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Master­arbeit

Grundsätzlich haben Studierende, die an unserem Lehr­stuhl ihre Master­arbeit schreiben möchten, die Möglichkeit eine forschungs­orientierte oder eine praxis­orientierte Master­arbeit anzufertigen.

Voraussetzung für die Anfertigung eine Master­arbeit an unserem Lehr­stuhl ist die erfolgreiche Absolvierung eines Seminars MKT 7X0 an einem der Marketing-Lehr­stühle (LS Homburg MKT 710, LS Stahl MKT 720, LS Kuester MKT 730 oder LS Kraus MKT 740) sowie der erfolgreiche Abschluss der Kurse MKT 510 (alternativ: MKT 301) und MKT 520. Die Voraussetzungen für den Besuch der Seminare finden Sie auf den jeweiligen Informations­seiten der Seminare.

Wir empfehlen, die Master­arbeit an dem Lehr­stuhl zu schreiben, an dem die Seminararbeit geschrieben wurde, da so eine frühzeitige Einbindung in die jeweiligen Forschungs- und Projektarbeiten des Lehr­stuhls ermöglicht wird.

Moritz Tischer, M.Sc.

Moritz Tischer, M.Sc.

Ansprech­partner Master­arbeit

Bei Fragen wenden Sie sich bitte an Moritz Tischer.

Informationen zur Master­arbeit


Forschungs­orientierten Themen

  • Strategisches Marketing

    • The Value of Customer Data – State of Research and Business Practice

      Betreuer: Robin-Christopher Ruhnau

      Data is the “New Oil” and companies with business models based on user and customer data are among the most valuable of all, whether it is Google, Facebook or others. In today’s reality, data are ubiquitous and available in a sheer unlimited amount. But what is the value of customer data to firms? How can businesses assign a value to individual customer data and also increase this value?

       

      With a strategic marketing perspective, this thesis reviews recent literature on the value of customer data to firms. What is more, it summarizes business practice approaches for data valuation and draws on future applications of customer data in research and practice. 

       

      This Master’s thesis may also be written in German.

    • The curse of low-involvement products in times of thrilling alternatives

      Betreuer: Stephan Mettler

      In times of social media and an increasing desire of customers to share their experiences with a product or service, many companies struggle to position low-involvement products among its target group. A promising solution to that issue might be to digitize products using IoT (Internet of Things) devices in order to provide customers with additional benefits and services.

      Against this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to review and systemize relevant academic literature, (2) to identify potential ways to increase customer involvement for low-involvement products in a digital environment, and (3) to elaborate how these insights could be used by organizations. To analyze this topic, a survey or expert interviews might be conducted. More specific research questions and the way of inquiry can be determined individually.

      This master thesis may also be written in German

    • Don’t touch me! Potential thresholds for customer touchpoints considering the privacy / utility tradeoff

      Betreuer: Stephan Mettler

      The digital transformation of businesses enabled companies to interact with their customers through multiple touchpoints along the customer journey. These interactions tend to become both, more frequent and more personal due to mobile applications. Customers consciously share their data with the companies in order to get access to improved services, tailored to their needs. A prominent concept discussed in the literature is the privacy / utility tradeoff.

      Against this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to review and systemize relevant academic literature, (2) to identify potential thresholds for the privacy / utility tradeoff, and (3) to elaborate how these thresholds can be used by organizations. To analyze this topic, a survey or expert interviews might be conducted. More specific research questions and the way of inquiry can be determined individually.

      This master thesis may also be written in German.

    • Slack Time – A Development and Validation of a Measurement of Service Employee Behavior

      Betreuerin: Theresa Morguet

      Have you ever seen service employees standing around and waiting for new customers? Yes? Have you ever thought about what service employees do or should do if they have these “unused“ periods of time between their working tasks? No, but it is interesting to think about it?

      This study starts with an understanding of the so called construct slack time and investigates the development and initial validation of a measurement of the construct. This is highly relevant for both a needed contribution to research and strategic practical implications for managers of service employees nowadays.

      Concerning this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to review the relevant academic literature and provide an own definition of the construct slack time, (2) to conduct a survey including a measurement of slack time and other related constructs, and (3) to analyze the results of the survey by focusing on the initial validation of the measurement of slack time.

