Third MBS Doctoral Conference: Insight Into and Inspiration for Exciting Research Projects

Opening slide of the third MBS Doctoral Conference at Munich Business School

On May 20, 2022, DBA students and alumni presented their research projects as the third MBS Doctoral Conference took place in virtual format.

Since 2020, the MBS Doctoral Conference has been held annually in May – an event where DBA students from Munich Business School (MBS) and the DBA partner universities Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) and Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM) can present their research projects to an expert audience of professors, DBA students and the MBS research community. This is an ideal opportunity to get new impulses, answers to urgent questions and valuable feedback for the further development of the research projects – regardless whether the projects are in the initial phase, more advanced or almost finalized.

This year, Prof. Dr. David Wagner, program director of the DBA program at MBS, welcomed participants from all DBA cohorts to the third edition of the MBS Doctoral Conference on Friday, May 20, 2022.

DBA candidates present the current state of their research

DBA candidate Irene Bader (MBS / Year 2) opened the lecture series with an insight into her research DBA candidate Irene Bader (MBS / Year 2) opened the lecture series with an insight into her research project Marketing Communication in Manufacturing Industries: A future Scenario for Germany and Japan: In a world, where the landscape of communication channels is changing rapidly, customer communication is being rethought in industrial companies. But complex products require a more technical way of being communicated, so not every communication channel might be efficient. In her work, Irene examines which marketing communication channels will be preferred by customers in the manufacturing industry in Germany and Japan in the future and why.

Andreas Demmel (MBS / Year 3) on the other hand, is working on the highly complex research topic Providing administration services to European Private Equity funds: A strategic analysis. His research aims to provide guidance for Private Equity fund administrators on their strategic decisions for participation in a fast growing and increasingly complex services market.

Stefan Schnichels (MBS / Year 2) then presented his progress in working on his research regarding Customer-agent-relationship in the German insurance industry within augmenting digitization of its society. He focuses on the evaluation of the value proposition in the advisory and sales process between customer and agent against the background of a steadily increasing digitization of our society.

Two interesting keynotes round off the MBS Doctoral Conference 2022

After these three presentations and a short lunch break, the heart and highlight of this year’s MBS Doctoral Conference awaited the participants: two keynotes by DBA alumnus Dr. Tim Dereymaeker, Senior Manager at Porsche Consulting, and Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Obwegeser, Director of the Institute for Digital Technology Management at the Bern University of Applied Sciences.

Dr. Tim Dereymaeker received his doctoral degree in September 2021 with his thesis on the topic of Environmental sustainability and reshoring in the automotive industry: a multiple cases study. In his short intro, Prof. Dr. David Wagner emphasized that Tim was the ideal candidate for the alumni keynote, firstly because he works in the automotive industry, which is representative for many DBA students. Another is that he has succeeded in delivering an “outstanding achievement” with his research in the important topic area of sustainability.

Tim Dreyermaeker @ MBS Doctoral Conference

For instance, Tim’s paper Reshoring for Sustainability: A Multi-Theory Decision-Making Framework, based on his thesis and written in collaboration with his former supervisor Kai Förstl, was recently awarded the IPSERA Jönköping 2022 Award for Best Paper in Sustainability.

In his keynote, Tim went into more detail about his DBA journey, which was extremely successful not only in terms of results (dissertation, excellent paper), but also for its speed: Tim managed to complete his DBA in the record time of only three and a half years! In addition to content-related insights into his research topic, Tim also shared with the current DBA candidates useful tips and success factors that helped him achieve his goal briskly – such as skillfully managing his thesis in tools like Excel, taking off a few weeks at a time to effectively write on the thesis, or telling people about his ambitions thus getting extra motivation. Also helpful: actively connecting with his cohort to share best practices.

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Obwegeser @ MBS Doctoral Conference

The second keynote of the MBS Doctoral Conference 2022 was held by Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Obwegeser: The expert for digital transformation addressed the topic of Practice-based research on digital transformation and gave insights into the publishing process of his book Hacking Digital: Best Practices to Implement and Accelerate Your Business Transformation, which was published last fall. From chapter design – “How do we choose the most burning questions, and how do we make sure we’re not too superficial but not too specific?” – to hiring a publishing agent to the different publishing process of journal paper and scientific book – Prof. Dr. Obwegeser explained the challenges he and his co-authors faced. His conclusion: it is particularly rewarding that a solution-oriented book can really have an impact on practice.

Finally, the third MBS Doctoral Conference was wrapped up with DBA candidate Jonathan Allott (MBS / Year 4) presenting on the topic of Work Identity and the Experience of TEFL Workers – Making a Career in Non-standard Work. Jonathan’s research focuses on teachers of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and their experiences of work and perceptions of their professional identity in the gig economy, while exploring how the massive changes to work in the twentieth century will influence decision-making in a number of fields, including organisational theory, HR, economics and career choice.

The third MBS Doctoral Conference was a thoroughly enjoyable event, both for the junior researchers and for the leaders and supervisors of the DBA program. As Prof. Dr. Heiko Seif, Vice Dean of Research at MBS, summarized, the presentations were followed by lively discussions and the presenters were able to gain valuable feedback and exciting impulses. Munich Business School and its research community are already looking forward to the next edition in 2023, which will hopefully not only take place virtually, but also in presence at MBS!

Please save the day of the 4th MBS Doctoral Conference to be hosted on May 12, 2023!

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