Master's Theses

  • Research Theses

    We are particularly looking for applicants interested in our research agenda which constantly evolves. Once you have applied, we will discuss the topics you are interested in more detail. You do not need to work out a topic exposé before you apply.

    Below you will find a list of indicative topics for master theses that we will supervise in the future. We are looking forward to your application!

    Previous Master thesis topics include work on entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship, innovation, digitalization, behavioral biases, top management teams, personality, motivation, M&A, alliances, sustainability, leadership, and learning. You can find a list of previous Master thesis topics in the section "Previous Master Thesis Topics" below.

  • Indicative Master Thesis Topics 

    In the coming semesters we will supervise master theses with the following indicative titles and descriptions. The list is not exhaustive and serves only as an orientation as to what kind of topics you can work on.

    1. “Towards a green supply chain – Supplier engagement strategies to decarbonize supply chains”
    A considerable amount of CO2 emissions of businesses result from their supply chain. For instance, in the automotive industry about 95% of the CO2 emissions of a car manufacturer are located in its supply chain. While authorities and stakeholders request all businesses to reduce their carbon footprints, industries with large and complex supply chains are especially challenged. Supplier engagement strategies represent an important approach in decarbonizing supply chains. This master thesis investigates how supply chains can be effectively decarbonized by relying on supplier engagement strategies. What we want to know is: What are the antecedences and the impact of supplier engagement strategies for decarbonization of supply chains?

    Keywords: Supply Chain, Decarbonization

    2. “Do investors care? - Investors' preferences and companies’ pledge for carbon neutrality”
    A rising number of companies announce publicly to be carbon neutral by a specific year. This pledge for a net zero carbon footprint aims to eliminate, remove, and/or offset firm’s carbon emissions in the mid or long term future. Net zero emission pledges are in line with what is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 C. To achieve net zero CO2 emissions requires significant investments affecting companies’ bottom line. Although a growing number of investors support companies’ low carbon transition, a net zero carbon footprint may reduce firms’ shareholder value. This master thesis investigates how investors react on firms’ announcement to become carbon neutral. What we want to know is: Do investors value companies’ green ambition?

    Keywords: Investors, Decarbonization, Carbon Neutrality

    3. “Identifying robust causal inferences in empirical management research using statistical techniques and robustness tests”
    Empirical researchers aim to find causal inferences – to what extent does a presumed cause lead to an effect or outcome. In entrepreneurship and innovation, empirical research is often conducted using secondary data. This data is usually cost-effective, instantly available, and sometimes the only viable option for specific research settings. An example may be: To what extent does spending in research and development (R&D) increase the likelihood of new product development in the upcoming years. However, data on R&D spending is not available for all firms since its reporting may be optional for the management of a firm. This may hinder empirical research because crucial observations may be missing causing a selection bias and getting the causation wrong – endogeneity – distorts the results. By identifying and applying statistical techniques and robustness tests in Stata, the validity of an empirical study can be significantly improved, e.g., the Heckman 2-stage estimation, control function, and impact threshold of a confounding variable ITCV.

    Keywords: Heckman, Statistical Methods, Inference, Robustness

    4. "Cultural differences in countries and their impact on entrepreneurship activities based on GLOBE and GEM data"

    According to some academics, culture has a significant impact on entrepreneurship activity rates within countries. While some academics believe that entrepreneurship acitivites highly depend on formal institutions and the economic development level, others argue that culture is one of the vital aspects for countries to foster entrepreneurship activities. This master thesis examines whether countries’ culture has an impact on entrepreneurship activities and if yes, what kind of entrepreneurship activities are effected (high-quality, low-quality or none?) and how countries could try to implement a more “entrepreneurship friendly” culture in the long run.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Culture, Multilevel Modeling, Cross-country Analysis

    5. “Investigating the impact of CEO variable compensation on external corporate venturing activity”
    CEOs oftentimes receive a compensation package that also comprises variable components such as stock options. According to the behavioral agency model, such remuneration may incentivize more or less risk-taking behavior. Does it also trigger external corporate venturing acticity (i.e. M&A, CVC, alliances)?