    • Analyzing social networks – an investigation of invisible influences

      Betreuerin: Theresa Morguet

      Social networks are everywhere in our everyday life. They determine our perceptions and behavior directly as well as indirectly. To what extent do they also have an influence on our work behavior and is it positive or rather negative? Are there ways to take advantage from the existing social network structure of a team or how can the structures be adapted to achieve desired management goals? These or other questions could be investigated and evaluated in order to contribute to that field of research.

      Concerning this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to review and systemize relevant academic literature, (2) to create a scientific conceptual model in order to conduct a survey and (3) to analyze the results of the survey by means of the social network analysis program UCINET and discuss the findings.

      More specific research questions and the actual proceeding can be determined individually. This master thesis may also be written in German.

  • Produkt- und Innovations­management

    Zur Zeit haben wir kein Angebot in diesem Themen­bereich.

  • Preis­management

    • Human touch in a digital world

      Betreuerin: Aline Lanzrath

      Technological advance has placed increased importance on mobile, digitally-driven self-service experiences with face-to-face interactions being on the decline. By 2020, 85% of our interactions with brands are expected to occur through digital channels. But when do customers still seek for human interaction? And if they do: Are they willing to pay a premium for personal interaction? Despite the high theoretical and practical relevance, research examining the optimal trade-off of digital self-service and personal channels remains scarce.
      Against this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to summarize and categorize relevant literature, (2) identify related research gaps and (3) provide a sound overview of the state of the art research. Particular interest should be dedicated to price premium determinants.
      More specific research questions and the way of inquiry can be determined individually. The master thesis may also be written in German.

    • The Role of Negative Emotions in Buying at the Low Price: Attributional Approach

      Betreuerin: Kateryna Ukrainets

      A rational consumer is supposed to choose to pay less money for a particular good, as long as the saved amount is large enough to compensate any tangible costs. Thus, buying at the cheap price is expected to cause positive emotions such as joy of getting a good price deal. Nevertheless, some consumers can ascribe negative causes to low prices in discount stores. As a result, negative emotions occur and influence the purchase decision.

      Accordingly, the central aims of this master thesis are to (1) review the existing literature on the role of emotions in consumer behavior and (2) develop propositions how negative emotions affect the purchase decision in the low price context.

  • Vertriebs­management

    • Women in B2B Sales and the Workplace

      Betreuerin: Aline Lanzrath

      Gender diversity has been shown to have a positive impact not only on corporate culture but also on the company's profit line. Similarly, research has shown that companies with a higher level of gender diversity in their sales force significantly exceed their sales targets compared to single gender sales teams.  These results contrast with the continuing under-representation of women in B2B sales, with the sales function facing the second largest gender equality gap of all corporate functions. Among others, the persistence of gender stereotypes in sales has been shown to contribute to this phenomenon. However, despite the high practical and societal relevance, research on gender stereotypes in sales is extremely sparse.

      Against this background, the aim of the master thesis is (1) to review and systematize relevant academic literature on gender stereotypes in marketing and sales and (2) identify barriers that prevent women to choose a career in B2B Sales. To analyze this issue, a survey or expert interviews may be conducted.

    • To buy or not to buy - How does uncertainty in times of CoVid-19 affect consumer behavior in online shops?

      Betreuer: Maximilian Knapp

      Decision making under uncertainty is an important topic in both psychology and marketing research. The current state of worldwide economy during the CoVid-19 crisis is highly volatile.
      Offline shops and shopping malls are experiencing massive losses due to healthcare restrictions during the ongoing pandemic, while online shops can exploit this situation to gain even more customers. However the financial aspects of this crisis also bring along a lot of uncertainty regarding job loss, payment cuts and inflation of currencies, which in return influence the consumption behavior of potential customers.

      Against this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to review and systemize relevant academic literature, (2) to identify the differences between consumer decision before and during the CoVid-19 pandemic and (3) to elaborate how online shops should best handle the customers in the current situation.

      This master thesis may also be written in German.

    • Perceptions of salespeople in society

      Betreuerin: Aline Lanzrath

      What comes to your mind when you think about salespeople? Is it the insurance agent trying to convince you to buy a life insurance? Is the stereotype you do have in mind male and characterized by traits like ‘pushiness´, ‘competiveness’ and ‘talkativeness’? Yes? But does this stereotype actually reflect the role of salespeople in a today’s digitized world, especially in the B2B context? Despite the high theoretical and practical relevance, research examining (mis-)perceptions of the salesperson’s role remains scarce.   
       
