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Master's Thesis at the Chair of SME Research and Entrepreneurship (Prof. Dr. Woywode)

Master's Thesis at the Chair of SME Research and Entrepreneurship (Prof. Dr. Woywode) Thanks to

Students who would like to write their Master Thesis at the chair of Prof. Dr. Woywode must have completed at least one qualifying course (either MAN 630, 631, 632 or 633) and Research Seminar MAN 770. The purpose of the research seminar is to introduce students to academic research, scientific writing, and to current research areas at the MCEI and the Chair of SME Research and Entrepreneurship (Prof. Dr. Woywode). With MCEI, you have the unique opportunity to combine your thesis with a startup project by opting for a Master Thesis Inside the Venture. If your project qualifies, Master Thesis Inside the Venture can be conducted with any Research Seminar in our University wide startup accelerator program. Thus, in this special case, MAN 770 is not a binding requirement. 

Our Master Thesis Requirements: 

Please note that the successful completion of at least one of the qualifying courses, i.e. MAN 630 Introduction to Entrepreneurship, MAN 631 Creativity and Entrepreneurship in Practice, MAN 632 Advanced Entrepreneurship or MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit is a prerequisite to apply for participation in the MAN 770 Research Seminar(offered each semester). Please note that according to the examination regulations of the Mannheim Master in Management §12(4), you can only register for the master thesis at our chair after you have passed the required course(s) and MAN 770 (see above) or you fulfill the course requirement, have completed any other research seminar and conduct a Master Thesis Inside the Venture. Please note that in the case of a parallel fulfillment of the Research Seminar MAN 770 and the prerequisites (i.e., successful completion of the course MAN 630, MAN 631, MAN 632 or MAN633), the Research Seminar MAN 770 is only considered as passed as soon as the prerequisites have been fulfilled. Only then will the completion of the Research Seminar MAN 770 and your course grade be registered and published in your Transcript. Please manage your study plan and stays abroad accordingly. 

The following table outlines a recommended semester planning to finish with your thesis in 4 semesters. To follow an entrepreneurship focus in your studies, you should also consider our two electives (note: both do not contribute to the MAN 770 and master thesis requirements) MAN 635 Social Entrepreneurship: Targeting Social Capital through Ecopreneurship (HWS) and MAN 636 International Entrepreneurship and Managing Change (FSS).

Recommended semester planning (allowing for several options):

1st Semester (HWS) 2nd Semester (FSS) 3rd Semester (HWS) 4th Semester (FSS)

MAN 630 Introduction to Entrepreneurship

and/ or

MAN 631 Creativity & Entrepreneurship in Practice

and/ or

MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spririt

To foster your quantitative research skills for your thesis:

CC 502 Applied Econometrics (MMM core course)

MAN 632 Advanced Entrepreneurship

and/ or

MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spririt

and/ or

MAN 770 Research       Seminar

To foster your quantitative research skills for your thesis: 

Stata Tutorial (optional)

MAN 770 Research     Seminar* 


MAN 630 Introduction to Entrepreneurship**

*  if not completed in FSS

**if course requirement not        yet fulfilled

Note: If not yet completed, you can opt for any of our courses of the 1st semester here or the elective MAN 635.

Attend Master’s Colloquium


Write your Master Thesis

Note: If not yet completed, you can opt for any of our courses of the 2nd semester here or the elective MAN 636.

(HWS= Fall/Winter term; FSS= Spring/Summer term)

In general, thesis topics have to be of an empirical nature. Working on an empirical topic often involves examining larger samples of companies, individuals, or texts. Therefore, profound knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods, statistical knowledge, and good econometric skills are strongly recommended.  Accordingly, we highly recommend students to take the course CC 502 Applied Econometrics (MMM core course) which provides you with solid foundations. Familiarity with statistical software (e.g., Stata, SPSS or R) is also very helpful. We recommend visiting Stata tutorial courses at the University of Mannheim to prepare efficiently for scientific work before starting your master thesis. Since most of the relevant literature is in English, we recommended writing the master thesis in English (writing in German is optional).

