List of Master theses topics at the Strategy Subject Area

Master theses are supervised by Professor Reitzig, Professor Koschat or Asst.Prof. Keck, depending on the topic.

However, most Master thesis candidates closely co-ordinate with other members of the subject area as well.

Find the updated list of topics (per 1 May 2018) here (more topics to follow until 10 May):

Available Topics

Topic Track Contact partners at Dept. Brief Description Supplementary Information &
Pre-requisites
NEW. Experiments on flat collaboration architectures Science & Practice Prof. Markus Reitzig/Valentina Richter, MSc Organizations across sectors are realizing the need to create robust peer-to-peer collaboration without relying on hierarchy.
Agile teams, non-hierarchical organizations, “holacracies”, inter-departmental collaboration, inter-firm alliances- in each case their root objective is to create effective collaboration without relying on layers of authority and bosses, but also without losing accountability.
This thesis is dedicated towards experimentally testing if and how effective flat collaboration architectures can be fostered using the insights of prior research by Puranam, Alexy, and Reitzig (2014).
The work complements ongoing research at the Strategy Subject Area.
*Successful completion of at least one class on experimental methods and classes on statistical analysis at Master level at the Strategy Subject Area (or passing of equivalent classes elsewhere leading to familiarity with the design of experimental studies and handling of statistical analysis pertaining to experimental results using software - e.g., Stata, SPSS, R etc.).
*Affinity towards/entrepreneurial attitude when organizing and conducting experimental studies in corporate and non-for profit settings
*Excellency in all required prerequisites.
NEW. Experiments on smart team architectures Science & Practice Prof. Markus Reitzig/Valentina Richter, MSc Organizations across sectors are realizing the need to create robust peer-to-peer collaboration without relying on hierarchy.
Agile teams, non-hierarchical organizations, “holacracies”, inter-departmental collaboration, inter-firm alliances- in each case their root objective is to create effective collaboration without relying on layers of authority and bosses, but also without losing accountability.
This thesis is dedicated towards experimentally testing if and how effective smart team architectures can be fostered using the insights of prior research by Puranam, Alexy, and Reitzig (2014).
The work complements ongoing research at the Strategy Subject Area.
*Successful completion of at least one class on experimental methods and classes on statistical analysis at Master level at the Strategy Subject Area (or passing of equivalent classes elsewhere leading to familiarity with the design of experimental studies and handling of statistical analysis pertaining to experimental results using software - e.g., Stata, SPSS, R etc.).
*Affinity towards/entrepreneurial attitude when organizing and conducting experimental studies in corporate and non-for profit settings
*Excellency in all required prerequisites.
Skill-Based sorting in GitHub – a complementary survey study Science Prof. Markus Reitzig/Inna Smirnova, MSc GitHub constitutes the world’s largest platform hosting open source software (OSS) repositories (projects). The goal of this thesis is to collect primary information on a selected sample of contributors (programmers) and relate these motivations to the contributors’ skill profiles as measurable from secondary data (notably Stack Overflow), to shed light on the question as to which motivations lead to what type of contributor self-selection onto projects. The work complements ongoing research at the Strategy Subject Area. *Successful completion of at least one class on data collection/analysis at Master level, Subject area Strategy (or passing of an equivalent class elsewhere leading to familiarity with the design of empirical studies, handling of statistical analysis software - e.g., Stata, SPSS, R etc.).
*Skills in setting up online questionnaires.
*Skills in analyzing large-scale secondary data.
*Excellency in all required prerequisites.
Interest in high technology.

*Other: Supervision can only be guaranteed until October 2018. Candidates should plan on handing in their thesis until October 2018.
Multiplex network formation in peer production communities – an empirical study within GitHub and StackOverflow Science Prof. Markus Reitzig/Inna Smirnova, MSc Peer production communities rely less on the nature of formal (authoritative) structures to pass on information than they do on informal, networked structures. The goal of this thesis is to collect primary information on a selected sample of GitHub contributors (programmers) and StackOverflow contributors on their perceptions of what constitutes tie formation at various levels, and how these are potentially interlinked. The work complements ongoing research at the Strategy Subject Area. *Successful completion of at least one class on data collection/analysis at Master level, Subject area Strategy (or passing of an equivalent class elsewhere leading to familiarity with the design of empirical studies, handling of statistical analysis software - e.g., Stata, SPSS, R etc.).
*Skills in setting up online questionnaires.
*Skills in analyzing large-scale secondary data.
*Excellency in all required prerequisites.
*Interest in high technology.