      Against this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to review the relevant academic literature, (2) to conduct a survey including a measurement of salesperson stereotypes (3) to analyse the results and discuss the findings.  
       
      The master thesis may also be written in German.

    • Education or Experience: How Important is an Academic Background when Applying in Sales?

      Betreuer: Robin Wagner-Fabisch
      In the past, organizations were primarily on the outlook for sales reps with pronounced selling skills such as persuasion or eloquence. Even if these capabilities still play some notable role in their daily work, more analytical and strategic requirements dominate the remit of today’s sales employees. 

      Against this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to review and systemize relevant academic literature on sales academization, (2) to identify the antecedents as well as consequences for better-educated sales employees, and (3) to discuss how firms can effectively respond to the requirements that are demanded by today’s academized sales reps. 

      To analyze this topic, a survey or expert interviews might be conducted. More specific research questions and the way of inquiry can be determined individually. This master thesis may also be written in German.

    • Pricing Authority for the Sales Force: Still Possible in Today’s Transparent World?

      Betreuer: Robin Wagner-Fabisch
      Setting optimal prices is complex in B2B relations­hips; prices typically vary from one customer account to another, and are therefore highly confidential. Since the individual sales employees know best about their customers, they usually play the major role in the negotiation processes. However, due to digitalization in general and the resulting transparency in particular, sensitive price information no longer remain behind closed doors and question the continuation of flexible pricing.    

      Against this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to review and systemize relevant academic literature on pricing authority, (2) to identify the consequences of digitalization on the delegation of pricing authority to the sales force, and (3) to outline possible co­untermeasures to defend the salespeople’s freedom to decide about prices.

      To analyze this topic, expert interviews might be conducted. More specific research questions and the way of inquiry can be determined individually.  
      This master thesis may also be written in German.

  • Kommunikations- und Kunden­beziehungs­management

    • Multiplex Business Networks: The Many-Faced Relations­hip

      Betreuer: Boas Bamberger

      Inter-firm relations­hips can occur simultaneously through multiple types of ties. For example, at the same time two firms might be supplier and customer, collaborate on R&D, have intertwined managerial and supervisory boards and compete for the same customers. The goals of this thesis are (1) to review and systemize relevant academic literature on multiplex business relations­hips, (2) identify sources to collect data on multiplex business networks, and (3) elaborate on which types of ties are more or less relevant for long-term inter-firm relations­hips.

      Creativity and motivation to do empirical research are expected. More specific research questions and the way of inquiry can be determined individually.

    • Customer retention and win-back in times of digital customer relations­hips

      Betreuer: Robin-Christopher Ruhnau

      The digitalization has changed the direct and level of interaction between firms and consumers, offering broad opportunities and challenges for customer relations­hip management. The integration of customer data introduces new ways to measure value from the customer (e.g., in the form of customer engagement value) and also to track customer behavior, including customer churn.

      The intention of this thesis is to summarize and categorize customer retention and reacquisition literature to provide a sound overview of state of the art research. Particular interest should be dedicated to the influence of digitalization on the topic, as well as to referencing theory to the reality of business practice.

      This master thesis may also be written in German.

    • Customer valuation – a confrontation of research state of the art and business practice

      Betreuer: Robin-Christopher Ruhnau

      Customer valuation tries to capture the total value that a firm derives from a customer. Since the emergence of the topic, mainly in the 1980s, customer valuation has come a long way. A variety of value-determining factors can now be included in these models, e.g., churn, brand switching, cross-buying behavior, and even non-financial value contributions. Major applications of the idea include the well-known concept of customer lifetime value (CLV) and customer segmentation.

      The purpose of this thesis is to provide a sound overview of the state of the art in customer valuation research. Particularly, the goal is to investigate in how far business practice deviates from theory and in how far it has adopted applications of customer valuations, including current trends such as customer engagement valuation.  

