been shifting in practice and literature toward a more integrative (value chain) approach of social value creation. In this same vein, social entrepreneurship is on its own path of emancipation. Social enterprises increasingly strive to become financially independent, generating sufficient income with their value proposition to keep the business running and potentially even grow (Gretzinger, 2021; Gupta et al., 2020; Short et al., 2009). In the wake of this, new terms such as "hybrid startup" (Haigh & Hoffman, 2017; Holt & Littlewood, 2015) and "zebra startup" have emerged (see the 2017 article by Brandel et al.) and are gaining popularity.
What are the terms and labels for startups that create social value in literature? What are common and distinct themes between and within these terms? What is the basis for these different streams (e.g., conceptual vs. empirical studies)? Where do they come from and how have they evolved over time (e.g., home discipline, most productive scholar(s); conceptualization of social value creation)?

Last updated: October 4th, 09:00 am

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Title: European ecolabels on food products and their impact on both the consumer and business side

Topic description: The global directory of ecolabels already counts more than 26 different ecolabels on a European level with an increasing tendency. However, there have been calls for a unified ecolabel in the European food market (Farm to Fork strategy, 2020). An understanding of the different labels and their influence on consumers and businesses is crucial to determine, which label could be most effective. Therefore, the thesis provides a differentiation of the existing food ecolabels in Europe combined with a systematic literature review of the effectiveness of the respective labels. The review identifies the impact on consumers but also corporates.

Last updated: September 10th, 2021, 3:00 pm

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Last updated: October 4th, 2021, 09:00 am; information subject to change.

Exam Specifications

  • English language for Colloquium and Thesis
  • Further details can be found in the specific examination regulations of your studies (ISC).