*Other: Supervision can only be guaranteed until October 2018. Candidates should plan on handing in their thesis until October 2018.
Big data, AI, and observable changes in the organizational design of (service) firms - sketching feasible approaches for empirical identification Science Prof. Markus Reitzig/Tim Lechner, MSc Big data analytics – the collection and interpretation of petabytes of data, using, amongst others, artificial intelligence is gaining increasing momentum across industries. Undoubtedly, it will change the way in which organizations divide labor and integrate effort. To this day, however, empirical evidence is scarce. This dearth of insight may be attributable to both the novelty of the phenomenon and the type of information needed to meaningfully shed light on the question. The goal of this thesis is to address this gap both (1) by demonstrating various ways in which researchers may feasibly (conditional on data access) examine the relationship empirically, and (2) pursuing one of the suggested analyses at pilot study level. The work complements ongoing research at the Strategy Subject Area. *Successful completion of both classes on data collection/analysis at Master level, Subject area Strategy (or passing of an equivalent class elsewhere leading to familiarity with the design of empirical studies, handling of statistical analysis software - e.g., Stata, SPSS, R etc.).
*Creativity in thinking through empirical designs
*Optimally: specific skills in gathering and analyzing large-scale secondary data.
*Excellency in all required prerequisites.
*Interest in novel technologies
Distributed 3D manufacturing and (expected) changes to the organizational design of (producing) entities – sketching feasible approaches for empirical identification Science Prof. Markus Reitzig/Tim Lechner, MSc Distributed 3D manufacturing is a critical source of product innovation and will shape the industry landscape in the nearby future. It is expected to change the way in which organizations divide labor and integrate effort. To this day, however, empirical evidence is scarce. This dearth of insight may be attributable to both the novelty of the phenomenon and the type of information needed to meaningfully shed light on the question. The goal of this thesis is to address this gap both (1) by demonstrating various ways in which researchers may feasibly (conditional on data access) examine the relationship empirically, and (2) pursuing one of the suggested analyses at pilot study level. The work complements ongoing research at the Strategy Subject Area. *Successful completion of both classes on data collection/analysis at Master level, Subject area Strategy (or passing of an equivalent class elsewhere leading to familiarity with the design of empirical studies, handling of statistical analysis software - e.g., Stata, SPSS, R etc.).
*Creativity in thinking through empirical designs
*Optimally: specific skills in gathering and analyzing large-scale secondary data.
*Excellency in all required prerequisites.
*Interest in novel technologies
Current supplies, demands, and ongoing developments in the Strategy Consulting Sector in Austria and the CEE .(THIS THESIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE JOINTLY ADDRESSED BY TWO STUDENTS) Practice Prof. Markus Reitzig Strategy Consulting – the external advisory on devising novel and improving existing businesses – has undergone significant change over the past years in lead markets such as the United States and Germany. The goal of this thesis is to provide an in-depth empirical overview of the current supplies and demands for strategy consulting services/products in (a) Austria and (b) the CEE against the particular backdrop of recent developments in the sector (digital transformation, big data driven business models, etc.). *Successful completion of at least one class on data collection/analysis at Master level, Subject area Strategy (or passing of an equivalent class elsewhere leading to familiarity with the design of empirical studies, handling of statistical analysis software - e.g., Stata, SPSS, R etc.).
*Skills in setting up online questionnaires.
*Excellency in all required prerequisites.
*Interest (and optimally experience) in management consulting.
*Interest in novel technologies relevant to business (big data, internet of things, etc.).
*Optimally (but not compulsory) native language skills relevant to the CEE region
Individual skills in group-based innovation Science Asst. Prof. Steffen Keck

From April 2018
The ability to create innovative and creative solutions to problems is a key success factor for organizations. Most activities related to innovation are carried out by groups rather than single individuals posing the question to what extent groups are able to take optimal advantage of the skills that their individual group members possess. The goal of this theses is to explore this question and identify factors that facilitate or hinder groups to do so. The thesis will include planning, conducting and analyzing a controlled experiment with a sample of student participants. *Familiarity with the design and analysis of behavioural experiments (e.g., from classes in the Strategic Management major).

*Ability to conduct a statistical analysis of quantitative data (e.g., with SPSS or STATA).

*Willingness and ability to independently recruit participants and conduct a behavioural experiment.
Knowledge transfers in groups Science Asst. Prof. Steffen Keck

From April 2018
Individuals in organizations are often members of several work groups at the same time and might also perform a number of tasks individually. As a consequence it is of fundamental importance that groups not only collectively develop the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully solve a particular problem, but also transfer that knowledge to individual group members who can then apply it when working on their own, or pass on that knowledge to members of other groups. The goal of this thesis is to explore the conditions under which such group-to-individual knowledge transfers are effective. To explore this question this thesis will include planning, conducting and analyzing a controlled experiment with a sample of student participants. *Familiarity with the design and analysis of behavioural experiments (e.g., from classes in the Strategic Management major).

*Ability to conduct a statistical analysis of quantitative data (e.g., with SPSS or STATA).

*Willingness and ability to independently recruit participants and conduct a behavioural experiment. The Impact of E-Platforms on International Trade
The Importance of E-Platforms in Austrian B2B Firms' Business Relations Practice Prof. Martin Koschat *You need to have completed at least one course with Prof. Koschat
The Impact of European Union Rules on European Businesses Practice Prof. Martin Koschat *You need to have completed at least one course with Prof. Koschat

Please find some of our previous topics (i.e. completed theses) here:

  • Effects of authority structures in small groups, solving exploration and exploitation tasks
  • Performance feedback and risk taking - the role of CEO loss aversion and confirmation bias
  • Managerial Representation and Decision-Making in Systemic Industries
  • A General Theory of Systemic Industries
  • The emergence of organisational design in new ventures:an ethnographic study in the online booking industrytry
  • The Renaissance of Electromobility - The Case of Tesla
  • Mutual Influences on the Exchange of Information during Group Decision-Making Processes
  • What determines market reactions to CEO announcements?
  • The emergence of organizational design in new ventures: an ethnographic study in the food industry
  • The Effects of Geographic Dispersion on Startup Foundation Teams
  • Group Decision-Making in Organisations
  • A Sequential Model of Strategic Information Exchange for Group Decisions in Organizations
  • Performance consequences of the top executive turnover in the wake of new CEO appointments