Thesis MSc Business Administration: Strategy and Organization


Course Objective

Academic and Research Skills: Students are capable of:
 formulating a clear research problem that fits within the field of
business administration 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
 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,
etc) 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 to 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. 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

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

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.

Custom Course Registration

In case a student does not fulfill this 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.

General Information

Course Code E_BA_THS_SO
Credits 15 EC
Period Ac. Year (sept)
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. V. Duplat
Examiner dr. V. Duplat
Teaching Staff dr. M.D. Bahlmann
dr. E. Lysova

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture