Thesis MSc BA - MC

2019-2020

Course Objective

Academic and Research Skills
Students are capable of
- formulating a clear research problem that fits within the
field of Management Consulting and has a managerial and scientific
relevance
- presenting the problem through a theoretically relevant
perspective and
knowing how to end up with a useful theoretical framework or
model
aimed at addressing the problem statement
- identifying shortcomings and making theoretical recommendations.
Those
recommendations must be based on the conclusions,
and be
comprehensible, detailed, relevant, and realistic
- reporting the research properly

Knowledge of Theory + Methods and Solving Complex Problems
Students are capable of:
- studying the problem in a suitable way, preferably by using
an empirical approach
- developing practical implications from your theory and research
findings
- applying theoretical frameworks and concept to real world situation
- reflecting critically on the results and limitations of the research

Professional Social Skills:
Students are capable of performing the research in an ethical
way and conducting high-quality research independently. They are
capable of taking into account their supervisor’s feedback,
following the guidelines and establishing realistic
expectations. They are capable of delivering the raw data (e.g.,
transcription, survey data, documents, et cetera) upon request and
in a satisfactory manner. They are capable of initiating
contact with their supervisor, being clear about their personal
thesis progress schedule and indicating when there is a need for
feedback and when the feedback is unclear. The students are capable of
following the thesis timeline as proposed in the thesis manual and of
meeting the intermediate deadlines. They are capable of reacting
proactively and efficiently in the event of unanticipated
contingencies (e.g., difficulties in collecting data).

Self-Reflective Professional:
Students are capable of reflecting critically on their (ethical
and professional) functioning as researchers. They are solely
responsible for the content, quality and progress of their Master
thesis. This implies
that they are expected to decide on the content of their Master
thesis autonomously, taking into account the supervisor’s advice
while making their own decisions.

Course Content

The thesis is an academic (or scientific) paper. In this context,
“academic” means that the thesis systematically, objectively and
verifiably demonstrates the knowledge that the student has acquired
vis-à-vis the thesis topic.

Students are required to discuss and address the research problem from
the perspective of more than one discipline and relate it to Management
Consulting (e.g. client-consultant relationship, consultant rhetoric,
ethical dilemmas).

To answer research questions (whether of an applied or theoretical
nature), students have to conduct a theoretical investigation under the
form of a literature review as well as a sound quantitative and/or
qualitative inquiry. Here, the student visits/observes the object of
his/her research (one or more companies, individuals or other
organizational units) to collect data, which enable to answer the
research question. This can involve conducting interviews, making
observations, sending out questionnaires, studying documents, analyzing
sets of data or carrying out case studies, experiments. Students could
instead engage in developmental modeling, or simulation research. In
this latter kind of research, the student develops a mathematical model
to simulate business processes under varying conditions.

Teaching Methods

Individual supervision

Method of Assessment

The student submits his/her thesis to the supervisor and uploads the
thesis on Canvas for the anti-plagiarism check. Also, students are
expected to hand in a separate file that contains the raw data upon
which the thesis is based (e.g., interview recordings and transcripts,
survey data). If a student is not able to comply, the thesis cannot be
assessed.

The thesis coordinator allocates the thesis to an independent second
reader who is knowledgeable of the thesis topic and/ or its methodology.
After carefully examining the thesis, the supervisor and the second
reader discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the thesis and determine
the appropriate grade. In so doing, the thesis is assessed on both
qualitative and quantitative criteria. Students must attain a 6.0 or
higher to advance to graduation.

Entry Requirements

Passing two main courses from period 1 (receiving a minimum grade of 6.0
for each of the two courses) is a prerequisite for receiving thesis
supervision during the January-June period.

Literature

Academic articles recommended in the course “Research seminar”.

Additional Information

Contact: masterthesis-mc.sbe@vu.nl

Custom Course Registration

In case a student does not fulfill the entry requirement, he/she may still apply for the January round of thesis supervisor if and only if at least 3 courses in periods 1 and 2 are completed successfully before the deadline of January 1st (including re-take of period 1 courses, and 1st opportunity of period 2 courses). If this is not the case, these courses should first be completed and the thesis can only be started in November of the next academic year.

Recommended background knowledge

MC specialization courses and research seminar MC

General Information

Course Code E_BA_THS_MC
Credits 15 EC
Period Ac. Year (sept)
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. K. van Bommel
Examiner dr. K. van Bommel
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture