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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)
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
19.09.2022 03.-07.10.2022 10.10.2022 10.10.-14.10.2022 21.10.2022 18.11.2022 (09:00-15:00) 16.12.2022
21.12.2022 09.-13.01.2023 16.01.2023 16.01.-20.01.2023 27.01.2023 24.02.2023 (09:00-15:00) 24.03.2023

7. Topic list


Title: The relationship between psychological distance and trust

Topic Description: Startup founder often struggle to articulate their organizational purpose in a way that is abstract (e.g. to have general and long-term validity), concrete (to speak to individual stakeholders e.g. to motivate employees) and trustworthy (people actually believe in the purpose and e.g. that is not just greenwashing). The widely accepted Construal Level Theory describes the relation between abstractness and psychological distance. However, the relationship between psychological distance and trust is not as widely researched.
Therefore, the research question of this topic is the following: What is the relation between psychological distance and trust? The outcome of the thesis should be a systematic literature review that presents the current stage of research on that matter.

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Title: Organizational Purpose in Entrepreneurship Research

Topic Description: Organizational purpose beyond profit maximization is more relevant than ever, for practitioners as well as for research (George et al., 2021). However, most research on purpose focuses on big corporations and neglects startups, even though purpose is just as if not more relevant for these young ventures.
What is the current stage of research on organizational purpose in the entrepreneurship literature? This will be the main research question of this thesis, which you will investigate by conducting a systematic literature review.

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Title: When would I ever follow my own advice? Service consumption intentions for you and me

Topic Description: Services dominate the economic landscape, with services’ value added accounting for up to two thirds of GDP in high income countries. Not all these services, however, are wanted; negative services, while necessary are undesired, evoke negative emotions, and require effort and attention. This project looks at the consumption of a negative service (adherence intervention) in the healthcare context. The research question is: How do negative service consumption intentions and advice differ when framed towards the self and others? The aim is to conduct a qualitative content analysis on existing text-based qualitative data through the lens of consumers as experts, service innovation, and self-discrepancy theory.

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Title: Good intention, bad execution – defining messages to improve negative service consumption

Topic Description: Services dominate the economic landscape, with services’ value added accounting for up to two thirds of GDP in high income countries. Not all these services, however, are wanted; negative services, while necessary are undesired, evoke negative emotions, and require effort and attention. This project looks at the consumption of a negative service (adherence intervention) in the healthcare context. The research question is: How do intervention message frames influence service consumption intentions? The aim is to conduct a qualitative content analysis using the lenses construal level theory and negative service consumption on existing text-based qualitative data elicited after a randomized text intervention.

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Title: Measuring Familiness in Family Firms

Topic description: Family firms are often said to be more socially embedded and oriented than nonfamily firms. This is argued to be due to the extension of family identity to the firm, which is thus included in the protection of the family's socioemotional wealth. However, family firms are highly heterogeneous, with different governing bodies (e.g., owners, CEO, Board of Directors) associated with different functions and powers, and thereby different spheres of family influence, occupied by different family members (e.g., spouse, children, uncles). An accurate and comprehensive measurement and description of "familiness" in family firms would allow for better comparison across family firms and possible differences in behavior (e.g., in social value creation). Therefore, this thesis aims at answering the following question: How is “familiness” conceptualized and measured in empirical studies? The outcome of this thesis should be a compilation and analysis of available measurements of "familiness" in family firms (e.g., which aspects of "familiness" are covered, how do these measurements differ, etc.).

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Title: Performance metrics in startup incubators.

Topic description: Startup incubators within public or private contexts are an integral part of the modern entrepreneurial ecosystem. Incubation programs are a central tool for promoting the transfer of research and knowledge into application by supporting the formation of new business ventures (Bergek & Norman, 2008). Whereas core features of incubators are mostly coherent between programs there is also significant variation amongst them (Cohen et. al, 2019). Tailor-made startup support demands tailor-made performance metrics to evaluate the success of respective programs apart from traditional approaches like funding or revenue. Specifically, addressing the question of what are design principles of startup incubation programs and how is startup performance metricized? The objective of the thesis encompasses the identification, consolidation, and synthesis of scientific literature and exemplifying cases from practice.

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Title: What is your passion? Reviewing the construct of involvement.

Topic description: When something has a high personal relevance to you, it means you are highly involved (Greenwald and Leavitt, 1984). To Zaichowsky (1985, 1994), involvement is not binary, but measurable, including personal, physical, and situational factors (Houston and Rothschild, 1978). But, how has this construct of involvement been developed and used in management literature? The aim of this thesis is to receive a broad overview of the theories and concepts that coined Zaichowsky‘s understanding and measurement of involvement. Further, the student working in this thesis should collect and synthesize research in business literature using Zaichowsky‘s involvement scale (e.g., what has been studied, which theories have been used, etc.) in the last 20 years.

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Title: Exploring the state of the art in textual/language analysis

Topic description: Researchers across business domains are increasingly using language/texts (e.g., tweets, annual reports, 10K reports, etc.) to study different aspects of organizations. Today, there exists a variety of semantic tools and sophisticated algorithms supporting the analysis of texts and language: e.g., topic modelling (see McFarland), semantic analysis (see Van Atteveldt), or network co-word analysis (Carley). However, not all the tools are suitable nor useful for every research design or topic of interest. Thus, the question to be answered in this thesis is: What is state of the art in textual/ language analysis in the management domain? The student working on this topic will develop a comprehensive overview of different textual analysis approaches and relevant examples from top journals explaining the analysis logic, requisites, constraints, advantages, usage, available libraries, etc.

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Title: Conducting a semantic analysis of firms’ sustainability communication

Topic description: Firms communicate the business strategy, initiatives, product ideas, among others to their stakeholders via different channels (e.g., annual reports, social media, homepages, and product publicity). One important topic dominating the public discussion refers to firms’ sustainability behaviour. In this context, stakeholders expect firms to address their contribution to society and sustainability behaviour in a credible and consistent manner. The aim of this thesis is to answer the following question: Which language do German automotive companies use to communicate their sustainability behaviour and strategy across different communication channels? The student working on this thesis will use semantic analysis tools (preferably in Python) to detect, prepare, analyse and compare the communication of sustainability-related topics in different communication channels.

Last updated: September 19th, 2022, 7:00 pm; 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).