Information for MCI students

This page provides MCI students additional information, especially on thesis under my supervision. They apply for all study programs. Colleagues may have different procedures to supervise thesis. The following is subject to change.

Topics for thesis

Overall, I have supervised about 200 thesis various fields. In the following, you find a list of potential themes in which you can position your topic. Such a list cannot be comprehensive. Therefore, if you have an interesting idea, which inspires you, just contact me. I really like working with proactive students and extending my horizon. Please have also a look at my current research projects.

Case Study (practice oriented)

Case studies in which the student works on a practical problem provided by an organization concerning aspects of production, operations management, supply chain management, operations research, decision making, business process management, etc. In particular, two methods to address practical problems have been proven to be very successful in theses:

  1. Analyzing Decision Problems with the Entscheidungsnavi [More detailed and more realistic than in the course.]
  2. Developing a Balanced Scorecard with Value-focused Thinking for an organization / a sector / a business function

Trends in Supply Chain Management and Operations Management

  1. Ethical decision-making in supply chains / organizations / SME
  2. Green supply chain management
  3. Corporate social responsibility in supply chains / organizations / SME
  4. Implications of Digitalization on supply chains

Decision Making 4.0 (within international research projects)

  1. Automation of complex decision situations
  2. Improving decision making with Big Data
  3. Artificial intelligence, Big Data, and decision making: Potentials and Challenges

Behavioral Decision-Making (within international research projects)

  1. Minimizing the impact of fake news on the real world using debiasing methods of the perseverance bias
  2. Implementing countermeasures against biases in decision-making in practice (i.e., how to deal Overconfidence, Optimism Bias, Confirmation Bias, Omission Bias, Anchoring, etc.)
  3. Improving life satisfaction through smart decisions
  4. Improving company performance through smart decisions
  5. Measuring the impact of good decision making
  6. Investigating the impact of proactive decision making on entrepreneur and entrepreneurial success
  7. Explaining entrepreneurial behavior with proactive decision making
  8. How can entrepreneurs trained to become more effective decision makers?
  9. Improving decision making skills of high-school students

FAQ (selected issues)

How do I make the initial contact with my supervisor?

The easiest option would be, if you contact your supervisor personally in a lecture. Since it is not very likely that you have a lecture of your supervisor when thinking about your thesis, the usually way to contact is via email. Please elaborate in this email

  1. who you are
  2. the motivation of the thesis
  3. the problem statement
  4. the preliminary outline (2 levels)
  5. your availability in the next days or the week (It is sufficient just to send a couple of suggestions; this prevents in most cases ineffective “email ping pong”; Often, I am available in the early morning, so consider to suggest a time before your studies or work).

Contact me early and not just before the deadline for submitting your proposal

How often should I contact my supervisor?

It depends. It is not necessary to meet your supervisor to show him that you do what you are supposed to do. If you are confronted with an issue, you are not able to deal with or I am not sure what to do and need critical reflection, you should contact your supervisor. If your thesis is embedded in a research project of the supervisor there are often regular meetings. Depending on the stage of the thesis, the meetings can be on a weekly, bimonthly, or monthly basis organized.

How should I contact the supervisor to get feedback?

You should write an email in which you specify as precise as possible your issues and what you want. If the supervisor does not know what you want, the supervision process can neither be efficient nor effective. The supervisor should be able to “start operating directly” instead of “picking you up, driving you to the hospital, etc.” Please describe your problem and your potential solutions you are not sure of. Ideally, you also reflect on them.

In the following, you find a couple of bad examples

  • I do not know what to do in Chapter 3
  • Should I include “XXX” in my thesis?
  • How do I cite….?
  • I do not find a book…
  • I do not know how to search for literature…
  • Can I rename a chapter (without changing the focus of the thesis)? [Answer, yes if it contributes to better answering the research question]
  • Can I include a subsection in chapter X (without changing the focus of the thesis)? )? [Answer, yes if it contributes to better answering the research question]
  • Etc.

Here you find a list of reasonable examples:

  • During my studies, I have realized that I have not considered a potentially relevant research stream (XXX). I am not sure whether, I should consider it. The reasons against are …. and the reasons for are…
  • There seem to be the opportunity that I include a survey, experiment, case, etc. in my thesis. This my change the focus of my thesis substantially. I am not sure whether, I should include it. The reasons against are …. and the reasons for are…
  • It was my intention to carry out a quantitative survey. However, I have severe problems to get sufficient participants. Therefore, I thought about focusing on 6 indebts expert interviews. I am not sure whether, I should do it. The reasons against are …. and the reasons for are…
  • Due to including survey, experiment, case, etc. in my thesis, it will be longer than allowed. What should I do? I am not sure whether, I should do it. The reasons against are …. and the reasons for are…
  • Etc.

Do I have to contact my supervisor if I want to change my outline?

It depends. If your suggested change is based on sources, deep thoughts, etc. and contributes to better answering the research question, you do not have to contact your supervisor. By doing this in most cases students show their ability to make reasonable, theory-driven conclusions. You should only contact your supervisor, if you intend to make a major change in your thesis which such as adapting your research question or problem statement, adding or removing a case study, adding or removing hypothesis, etc.

Can I send my supervisor a preliminary version of the thesis to get detailed feedback before the final submission?

In most cases no. What should be evaluated at the end? There are two exceptions. Firstly, in research-oriented theses, e.g. if the thesis is embedded in a research project of the supervisor. In these cases, a more intense exchange is often necessary because of the novelty of the topic. Secondly, if a student is afraid whether he or she will pass. However, is such a case the final grade will be probably (very) low because there will be not much left to be evaluated.

What should be included in my thesis? How much should I write about “XXX”?

Try to be as concise as possible in the foundations and include only something if it contributes to answering the research question.

Dos

  • Format, citation, length, etc. not in line with MCI guidelines
  • Tables and figures are not referred to in the text
  • Tables and figures are not fully explained to in the text
  • Summarized studies are not in the footnote