    Keywords: Stock options, Corporate venturing, M&A, CVC, Alliances, Behavioral agency model

    6. “Identifying top management team characteristics that affect green external venturing activity”
    According to the upper echelon perspective, the experience of top management team (TMT) members shapes their views and ultimately their decision-making. Are their certain TMT characteristics that foster green external corporate venturing acticity (i.e. green M&A, green CVC, green alliances)?

    Keywords: TMT, Upper echelon theory, Corporate venturing, Green M&A, Green CVC, Green alliances

    7. “Assessing market expectation with respect to company announcements on green external venturing activity”
    With means of event studies, researchers measure the influence of certain corporate activities on stock prices. Do company announcements of green external corporate venturing activity (i.e. green M&A, green CVC, green alliances) drive stock price performance? Does the capital market value green external corporate venturing activity?

    Keywords: Event study, Stock price reactions, Green M&A, Green CVC, Green alliances

    8. “Green manufacturing - Challenges of a sustainable operation”
    As green manufacturing becomes more relevant in the field of management research, we want to understand the challenges that prevent the development towards a sustainable operation. For this reason, an interview guide is created in the thesis, which is carried out with relevant partners. We then cluster the results and want to find out, how these findings differ between industries, geography or other criteria (e.g. number of employees). Furthermore, first measures need to be developed.

    Keywords: Green manufacturing, Operations, Sustainability, Interview guide, Development of measurements

    9. “Marketers in the upper echelon: Understanding their role for firms' innovation performance”
    "Any business enterprise has two - and only two - basic functions: marketing and innovation." Peter Drucker's famous quote from 1954 is more relevant than ever: In times of accelerating digitalization and radical technological change, firms are under increasing pressure to innovate in order to remain relevant in the marketplace. Marketing departments claim a key role in this task, and recent research confirms marketing's importance for overall firm performance. What remains unclear, however, is the influence of marketing on firms' innovation efforts. Do firms with superior marketing expertise possess an advantage in delivering market breakthrough innovation? Do senior-level marketing managers help or hinder the transition towards digital offerings? Leveraging powerful proprietary databases, this thesis aims to explore these and related questions, advancing marketing strategy and innovation research as well as managerial practice.

    Keywords: Upper Echelons, Marketing, CMO, Innovation

    10. “Innovation and megatrends – Investigating changes in firms’ innovation pipeline”
    Innovation is a key prerequisite of firms’ long-term success. However, current megatrends, e.g., sustainability, require firms to rethink their innovation pipelines. This thesis proposal aims to review the theoretical foundations to develop hypotheses on firms’ innovation activity against the background of key megatrends. What are the key megatrends impacting firms? Has there actually been a change in firms’ innovations and how are key megatrends reflected in those changes? These hypotheses are empirically evaluated leveraging powerful databases. Findings are of high relevance not only for the scientific community but also to practitioners: how can firms’ leadership teams address megatrends in their innovation focus to retain and strengthen their market position?

    Keywords: Innovation, Megatrends, Upper Echelons

    11. “Innovation as Big Tech’s winning formula – Are the FAANG companies better than the old economy in innovating?”
    The 2010s have seen the tremendous rise of technology companies in economic importance and stock prices. Five companies – namely Facebook (Meta), Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (Alphabet) are particularly prominent and said to dominate their markets. How come? A recent stream of literature investigates the role of innovation for those companies’ success. This thesis aims to advance recent literature by comparing Big Tech’s innovation activity to that of the old economy. How do their innovations differ? Do Big Tech companies bring more radical innovations and breakthroughs to the market? This thesis aims at addressing those questions empirically building upon existing data and approaches.

    Keywords: Innovation, Technology, Digitalization, Firm Performance

    12. "Digital Health and Innovation in healthcare"

    The digitalisation of healthcare has been one of the main drivers of innovation in the healthcare sector, and not just since the Corona pandemic. An increasing number of digital solutions are in development or are being introduced into the German health market under the term Digital Health Application (DiGa). In the context of these developments, we examine the role of start-ups and established companies in this development. Further research questions are the origin of innovations and their penetration in the market. Which go-to-market strategies exist and which of them are suitable for start-up-related innovations. The starting point for these studies is a broad quantitative database, which we are constantly expanding.  See Research Group – Digital Ecosystems for further information.