Students will become familiarized with a selection of the current research areas of the chair of Prof. Dr. Woywode during the Research Seminar MAN 770. Students can write their master thesis inspired by the topics discussed during the research seminar or in other research areas of interest. In general, the chair currently offers to write the master thesis within the following research areas:

Family Business Research

    • quantitative family business research
    • quantitative research on turnarounds, CEOs, and corporate performance (restructuring)

Entrepreneurship Research

    • conducting an "Inside the Venture Project" with a startup and combining theory and practice - in this case the MAN 770  Seminar is not binding and can be compensated with any other comparable Research Seminar at the University of Mannheim
    • migrant entrepreneurship
    • self-employment
    • entrepreneurial networks
    • startup growth
    • startup ecosystems
    • high-tech/ industry emergence
    • international entrepreneurship
    • crowdfunding

SME Research

    • digitalization of SMEs
    • business models in the sharing economy
    • diffusion of management know-how
    • social Intranets
    • inter-organizational networks
    • car-sharing policy and service provision

Note that according to §12(4) of the Examination Regulations of the Mannheim Master in Management (MMM) of the University of Mannheim, you cannot register for a master thesis unless you have passed the research seminar MAN 770 successfully (or any other comparable Research Seminar at the University of Mannheim when writing a Master Thesis Inside the Venture in our MCEI accelerator program) . Find more information on MAN 770 here.

If you are interested in writing a master thesis and if you have completed our course requirements (see above) to write a Master thesis at the Chair of SME Research and Entrepreneurship (Prof. Dr. Woywode) you can contact one of our assistant supervisors (research assistants) in your area of interest to discuss your master thesis research endeavor. Upon contacting one of our assistant supervisors, the next steps towards your Master thesis are:

1) Write your Research Proposal

After obtaining a thesis area and assistant supervisor, the next step is to write an exposé (i.e., thesis proposal) in coordination with your assistant supervisor. Your proposal has to develop the research question, theoretical foundation, expected contribution and outcomes, and research method of your master thesis. Please make sure to also include a preliminary structure and time plan. Upon coordination with your assistant supervisor, you develop your proposal until your planned research fulfills our understanding of a solid and feasible research plan.

2) Register your Master Thesis

When your proposal has been accepted by your assistant supervisor and Prof. Woywode (your assistant supervisor will coordinate all necessary steps with you), you can formally register your thesis via our secretary Mrs. Schleicher. You can either make an appointment via schleicher[@] to come visit us in L9 1-2 and register your thesis, or download the Master thesis registration form (see download section of this article below) and electronically submit a signed copy of your registration form to schleicher[@] Once registered, the title of your thesis cannot be changed anymore. You will furthermore receive an official due date which is absolutely binding. You have 4 months to complete your thesis.

3) Present your early research in the Master’s Colloquium and attend all meetings

You are obliged to present your research in the Master’s Colloquium at or post proposal stage (2 months after registration at the latest). Presentations are held in our Master’s Colloquium and attendance of the Master’s Colloquium is binding for all our master thesis candidates. This means that master candidates have to attend all the Master’s Colloquium meetings which take place during their thesis processing time. This allows students to learn from each other and provide feedback to others, even when they are not presenting their own work. Find more information on the presentation format and the Master’s Colloquium here.   

4) Complete and hand in your thesis

After a maximum of 4 months (due date, in accordance with § 12(4) of the Mannheim Master in Management), you have to submit your thesis in bound format (2 hardcopies) to the institute’s secretary Mrs. Schleicher (make sure to step by during office hours). Each master thesis must include a CD or DVD containing the thesis, the data used, and all algorithms, computer programs or routines used to create and evaluate the data (e.g. CATA-Files, Stata Do-File and Stata Log-File), and (if applicable) all the recorded interviews in the context of your thesis. Please note that there is a main text page limit: Your main text (including tables, figures, and references, excluding appendixes) should not exceed 60 to 80 pages; your assistant supervisor can set a deviating page limit. Any main text page (excluding appendixes) above the page limit will not be read or graded! For further formal referencing and academic writing, we refer to the Academy of Management Journal's author guidelines and resources. The last page of your thesis has to contain a signed declaration of authorship. Please find the exact wording in the examination regulations of the Mannheim Master in Management: Note that all your work is checked for plagiarism and the electronic software we use (TurnitIn) works perfectly well. Please refer to the Guidelines for the Implementation of Turnitin concerning any questions regarding our procedure of the verification of plagiarism. At all times, there is zero tolerance for unethical conduct, plagiarism and fraud.


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