  • Sonstige Themenfelder

    • Fades and Fashions in Marketing Research

      Betreuerin: Aline Lanzrath

      The world of marketing and sales is constantly changing due to constant organizational, scientific, technological and economic changes. To remain relevant, academic researchers must incorporate these trends into their research. But is this actually the case in today's academic research world, or do researchers lag behind the actual developments in the business world?  The goal of this research is to identify trends in the scientific discourse in marketing and sales by examining temporal changes in the occurrence of words or expressions in research articles, identifying latent research topics and thus identifying trending issues. For this purpose, abstracts and articles published in the field of marketing in the years 2000 to 2020 might be analyzed with the help of tidytext in R.

       

    • Employer Branding in the Digital Era – How to attract and retain “Millennials”

      Betreuerin: Aline Lanzrath

      Attracting and retaining the right talent is critical to the success of a business. This is especially true today, as shifts in demographic trends are leading to a shortage of qualified talent in many labor markets. To attract talents and establish the firm as an “employer of choice”, companies therefore increasingly need to focus on sending consistent and clear brand signals through their employer brand.

      However, despite its high practical importance, research on the success factors of employer branding is scarce. In particular, it remains unclear how communication strategies (e.g. job descriptions) should be designed to meet the changing work expectations of a new generation, often referred to as “Millennials”. 

      Against this background, the objective of the master thesis is (1) to review and systematize the relevant academic literature on challenges and success factors in the field of employer branding in a digital era and (2) to conduct an empirical analysis of current recruiting and employer branding strategies. To approach this topic a text mining data analysis using tidytext in R might be conducted.

    • Data Mining: Automatic Topic Detection in Marketing Research

      Betreuer: Boas Bamberger

      Scientists and managers are constantly on the outlook for current and emerging trends in marketing research topics. Advances in machine learning and data mining methods may help to accelerate the detection of such topics. The goals of this seminar paper are (1) to review and systemize relevant academic literature on automatic topic detection, (2) propose a framework for automatic detection of current and emerging topics in marketing, and (3) automatically detect current and emerging topics in the top marketing journals.

      To analyze this topic, an automatic content analysis of articles in marketing journals might be conducted. More specific research questions and the way of inquiry can be determined individually.

    • Consumer’s Susceptibility to Social Influence: Cross-Cultural Differences

      Betreuerin: Kateryna Ukrainets

      The impact of social groups on individual behavior has been investigated extensively in the consumer research literature. Some individuals tend to be more susceptible to public opinion and social influence than others. As a result, social influence can alter an individual’s purchase decision. However, research is scarce with regard to how the susceptibility to social influence depends on the cultural background of a decision-maker.

      Therefore, the goal of this master thesis is to (1) provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art literature overview on cross-cultural consumer research in general and (2) develop a conceptual framework on the susceptibility to social influence on the cross-cultural level.

    • Cross-Cultural Differences in Consumers’ Responses to Social Identity Threat

      Betreuerin: Kateryna Ukrainets

      According to social identity theory and self-categorization theory, individuals see themselves in terms of their memberships in different social groups. When an individual exhibits consumer behavior that is not consistent with his or her social identity, and an in-group member observes this inconsistency, an individual experiences social identity threat.

      To mitigate the negative consequences of this threat, individuals apply different coping strategies. Some people tend to avoid products/ services threatening their social identities, while others demonstrate more positive preferences for identity-linked products when that aspect of identity is threatened.

      Research has shown that this difference is explained by an individual’s culture. The goal of this master thesis is to provide additional empirical support to this existing finding with the help of cross- cultural study.

    • Protecting Consumer’s Social Identity: Firms’ Strategies for Mitigation of Social Identity Threat

      Betreuerin: Kateryna Ukrainets

      To thoroughly research this topic, a student has to conduct a literature review and an empirical study (e.g. scenario-based experiment), which would show how companies can protect their consumers when their social identities are at risk. Social identity threat occurs when an individual exhibits consumer behavior that is not consistent with his or her social identity, and an in-group member observes this inconsistency. For instance, empirical evidence exists that men see the consumption of “green” bio-products as threatening their social identity (i.e. gender identity). Other examples of identity-threatening products are electric vehicles or beauty products for men. The goal of this master thesis is, therefore, to figure out with the help of empirical study, which strategies companies can apply to mitigate the possible social identity threat.

