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Bachelor's and Master's Theses at the Service Management Research Group

General Information

All study programs at the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics include writing a thesis. Depending on the degree program, you will have to write a Bachelor's, Master's or Diplom thesis. Detailed information can be found in the respective examination regulations for the expiring degree programmes under this link or for the current degree programmes under this link. The aim of the thesis is to work on a research problem independently by applying scientific methods.

Thesis Application

At the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, the allocation of theses - such as Bachelor's or Master's theses - is organised via a central web-based registration procedure.

The departments 'Management', 'Taxation, Accounting, Finance', 'Economics' and 'Business and Human Resource Education' participate in this process. The aim is to ensure that the theses to be completed in a given term can be distributed evenly and adequately among the individual chairs in the participating departments. At the same time, the individual preferences of the students are taken into account.

This system does not replace the official registration for the examination, but is initially used to allocate theses within the four participating departments. The assignment of students to their supervisors takes about 1 - 1 ½ months. They are then informed by e-mail about acceptance and contact persons.

Application for theses in the upcoming winter term is possible from June 23, 2020, to July 3, 2020, via the following site.

 

 

Particularities at the Service Management and Technology Marketing Research Group

Bachelor's theses:

  • You can apply for one or more of the given topics. In your application, please state your desired topic or the preferred order of topics
  • To do so, add a short letter of motivation (max. one DIN A4 page) to your online application in which you explain why you would like to write a thesis on the preferred topic (first preference). It is helpful if you refer to the corresponding basic literature. Refer to the following questions in your letter of motivation:
    • Which topic would you like to work on?
    • Why do you want to work on this topic?
    • What interests you about the topic? What is your relation to the topic?
    • Why would you like to write your thesis at the Chair of Service Management and Technology Marketing?
  • We recommend that you have participated in a bachelor module in the field of service management. One selection criterion is the grades you have achieved in the bachelor modules to date
  • You are obliged to participate in a colloquium. The colloquium will take place as a weekly seminar. Further meetings to supervise the work will be arranged individually with you.
  • The thesis starts in April for the summer term and in October for the winter term.

The general conditions for Bachelor theses at the Service Management and Technology Marketing Research Group are usually as follows:

  • As part of qualitative studies, 6-9 guideline-based interviews (total interview duration min. 180 minutes) are usually conducted
  • These are evaluated with the help of the qualitative content analysis according to Mayring.
  • Within the framework of quantitative work such as experimental studies or surveys, data are collected with the help of an online survey.
  • The number of required participants depends on the study design and is approx. 50-60 participants per person.
  • The analysis methodology usually includes a variance or regression analysis depending on the question and the data type.

Master's theses:

  • You can apply for one or more of the given topics. Please indicate your desired topic or the preferred order of topics in your application
  • Please add a letter of motivation to your online application, which should be approx. one DIN A4 page plus references. Please refer to the following questions, among others:
    • Which topic would you like to work on?
    • Why are you interested in the topic?
    • Which research questions are interesting for the topic?
    • How would you approach the research questions methodologically?
    • What could be the possible results of the Master's thesis?
  • You can suggest your own topics for theses in cooperation with companies if they are also based on the topics of the Master's or Bachelor's theses.
  • Please note that each thesis must contain an empirical part. Therefore, please discuss your own topic proposals with the chair as early as possible and without obligation.
  • It is helpful if you have already participate in a Master's module in the field of service management. One selection criterion is the grades you have achieved in the Master's and Bachelor's modules. If you submit your own topic proposal, we will also include the quality of the letter of motivation in the selection decision.
  • You can take part in a colloquium. Further meetings with your supervisor will be arranged individually with you.
  • The thesis starts in April for the summer term and in October for the winter term.
     
  • Master theses generally consist of a more extensive qualitative or quantitative study.
  • A combination of a smaller qualitative and a quantitative investigation can also be the subject of a Master's thesis.
  • The framework parameters for qualitative and quantitative theses can be found in the section on Bachelor's theses.

After you have received a confirmation of supervision for the Service Management and Technology Marketing Research Group via the central system for the allocation of theses, your supervisor will get in touch with you.

Themen für Bachelorarbeiten im WiSe 2020/21

Digitale Dienstleistungsangebote für die finanzielle Bildung & das finanzielle Wohlbefinden

Regierungen und Unternehmen finanzieren weltweit Maßnahmen (z.B. Seminare oder Workshops), um die finanzielle Bildung von Konsumenten zu erhöhen, deren Finanzentscheidungen zu verbessern und so das finanzielle Wohlbefinden der Menschen zu steigern (Brüggen et al., 2017). Während diese Maßnahmen Millionen kosten, zeigen Studien, dass nur ein geringer Teil der Finanzentscheidungen der Menschen tatsächlich durch diese Maßnahmen beeinflusst wird (Fernandes et al., 2014).
Auf der anderen Seite zeigen steigende Abonnentenzahlen von YouTube Kanälen mit dem Thema Finanzen (z.B. Finanzfluss) und eine steigende Anzahl an Finanzblogs und -podcasts, dass das Interesse der Menschen an finanziellen Themen wächst.
Daher steht der Einfluss kostenloser und digitaler Dienstleistungsangebote (wie YouTube) auf die finanzielle Bildung und das finanzielle Wohlbefinden der Konsumenten im Fokus der Abschlussarbeiten. Dafür sollen im Rahmen dieser Arbeiten die aktuellen Forschungsquellen konzeptionell mit Hilfe einer systematischen Literaturrecherche zum Thema finanzielle Bildung und Wohlbefinden im Kontext von digitalen Dienstleistungsangeboten untersucht und aufgearbeitet werden.

