Thesis Proposal Entrepreneurship


Course Objective

Upon having successfully passed this course, the student will have
1. the ability to set up and execute scientific research, consisting of
the following (SA1,4,5):
a. Review the literature and identify an interesting gap
b. Formulate a research question
c. Write a literature review
d. Elaborate a focused research plan
2. the ability to reflect on research of others, both individually and
in a team. (SA2,7)
3. the attitude of an independent and critical academic, who is able to
bridge boundaries between concepts and methods and is able to reflect on
his/her own learning process. (A2-3)

Course Content

This course prepares students for their master thesis project. Building
on the knowledge acquired in the previous periods, this course guides
the student to develop a research proposal for the Master’s thesis. The
course specifically deals with:
- developing research questions
- literature review and literature gap
- research design
- sampling
- writing the research proposal for the Master’s thesis

Teaching Methods

The basic structure of the course consists of five assignments, as
separate steps in the development of the master thesis proposal. The
development of these assignments is guided through one plenary lecture
and three tutorials.

Method of Assessment

The assessment consists of two parts:
- four different assignments to develop the master thesis proposal (60%)
- the evaluation of your proposal by your supervisor (pass or fail)


Mandatory literature:
- Saunders, M., & Lewis, P. (2012). Doing research in business &
management: An essential guide to planning your project. Pearson
Education. ISBN 978-0-273-72641
- Davidsson, P. (2016). Researching Entrepreneurship. New York:
Springer. (Digital edition available in the VU University library: Chapters 4, 5,
6, 9.

Publishing in AMJ series:
- Colquitt, J. A., & George, G. (2011). Publishing in AMJ—Part 1: Topic
choice. Academy of Management Journal, 54(3), 432–435.
- Bono, J. E., & McNamara, G. (2011). Publishing in AMJ- Part 2:
Research design. Academy of Management Journal, 54(3), 657–660
- Sparrowe, R. T., & Mayer, K. J. (2011). Publishing in AMJ—Part 4:
Grounding hypotheses, 54(6), 1098–1102.

Recommended background knowledge

See programme entry requirements (
The knowledge and ability to recognize, utilize, and combine multiple
theoretical perspectives towards entrepreneurship, as well as a profound
academic knowledge of the background, nature, and central concepts
within the entrepreneurship research domain. An academic intellectual
working standard (including experience in academic writing), and a sound
knowledge of research methodology, in combination with sufficient
analytical and statistical skills and knowledge.
Specific required prior knowledge is thorough knowledge of the following
textbooks (or similar):
• Blumberg, B., Cooper, D.R., & Schindler, P.S. (2014). Business
Research Methods (4th European ed.). London: McGrawHill.

General Information

Course Code E_ENT_TPE
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. ir. J.C. van Burg
Examiner dr. ir. J.C. van Burg
Teaching Staff dr. ir. J.C. van Burg

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group, Lecture