Final Thesis at the Chair for Entrepreneurship

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1 Final Thesis at the Chair for Entrepreneurship We offer a variety of possible final theses for the bachelor as well as for the master level. We expect highly motivated and qualified bachelor and master candidates. Theses at our chair aim at producing papers publishable in high-level journals from the field. Therefore, empirical as well as conceptual works are welcome. At this, we provide guidance while allowing for insights into state-of-the-art research processes and projects. If you are interested in writing your thesis on one of the proposals in the following, please contact Please consider that the agreement on supervision (step 6) must be made at least two weeks before the date of sign-up of your thesis at the student administration office. The process of writing a final thesis at our chair is precisely structured: Last Update: June 3, 2015 Page 1

2 Entrepreneurship Ecosystems Entrepreneurship is a promising active labor market policy (ALMP), being an important driver of economic prosperity and social well being, creating jobs and economic competitiveness (Audretsch 2002; Monitor Company Group 2009). As a result, the number of programs and initiatives promoting entrepreneurship and selfemployment has increased rapidly over the past years. However, little scientific knowledge exists on the effectiveness and efficiency of existing and newly created programs. Furthermore, as a result of this rapid increase in support programs, an overall understanding of how the different actors and factors inter-connect is missing. Consequently, scholars are seeking to improve scientific understanding of startup ecosystems, their different factors and actors as well as best practice examples to help policymakers and other key stakeholders design the best support environment for new venture creation. In this project we seek to improve the understanding of how different factors and actors of entrepreneurship ecosystem can effectively interconnect to best promote new venture creation. Within the scope of this project we have two specific Master theses projects. Dr. Peter Vogel Title: A new wine or an old wine in a new bottle? A comparative assessment of the ecosystem and cluster literature. There exists extensive literature in the domain of clusters. More recently, scholars and practitioners alike have gained interest in the concept of entrepreneurship ecosystems. This Master thesis specifically aims at generating an improved conceptual understanding of these different streams of literature and finding overlaps and uniqueness alike. In a first step, a thorough review of the existing literature will take place based on which central dimensions are being identified to map out similarities and differences. Title: An international comparative assessment of ecosystems. We are currently working on a large-scale global database of entrepreneurship ecosystems. The goal is to improve the understanding of the different players of an ecosystem. This specific project is focused primarily on data collection, descriptive statistics and generating public policy recommendations based on a comparative assessment of different ecosystems around the world. Last Update: June 3, 2015 Page 2

3 Youth Entrepreneurship Over the past years, we have experienced a disproportionate increase in youth unemployment around the world, leaving roughly every 8 th employable young person in the world without a job (ILO, 2013). Despite an increased awareness of the public and private sector that youth entrepreneurship is an important strategy to fight youth unemployment, little scientific attention has been paid to this specific sub-group of entrepreneurs. In addition, those studies that have been looking at the phenomenon of youth entrepreneurship have not come to one clear conclusion with regards to whether young entrepreneurs are successful entrepreneurs or not and whether dedicated policy programs to support them are worth the investment. However, a clear scientific message towards policymakers is of critical importance if we want to come up with effective and efficient strategies to combat youth unemployment. Dr. Peter Vogel Title: Youth Entrepreneurship A Real Solution to Tackle Youth Unemployment? This Master thesis is part of a large-scale international project that seeks to improve the scientific understanding of entrepreneurship as a viable Active Labor Market Policy (ALMP) to tackle youth unemployment. The student will work on a thorough literature review and assist in data collection, data post-processing as well as the preparation of public policy reports. current status: available Last Update: June 3, 2015 Page 3

4 Entrepreneurial Teams For many years, entrepreneurship research has largely focused on the individual founder as the active element driving the creation and development of start-ups. However, the majority of start-ups are founded by entrepreneurial teams rather than solo entrepreneurs. There is strong evidence that entrepreneurial teams play an influential role in the development and performance of startup firms. While important empirical insights about founding teams in start-ups are accumulating, there are still considerable gaps in our knowledge about entrepreneurial team functioning and its impact on the development and performance of start-ups. Barbara Burkhard Title: Entrepreneurial Teams: A Review of the Recent Literature Over the past two decades, research has primary focused on the upper echelons perspective in order to investigate new venture team functioning and performance. However, researchers have begun to move beyond the relationship between team characteristics and team outcomes to explore efficient team functioning. In this respect, this Bachelor thesis aims to elaborate an overview of recent literature and research on entrepreneurial teams. Title: Antecedents and Outcomes of Faultlines: A Critical Literature Review Managing diversity is an important issue for policy makers, managers, and researchers. Past research has shown conflicting results: diversity can enhance, but also disrupt team functioning. The inconsistent results has led to an interest in the topic of faultlines, which can be defined as hypothetical dividing lines that spilt a group into two or more subgroups based on individual attributes. This Bachelor thesis aims to elaborate an overview of existing literature and research on the concept of faultlines. Title: Faultlines in New Venture Teams and its Associations with Team Conflict: An Explorative Study Faultlines may lead to interpersonal conflicts as members break into subgroups. This Master thesis specifically aims at generating an improved understanding of faultlines in new venture teams and its associations with team conflict by means of semi-structured interviews. Last Update: June 3, 2015 Page 4