    • Online advertising in times of adblockers

      Betreuer: Maximilian Knapp

      In times of the internet, many small and big firms pay websites to show their ads to a variety of potential customers. Some customers nowadays use adblockers, which automatically detect ads and remove them. However the grew to in return use anti-adblockers to take co­unter-measures. Those anti-adblockers vary from scripts merely telling the user to think about allowing ads on the current website to harsh measures like disabling all the other content on the current website until the user disables the adblocker. It proves to be difficult to get adblock users to allow the monetary wise important ads for the displaying website and meanwhile still let them have an enjoyable user experience.

      Against this background, the superordinate goals of this master thesis are (1) to review and systemize relevant academic literature, (2) to analyze the different kinds of anti-adblocker measures there are and (3) to elaborate a way how adblock users should best be approached to allow ads being displayed.

      This master thesis may also be written in German.

    • Mail-Order Pharmacies: An Examination of Consumer’s Online Purchasing Behavior of Pharmaceuticals

      Betreuerin: Kim Riede

      The digital transformation is resulting in an ongoing change of the business landscape and also affects the pharmaceutical industry. The number of Online Pharmacies entering the market is constantly growing and so does their customer base. Given these changes, end-consumers are turning into an increasingly important target-audience. Thus, pharmaceutical companies urgently need a more comprehensive understanding of their end-consumers in order to successfully market their products.

      What factors drive consumers to purchase drugs online? Which particular drugs do consumers usually buy online? Under which circumstances and how often do they purchase drugs online? These or other questions could be investigated and evaluated in order to contribute to that field of research.

      More specific research questions and the actual proceeding can be determined individually. Creativity and motivation to do empirical research are expected.

      This master thesis may also be written in German.

    • Consumer’s Susceptibility to External Advises prior to the Purchase of Non-Prescription Medicines

      Betreuerin: Kim Riede

      Nowadays consumers are more empowered to participate in their own health care than ever before and their knowledge on pharmaceutical products enhanced. These developments have not only resulted in a new and challenging environment for pharmaceutical marketers but also fostered consumers to turn into evermore stand-alone decision makers for their medications. However, not all of consumer’s medication purchases are based on autonomous decisions.  Consequently, marketers need to develop a more thorough understanding on how the purchasing decisions of consumers are externally influenced.

      More precisely, they need to assess under which circumstances consumers are receptive to external advises and which external advisors they prefer depending on the respective circumstances.

      These or other questions could be investigated and evaluated in order to contribute to that field of research.

      More specific research questions and the actual proceeding can be determined individually. Creativity and motivation to do empirical research are expected.

      This master thesis may also be written in German.

    • Consumer Involvement in FMCG-Purchases

      Betreuerin: Kim Riede

      The concept of involvement has received considerable attention from consumer researchers because it is a helpful tool to explain how consumers respond to marketing stimuli. Thereby researchers distinguish high from low involvement. Depending on the degree of involvement in a purchase decision, the extent of information-seeking behavior and the degree of awareness about purchase alternatives significantly differ.

      Even though being intensively studied, researchers to date apply inconsistent approaches to measure the involvement of consumers.  Due to these inconsistencies, it is the goal of this thesis to provide a systematic literature overview of articles in marketing, which use the concept of involvement to analyze consumer’s behavior in purchasing FMCG products. Besides, the thesis suppose to shed light on the methodological approaches applied in extant research that investigates the involvement of consumers in their purchase of FMCG products.

      This master thesis may also be written in German.

Falls Sie sich für ein Thema interessieren, kontaktieren Sie bitte direkt den entsprechenden Betreuer.

Ferner besteht die Möglichkeit, eigene Themen vorzuschlagen. Kontaktieren Sie hierzu bitte zunächst Moritz Tischer.


Praxis­orientierten Themen

Unsere praxis­orientierten Themen beziehen sich entweder auf Fragestellungen mit explizitem Branchenbezug, oder mit Fragestellungen, die in Kooperation mit einem bestimmten Unternehmen behandelt werden.

Bei Fragen zu den branchenbezogenen Themen kontaktieren Sie bitte direkt den entsprechenden Betreuer. Bei Fragen zu den Arbeiten in Kooperation mit Unternehmen wenden Sie sich bitte an Moritz Tischer.

Falls Sie eigenständig den Kontakt zu einem Unternehmen aufnehmen möchten, sollten Sie vorab mit uns Rücksprache halten.