    Keywords: eHealth, mHealth, Digital Health, Telemedicine, MedTech, Artificial Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Medical Entrepreneurship, Health Care Entrepreneurship, Physician Entrepreneurs

    13. "Hit or hype? Digital technologies shaking up today's economic landscape"

    Digital transformation is shaking up the value chains of companies in all industries. An unprecedented number of new technologies are entering the market, e.g. artificial intelligence or blockchain. The impact of these technologies on our economy today, but also on social life in general, needs to be explored intensively. Theses in this area investigate these interrelationships with different methodological approaches, e.g. literature reviews, surveys, secondary data analysis.

    Keywords: Digital Technology, Digital Transformation, Firm Performance

    14. "Evaluating the Environmental Footprint of Solid-State Batteries: A Life Cycle Assessment Approach for Sustainable Energy Storage Solutions"

    Due to the high relevance of sustainability in society, it is essential to evaluate the environmental impact of new technologies. In line with this goal, this master thesis will address the implementation of a life cycle assessment analysis of solid state batteries. This research project aims to comprehensively assess the environmental impact of solid state batteries throughout their life cycle, considering aspects such as raw material extraction, production, use and disposal. Subsequently, the results will be processed for a qualitative analysis. The master thesis will contribute to the research of environmental impacts and facilitate the development of sustainable energy storage solutions.

    Keywords: sustainability, environmental impact, new technologies, life cycle analysis, solid state batteries, life cycle, raw material extraction, qualitative analysis, sustainable energy storage solutions.

  • Practitioner Theses

    We also welcome and encourage collaborations with practitioners to write your thesis (e.g., startups, corporates, non-profit organizations). In general, it is your responsibility to find a collaboration partner. From time to time, we will publish cooperation opportunities on our Jobs website.

    Currently there is the possibility to write theses at Durante Adesivi in Italy or the St. Franziskus Foundation. If you are interested, please contact Maximilian Charlet.

    Please apply to our chair before you commit to the partner to discuss whether your proposed topic is a good fit for our chair (see below for details on the application process). In your application, you will be asked to include the contact details of your contact within the partner organization. The final topic will be determined by the chair in consultation with the contact person.

    You need to ensure that the partner agrees to make the data used in your thesis available to the academic supervisor and the head of the chair for the purpose of the examination.

    Pursuant to the regulations governing examinations, the practice partner has no right to participate in the evaluation of the thesis. Other contractual agreements between the student and the company do not affect the regulations governing examinations set by the examination office and are solely in the candidate’s scope of responsibility.

  • Formal Requirements

    We recommend writing your Master thesis in English but it can also be written in German after consultation with your advisor. Detailed guidelines, especially with regard to the layout, will be provided in time once you are accepted.

    To start your thesis, you need to fill in the candidate section of the guide card (“Leitkarte”) which you can find here. The writing period starts once the topic is assigned. You can calculate the exact start and submission dates for your specific circumstances in the online calculator here.

  • Final Submission

    You must submit your Master's thesis no later than the date specified in the routing card.

    For submission (by post: the date of the postmark applies, we recommend sending by registered mail) please use the deadline mailbox in front of the castle (Schlossplatz 2, 48149 Münster).

    A personal delivery at the chair is only possible after prior appointment!

    We recommend the use of the deadline mailbox.

    Your submission must include:

       - Two bound, one-sided copies, including the Consent Form for plagiarism check and the declaration of authorship.

       - One physical digital copy (e.g., a USB stick) containing the PDF and Word files of the thesis as well any datasets and analysis files (e.g., Excel, Alteryx, or Stata code).

       - Submission of the digital copy to your thesis advisor via e-mail.

    The Consent Form for plagiarism check („Einverständniserklärung zur Prüfung meiner Arbeit mit einer Software zur Erkennung von Plagiaten“) can be downloaded here and needs to be included and signed in the bound copies at the end of the thesis.

    The Declaration of Authorship as outlined in the formal guidelines also needs to be included and signed in the bound copies at the end of the thesis.

  • Application to the Institute for Entrepreneurship

    Before you register at the Examination Office, please apply by completing the following survey. Note that you will be asked to upload a CV and current transcript of records. We will not consider applications if these two documents are missing.


