Thesis - Business
Graduate MBA, Finance, and Marketing students are required to submit a master thesis, which is the culminating project of their studies at Webster Vienna. This page provides additional information, including departmental guidelines, forms, and formatting templates, specifically designed for graduate students in the business and management department.
Graduate Master Thesis
- Supervisor Thesis Areas (Updated Aug. 2, 2018)
- Thesis Guidelines for Students at Webster Vienna Private University
- Departmental Guidelines for Graduate Thesis (Updated Jan. 21, 2019)
- Thesis Declaration of Intent Form (Updated September 6, 2018)
- Master Thesis Proposal Form (Updated September 6, 2018)
- Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval Process
- Formatting Guidelines
- Thesis Formatting Template
Theses in this versatile area span from topics in corporate finance and financial strategy to topics in financial economics and international finance. A non-exhaustive, yet indicative list would include the following topics: calendar effects in the stock market, mergers and acquisitions, testing for the efficient market hypothesis, the interaction of housing and financial prices with monetary policy or other macroeconomic and financial variables, macroeconomic policies and the stock market, housing wealth effect and financial wealth effect, as well as, energy finance.
Studies are typically being carried out using secondary data and standard statistical or econometric methods. A special focus is put on providing support to the students to deliver a thorough academic study. This can be attained by emphasizing existing literature, identifying potential gaps and contribution, utilizing the appropriate methods of analysis and by presenting results under the prism of potential policy (or other) implications.
Theses in the area of marketing contribute both to academic knowledge and practical application. To achieve insights that are relevant in the 21st century, master theses are expected to particularly address the enabling and transforming role of information technology and digitization in marketing and distribution.
Therefore, areas of interest for marketing-focused master theses are circulating around electronic commerce business-to-consumer (b2c) and business-to-business (b2b). They encompass topic areas such as e-commerce business models, multi-/omnichannel business, digital communication, or social media in the b2c sector and IT-supported supply chain management or interorganizational systems in the b2b sector.
Methodology-wise, research in the area of marketing is by nature empirical, therefore each thesis must include primary data collection with quantitative (e.g., survey) or qualitative (e.g., focus group) research designs.
MBA-theses contribute both to academic knowledge and practical application in a chosen area relevant for the MBA program. An MBA-thesis will typically be problem- or opportunity-driven, and the topics will often concern issues within private companies, public organizations and/or NGOs, e.g. how to plan and implement an aimed-for change like a new organizational structure; how to enhance knowledge transfer across organizational units; or how to deal with a manager-employee conflict.
Each MBA-thesis student is asked to define an intended reader of his/her thesis. This would typically be one in a management position, e.g. a top manager, a line manager, a project manager, a change leader, or a team leader. The theses must point to managerial implications of the findings. The starting point of the research question within each thesis can either be a problem or opportunity experienced within a specific organization; a trend experienced in the concurrent time (e.g. many companies’ desire for improving sustainability); or it can be theory-driven (e.g. how can managers and employees interact effectively and efficiently in a time where use of Home Office days have become the new norm in many organizations?).
Regardless of the starting point, MBA thesis students must base their research methodology on collection of both primary and secondary data. The primary data can e.g. be interviews and observations, whereas the secondary data can be online information about the specific organization, employee reviews etc. The MBA thesis students must be able to give argumentation for the relevance of the topic and the research question, to develop a theoretical framework, to give argumentation for the research design, incl. data collection and type of data analysis, to present the findings in a convincing way, and to point to limitations.