5 Crowdfunding Crowdfunding has been named more than a hype in entrepreneurial finance. Indeed, there is a growing number of startups or project initiators making use of this financing tool while the affinity of a potential crowd to the topic grows. Thus, the crowdfundig scene is still in its infancy in particular when taking an evolutionary perspective on the outcomes and repercussions of campaigns. How should institutions and regulations cope with this evolving industry? What are the economic gains and potential pitfalls? How is crowdfunding, in particular equity-based funding, incorporated into the equity life cycle of a firm? How does it perform compared to and interplay with established financing measures? Manuel Hess Title: Crowdfunding: identifying research gaps (Bachelor or Master) Studies, which research the drivers for crowdinvesting and successful campaigning, do exist. Yet, an evolutionary perspective on crowdfunding campaigns and their repercussions is less developed. This thesis should detect the status quo of empirical research on crowdfunding and identify research gaps, in particular those, which connect to firm performance and the signalling effects of crowdfunding on the succeeding equity story of firms. Title: Crowdfunding and performance an empirical analysis (Master) Crowdfunding has been linked to providing a proof of concept and filling the funding-gap of pre-commercial startups. The purpose of this thesis is to look into the causal effects of firms with successful crowdfunding campaigns and the effects on performance compared to firms, which followed a traditional way of funding. In this case, performance is used as a more open concept regarding potential sales, turnover, employment, equity and particular succeeding financing rounds. The master thesis is an empirical analysis of the effects of crowdfunding campaigns on performance compared to non crowdfunded firms. Last Update: June 3, 2015 Page 5

6 Social Entrepreneurship Social Entrepreneurship is the name for a phenomenon which has recently experienced an increased attention from the public as well as from academia. The concept of social entrepreneurship combines entrepreneurial thinking and actions with the improvement of social misbalances. This basic idea can be applied by young start-ups as well as in traditional business-oriented companies that try to behave socially responsible and act entrepreneurial in order to approach social impact. Dorina Thiess ) Title: Social Impact in conventional entrepreneurship Conventional start-ups often times do not realize how easy it would be to implement social impact aspects into their business model. This thesis should compare and evaluate possibilities of social impact side-effects of conventional start-ups. Current status: in progress Last Update: June 3, 2015 Page 6

7 Final Thesis at the Chair for Entrepreneurship Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Theses at our chair aim at producing papers which are publishable in high-level journals in the field of entrepreneurship. Therefore, please find below a summary of important answers to typical students questions. How do I earn an outstanding grade for my thesis? The grading depends on scientific aspects e.g., on how the research gap has been defined and characterized, on how the research questions have been formulated and answered, on how methods to answer these questions have been used, on the argumentation logic, and/or on the presentation of the conclusion and the limitations. Is it possible to write the thesis in German language? In some cases it is possible to write the thesis in German. Since most literature you are referring to is written in English, most students decide to write their thesis in English. Additionally, the targeted goal of presenting your work at international conferences or even of publishing the paper in a journal requires English language. How do I structure my thesis? There is a plethora of international well-recognized papers available. Writing in a way published papers do is a very good recommendation. Where do I find suitable literature? A good starting point is the database EBSCO and/or ScienceDirect in which you find the articles of international leading journals. Leading journals represent the recent discussion in science and will help you find the research gap. Which are the leading international journals in the field of entrepreneurship? Most researchers would agree to entitle the Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and Journal of Small Business Management as leading. How can I evaluate a journal s international reputation? There are some important journal rankings available. JOURQUAL 2 is just one example. You also find impact factors at the journals Internet pages. Am I allowed to reference Wikipedia? Most of the time, this is not a good idea. However, Wikipedia can be a suitable starting point for your research under certain circumstances. Last Update: June 3, 2015 Page 7

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