 

Literaturempfehlungen:

Brüggen, E. C., Hogreve, J., Holmlund, M., Kabadayi, S., & Löfgren, M. (2017). Financial well-being: A conceptualization and research agenda. Journal of Business Research, 79, 228-237.

Fernandes, D., Lynch Jr, J. G., & Netemeyer, R. G. (2014). Financial literacy, financial education, and downstream financial behaviors. Management Science, 60(8), 1861-1883.

[Translate to English:] Spendenbereitschaft an Dienstleister und Konsumenten

[Translate to English:]

Konsumenten haben heutzutage vielfältige Möglichkeiten an Wohltätigkeitsorganisationen, private Unternehmen und andere Konsumenten zu spenden. Viele Dienstleistungsbetriebe haben das Konzept der Spende in frei wählbarer Höhe mittlerweile in Ihre Preiskonzepte mitaufgenommen.

Pay-what-you-want verkörpert eines dieser Preiskonzepte. Dabei kann der Kunde hier selbst entscheiden welchen Preis er für eine Dienstleistung bezahlen möchte. Ähnlich dazu, zahlen bei dem Konzept Paying-it-foward Kunden einen von ihnen gewählten Preis für eine zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt eintreffende Person, damit diese eine Dienstleistung in Anspruch nehmen kann. Im Gegensatz zu den zuvor genannten basiert das Preiskonzept Suspended Coffee auf einer freiwilligen Spende, wie beispielsweise in Form eines Tickets, welches daraufhin an eine bedürftige Person weitergegeben wird.

Zudem wirkt sich die Corona Pandemie auf die finanzielle Situation von Dienstleistern aus und es entstehen in entgegengesetzter Richtung Initiativen, die dazu aufrufen Geld an Unternehmen zu spenden oder ihnen durch den Erwerb von Gutscheinen Hilfe zukommen zu lassen. Regionale Beispiele für solche Initiativen sind helfen-owl oder auch wirvscorona.

In den Bachelorarbeiten soll daher die Spendenbereitschaft an Dienstleister und Konsumenten quantitativ untersucht werden.

 

Literaturempfehlungen:

Jung, M. H., Nelson, L. D., Gneezy, A., & Gneezy, U. (2014). Paying more when paying for others. Journal of personality and social psychology107(3), 414-431.

Kim, J. Y., Natter, M., & Spann, M. (2009). Pay what you want: A new participative pricing mechanism. Journal of Marketing73(1), 44-58.

Topics for Master's thesis in winter term 2020/21

Technologies in the service encounter / chatbots

The increasing implementation of technologies in different service contexts is changing the interaction between service providers and consumers. While customer encounters have traditionally been based on personal contact between consumers and vendors, today contact is often substituted by customer interaction with a technology, such as chatbots. The technology takes over tasks traditionally performed by employees, e.g. with the aim of accelerating and simplifying service processes for consumers and service providers. In addition, some companies try to convey feelings and emotions traditionally communicated by employees in interaction through technology.

 

Examples of research topics for theses in this context include:

  • Effect of chatbots in the service context
  • Support of sales activities through technologies
  • Customer experience when using chatbots

The topics will be addressed using qualitative and/or quantitative methods.

Recommended literature:

Van Doorn, J., Mende, M., Noble, S. M., Hulland, J., Ostrom, A. L., Grewal, D., & Petersen, J. A. (2017). Domo arigato Mr. Roboto: Emergence of automated social presence in organizational frontlines and customers’ service experiences. Journal of Service Research, 20(1), 43-58.

Ahearne, M. J., Jones, E., Rapp, A., & Mathieu, J. (2008). High Touch through High Tech: The Impact of Salesperson Technology Usage on Sales Performance via Mediating Mechanisms. Management Science, 54(4), 671-685.

Wuenderlich, N. V., Heinonen, K., Ostrom, A. L., Patricio, L., Sousa, R., Voss, C., & Lemmink, J. G. (2015). “Futurizing” smart service: implications for service researchers and managers. Journal of Services Marketing, 29(6/7), 442-447.

Animal-assisted services

Studies have shown that animals positively effect humans' health and well-being. As media frequently picks up on this topic, it is not surprising that new business models arise centering around the human-animal interaction. Service customers can engage with animals, for example in cat cafés, in therapeutic swimming lessons with dolphins, or might be even accompanied by an animal on their flights (emotional support animals). Students will conduct qualitative interviews with service customers to explore customers' experiences with animal-assisted services, their motives and attitudes towards the services and the animals.

 

Recommended literature:

Rötzmeier-Keuper, J., Hendricks, J., Wünderlich, N. V., & Schmitz, G. (2018). Triadic relationships in the context of services for animal companions. Journal of Business Research, 85, 295-303.

Walker, P., & Tumilty, E. (2019). Developing Ethical Frameworks in Animal-Assisted Social Service Delivery in Aotearoa New Zealand. British Journal of Social Work, 49 (4), 163–182.

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