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Department of Business and Economics

Current Topics

Digital Nomadism and Organizational Commitment

Location-independent digital technologies enable so-called "digital nomads" to earn a living from anywhere in the world. Under the influence of digitization and globalization, people - including entrepreneurs, freelancers, and employees - have begun to leave behind regular "9-to-5" work structures and change their expectations of work, especially with regard to their work-life balance, expanding the concept of work-life balance to include work-leisure balance. Because of this change in perspective, work is increasingly seen as part of a lifestyle that encourages workers to choose their environment based on leisure preferences rather than work-related circumstances.

In the current research project, we are investigating the connection between digital nomadism and organizational commitment, which refers to the psychological bond and loyalty of a person to his or her company. The paper addresses the question of how digital nomads feel connected and committed to their company while working remotely and not physically present in a traditional office. It is about whether and how a sense of belonging can be maintained among digital nomads, they align with the company's goals and values, and they perform work tasks despite the geographic flexibility and possible time differences. To do this, you will build on existing qualitative research in your thesis.

  • Hensellek, S., & Puchala, N. (2021). The Emergence of the Digital Nomad: A Review and Analysis of the Opportunities and Risks of Digital Nomadism. In M. Orel, O. Dvouletý, & V. Ratten (Eds.), The Flexible Workplace. Human Resource Management (pp. 195–214). Springer, Cham.
  • Reichenberger, I. (2017). Digital nomads – a quest for holistic freedom in work and leisure. Annals of Leisure Research, 21(3), 364–380.



The Digital Nomad Lifecycle

Digital nomads are ususally perceived as highly-skilled knowledge workers for a high passions for travel and a strong sense of wanderlust. However, little is know about the exact reasons behind their individual drivers that lead them to start their lifestyle. Further, no research has thus far investigated what exactly keeps them going on their journey and why most digital nomads stop their journey at some point and resettle permanently.

This thesis aims to investigate the different motivational factors that influence individuals to start digital nomadism and which factors motivate them to continue and ultimately abandon this lifestyle. Building on an existing research framework, interviews with digital nomads will be conducted. Ther results will then be matched and evaluated with prior research.

  • Gerdenitsch, C. (2017). New ways of working and satisfaction of psychological needs. In Job Demands in a Changing World of Work: Impact on Workers’ Health and Performance and Implications for Research and Practice (pp. 91–109). Springer International Publishing.

  • Reichenberger, I. (2017). Digital nomads – a quest for holistic freedom in work and leisure. Annals of Leisure Research, 21(3), 364–380.



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.



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.

  • 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.



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), S. 153–171.
  • Dushnitsky, G. & Lenox, M. J. (2005a). When Do Firms undertake R&D by Investing in New Ventures? Strategic Management Journal, 26(10), S. 947–965.



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.