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Department of Business and Economics

Current Topics

Corporate Coworking

Coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular. Originally designed for the self-employed and young companies, more and more employees of established companies are working in coworking spaces. An increasing number of companies are also establishing their own coworking spaces, which give their employees the opportunity to work together with colleagues from other areas or even external parties. These practices aim to increase the exchange of knowledge in and around companies and optimize the potential for innovation.

In this thesis, a qualitative final paper on corporate coworking spaces will be written based on the coworking and innovation network literature. For this purpose, interviews are conducted with corporate coworking space operators and users. These are then analyzed using established methods (e.g., grounded theory method) and integrated into existing research.

  • Heinzel, V., Georgiades, S., & Engstler, M. (2021). Corporate Coworking – A Catalyst for Collaboration, Creativity, and Innovation. In M. Orel, O. Cvouletý, & V. Ratten (Eds.), The Flexible Workplace (pp. 81–96). Springer Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-62167-4_5

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Human and Social Capital of Coworking Space Founders

Coworking spaces are currently the big trend in the office real estate market. Despite their popularity, more than half of coworking spaces seize operation shortly after launch. What influence do the education, professional experience and possible previous start-up experience of the coworking space founders have on the success of their spaces?

In this thesis, the influence of the human and social capital of the founders on the founding success of coworking spaces will be investigated by means of innovative data collection via social media or classic survey methods.

  • Bouncken, R. B., Kraus, S., & Martínez-Pérez, J. F. (2020). Entrepreneurship of an institutional field: the emergence of coworking spaces for digital business models. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 16(4), 1465–1481. doi.org/10.1007/s11365-020-00689-4

  • Martin, B. C., McNally, J. J., & Kay, M. J. (2013). Examining the formation of human capital in entrepreneurship: A meta-analysis of entrepreneurship education outcomes. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(2), 211–224. doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2012.03.002

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Venturing Into the Future: The Impact of Corporate Venture Capital

In today's corporate landscape, the importance and influence of corporate venture capital (CVC) has increased dramatically. CVC, equity investments by established companies in privately held companies, is a fundamental aspect of entrepreneurial finance. Seven of the top ten companies in the world by revenue are engaged in significant CVC, including Google, Intel, and Salesforce. Your master's thesis will explore CVC's strategies, mechanisms, and impact on innovation, economic growth, and corporate success. In general, your thesis can follow five main themes. (1) corporate antecedents, i.e., the factors that lead incumbent firms to make CVC investments; (2) corporate consequences, i.e., the impact of CVC investments on the parent firm; (3) organization and governance of the CVC entity; (4) start-up antecedents, i.e., the factors that lead start-ups to seek CVC support; and (5) start-up consequences, i.e., the impact of CVC support on start-up performance.

To ensure a good thesis start, you will receive a current literature review to discuss important literature in the field and identify a potential research gap. In addition, you will be working with existing data but will need to collect additional data based on the research gap you place.

  • Basu, S., Phelps, C. & Kotha, S. (2011). Towards Understanding Who Makes Corporate Venture Capital Investments and Why. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(2),  153–171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2009.07.001
  • Dushnitsky, G. & Lenox, M. J. (2005). When Do Firms undertake R&D by Investing in New Ventures? Strategic Management Journal, 26(10), 947–965. https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.488

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The Evolution of Conceptual Contributions in Entrepreneurship Research

In this thesis, the development of conceptual contributions in entrepreneurship research is explored. The focus is on how theories in the field of entrepreneurship have evolved over time. By documenting the research topics in this area over the years, a foundation is established to understand what is considered a valuable contribution in this field.

This work tracks and highlights the temporal development in the science of entrepreneurship. It illustrates how conceptual thinking has enabled researchers to create new knowledge. This is particularly facilitated by the use of computer-aided text analysis methods, such as LIWC.

The following core topics are addressed in the thesis:

  1. The integration of the framework by MacInnis (2011) in entrepreneurship research: Investigating the extent to which conceptualizations have been incorporated into entrepreneurship research.
  2. Changes in theoretical approaches: Analysis of shifts in theoretical frameworks and approaches within entrepreneurship research over time. Additionally, it aims to identify which unique theories have emerged from entrepreneurship research and which theories have been borrowed.
  3. Methodological trends: Assessment of methodological approaches and their development over time.
  • Kindermann, B., Wentzel, D., Antons, D., & Salge, T. O. (2023). EXPRESS: Conceptual Contributions in Marketing Scholarship: Patterns, Mechanisms, and Rebalancing Options. Journal of Marketing, 00222429231196122. https://doi.org/10.1177/00222429231196122
  • MacInnis, D. J. (2011). A framework for conceptual contributions in marketing. Journal of Marketing75(4), 136-154. https://doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.75.4.136

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Solving todays 'big challenges' with entrepreneurship and digitalization research

You have an idea how to solve one of our society's "big challenges"? Inspired by the European Commission major societal challenges are:

  • Health (e. g. pandemics), demographic change;
  • Hunger, poverty and unequal distribution of wealth; 
  • Climate change (e. g. global warming, biodiversity loss, natural disasters);
  • Transformation to a secure, clean and sustainable economy;
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies as an alternative to the rising protectionism. 

For these societal challenges, that are not yet fully understood, solutions are urgently required (OECD, 2020). Are you eager to conduct re­search and find a solution how we can tackle any of these major societal challenges?  

  • Ricciardi, F., Rossignoli, C., & Zardini, A. (2021). Grand challenges and entrepreneurship: Emerging issues, research streams, and theoretical landscape. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 1–33. https://doi.org/10.1007/S11365-021-00771-5

  • Nambisan, S., & George, G. (2024). Digital Approaches to Societal Grand Challenges: Toward a Broader Research Agenda on Managing Global-Local Design Tensions. Information Systems Research, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.2023.0152

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