  • Registration with the Examination Office

    Registration for Master theses is done via the examination office of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Münster. The registration dates can be found on the Examination Office’s website.

  • Previous Master Thesis Topics


    Internationalization of Startups: Market Selection, Entry Mode and Entry Timing – The Case of a B2B Online Used Car Marketplace (2020)

    E-Commerce Success Factors: Dynamic and Promotional Pricing in Online Retail (2020)

    Traditional Public Offering vs. Token Offering – A Cost Comparison of a New Form of Financing (2020)

    Digital Internationalization: the Role of E-Commerce in Expansion Processes (2020)

    An Analysis of Strategic Success Factors for Start-ups: Possible Application of the PIMS Project Findings for Start-Ups in the Seed, Start-up and Growth Stage (2020)

    Establishment of a Sales Cycle Management Process to Optimize the Lead-To-Customer Conversion Rate for a B2B Online Used Car Marketplace (2020)

    Quantitative Analysis of the Influence of Vehicle Characteristics on Used Car Market Prices – Improving the Car Valuation of a B2B Online Used Car Marketplace (2020)

    Hypothesenbasiertes Entrepreneurship: Customer Discovery und Kundenvalidierung am Beispiel eines IT-Startups (2020)

    The Impact of Corporate Venture Capital Leadership in Investments and Exits (2019)

    Text Mining of User Generated Content to Derive Informational Needs of Consumers: An Application for Content Marketing in Leadership Development (2019)


    The Power of Being a Digital High Performer – What Drives Digital Innovation in US Large Caps? (2020)

    XaaS in Industry 4.0: Developing and Evaluating New Business Models to Operate Automated Guided Vehicles for an Industrial Services Company (2020)

    How to Drive Digital Transformation: the Role of Chief Information Officers’ Power and Background (2020)

    Digital Innovation: An Analysis of Characteristic Drivers in S&P 500 Companies (2020)

    Do Innovations Really Pay Off? The Impact of Innovation on Stock Performance (2020)

    How to be Green? Corporate Strategies to Reduce CO2 Emissions (2020)

    Ho to sell green – Strategic pricing of CO2 emission reduction and eco-innovation (2020)

    How to Make a Green Virtue of a Necessity – Green Innovations and Business Opportunities Triggered by CO2 Emissions (2020)

    Does It Pay to Be Green – Carbon Emission Reduction and Its Impact on Companies’ Performance (2020)

    Digital Radical Innovation in American Large Caps: Characteristics & Trends (2019)

    Leading in the Age of Disruption: Why Digital Innovation matters (2019)

    Digitization: Does the Level of Industry IT Investment Impact Firm Performance? (2019)

    Ways Into a Sustainable Future: How Large Caps Deal with the Triple Bottom Line (2019)

    Relationship between Sustainable Innovations and Corporate Performance – Do Sustainable Innovators Outperform Their Competitors? (2019)

    The Impact of Sustainable Innovation on the success of US large caps (2019)

    Strategic Management

    Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Attitudes – The Importance of Personality Traits for Entrepreneurship Efforts (2020)

    Organizational Impact on Employee Motivation – An Empirical Analysis (2020)

    Personality Traits in the Top Management Team – The role of Narcissism, Overconfidence and Extraversion (2020)

    Strategic Alliances and Firm Performance: Does Coopetitive Behavior Pay Off? – An Empirical Analysis (2020)

    Identifying Robust Causal Inferences is Possible – Mitigating Endogeneity in Empirical Management Research in the Context of Product Recalls (2020)

    The Increasing Openness for Employee’s Sexual Orientation and Its Contribution to Business Success – An Analysis of LGBT Executives and Their Organizations (2020)

    The Personality of Top Managers – The Interaction between the CMO and Branding Strategies (2020)

    The Personality of Top Managers – The Interaction of the CMO and Strategic Decisions (2020)

    Employee’s Personalities and Reward Preferences: Designing the optimal incentive programs based on individual differences (2020)

    Mirror, Mirror on the Wall … I Am the Most Successful of Us All – How CEO Narcissism Influences Firm Performance (2019)

Do you have any questions? Our contact person for master theses at the Institute for Entrepreneurship Maximilian Charlet will help you.