Master's Thesis

Master’s Theses at the chair of Prof. Woywode deal with current research topics in the field of SME reserach and entrepreneurship. Supervision can be provided either by members of the chair or by the Institute for SME Research and Entrepreneurship in accordance with the individual subject areas. In addition to the classical Master's Thesis, our chair offers the unique opportunity to combine the thesis with a startup project (Master's Thesis Inside the Venture) in cooperation with the MCEI (Mannheim Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation).

  • Master's Thesis Topics

    Master's Theses at the Chair of SME Research and Entrepreneurship of Prof. Woywode focus on research topics of the chair and the Institute for SME Research and Entrepreneurship. These include, among others:

    • Family Business Research
      • quantitative family business research
      • quantitative research on turnarounds, CEOs, and corporate performance (restructuring)
    • SME Research
      • digitalization of SMEs
      • business models in the sharing economy
      • diffusion of management know-how
      • social Intranets
      • inter-organizational networks
      • car-sharing policy and service provision
    • Entrepreneurship Research
      • migrant entrepreneurship
      • self-employment
      • entrepreneurial networks
      • startup growth
      • startup ecosystems
      • high-tech/ industry emergence
      • international entrepreneurship
      • crowdfunding
    • Inside the Venture Project (In cooperation with MCEI)

    Master students have the opportunity to approach an area of interest during their studies and discuss possible research questions. For this , the courses and the research seminar offered by the chair provide an excellent basis.

    In general, thesis topics have to be of an empirical nature. Working on an empirical topic often involves examining larger samples of companies, individuals, or texts. Therefore, profound knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods, statistical knowledge, and good econometric skills are strongly recommended. Accordingly, we highly recommend students to take the course CC 502 Applied Econometrics (MMM core course) which provides you with solid foundations. Familiarity with statistical software (e.g., Stata, SPSS or R) is also very helpful. We recommend visiting Stata tutorial courses at the University of Mannheim to prepare efficiently for scientific work before starting your master thesis. Since most of the relevant literature is in English, we recommended writing the master thesis in English (writing in German is optional).

  • Formal Requirements

    Students who intend to write their Master's Thesis at the chair of Prof. Woywode must have completed at least one qualification course (either MAN 630, 631, 632 or 633) and the research seminar MAN 770. The purpose of the research seminar is the introduction to academic research, scientific writing and current research topics at the Institute for SME Research and Entrepreneurship. In addition, the research seminar offers the opportunity to establish first contacts to a supervisor for the Master's Thesis.

    Inside the Venture Master’s Theses are conducted in cooperation with the university-wide startup accelerator program of the MCEI. If the project is qualified, any research seminar can be accepted as a prerequisite. MAN 770 is therefore not a binding requirement for this special case.

  • Registration and Further Steps

    If you are interested in a Master's Thesis at our chair and meet the formal requirements, you can contact a supervisor (research assistant) in your field of interest to discuss your research project. Please note that you can only apply for a Master's Thesis if you have successfully passed the MAN 770 research seminar (or a comparable research seminar in the case of writing a Master's Thesis Inside the Venture). Following a successful conversation with a supervisor, follow these steps towards your Master's Thesis:


    1) Write your research proposal

    After obtaining a thesis area and supervisor, the next step is to write an exposé (i.e., thesis proposal) in coordination with your supervisor. Your proposal has to develop the research question, theoretical foundation, expected contribution and outcomes, and research method of your Master’s Thesis. Please make sure to also include a preliminary structure and time plan. Upon coordination with your supervisor, you develop your proposal until your planned research fulfils our understanding of a solid and feasible research plan


    2) Register your Master’s Thesis

    When your proposal has been accepted by your supervisor and Prof. Woywode (your supervisor will coordinate all necessary steps with you), you can formally register your thesis via our secretary Mrs. Schleicher. You can either make an appointment to register your thesis or download the Master’s Thesis registration form (see download) and electronically submit a signed copy of your registration form to Mrs. Schleicher. Once registered, the title of your thesis cannot be changed anymore. You will furthermore receive an official due date which is absolutely binding. You have 4 months to complete your thesis.


    3. Attend the Master's Colloquia and present in one session

    You are obliged to present your research in the master colloquium at the latest 2 months after registration. The presentations always take place within the framework of the Master’s Colloquia and these dates are binding. This means that master candidates have to attend all the Master's Colloquia sessions which take place during their thesis processing time. This allows students to learn from each other and give feedback to others, even if they do not present their own work. Further information on the presentation format and the Master's Colloquium can be found here.


    4. Complete and hand in your thesis

    After a maximum of 4 months, you must submit your Master's Thesis in bound form (2 hardcopies) to our secretary, Mrs. Schleicher (be sure to take note of office hours!). The earliest date for dropping off the Master's Thesis is two weeks before the deadline. Each Master's Thesis must be handed in digitally as well (pdf). If applicable, any algorithms, computer programs, or routines used to create and interpret the data (e.g. CATA files, Stata Do-File and Stata Log File) and all recorded interviews collected for your thesis must be handed in digitally (CD/DVD or file download). Please note that there is an upper limit for the main body, which should not exceed 60 to 80 pages (including tables, figures and references, without attachments). Your supervisor can set a different page limit. Any main text page (excluding appendices) above the page limit will not be read or graded! For further formal referencing and academic writing, we refer to the Academy of Management Journal's Author Guidelines and Resources. The last page of your thesis has to contain a signed declaration of authorship. Please note that all your work is checked for plagiarism and that the electronic software (TurnitIn) we use works perfectly. There is no tolerance for unethical behavior, plagiarism and fraud.

Gabriele Schleicher

Gabriele Schleicher

Contact person Master's Theses


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