More than 170 final theses were submitted to the examination office of Munich Business School in 2022. Four of them stood out in particular: They are the best theses of the year and were included in the MBS Outstanding Thesis series. In the blog article, we present the topics of the theses in more detail and let the honorees and their supervisors have their say.
As in the previous year, the best theses of 2022 demonstrate that bachelor’s and master’s theses are not only the icing on the cake on the way to graduation, but can also make a valuable contribution to research on current topics. “Best”, by the way, does not only refer to an outstanding grade; the theses should primarily convince through innovative approaches and methods as well as new findings.
And now, clear the ring for the best theses of 2022!
Mitigating, Managing and Moving Past Burnout: An Organizational Perspective on Mental and Physical Well-Being
Bachelor’s thesis by Gavin Trudeau
Gavin Trudeau, graduate of the bachelor’s program International Business at MBS, deals in his bachelor’s thesis with the topic of burnout, which has become more present in society as well as in medicine and the workplace in recent years. On the basis that burnout is not just an isolated feeling of overwhelm, but a syndrome which is experienced after ongoing negative experiences that and poses great dangers to organizations and their employees, Gavin Trudeau discusses causes, symptoms, and prevention strategies. By combining a comprehensive literature review with empirical research consisting of a self-reporting survey and in-depth interviews, the bachelor’s graduate succeeds in painting a “holistic picture” that reveals “not only what causes stress at the workplace but also shows the drivers as well as appropriate measures at the company and their relation to avoid negative impacts” – say the thesis supervisors Prof. Dr. Arnd Albrecht and Evelyn Albrecht-Goepfert.
We asked Gavin Trudeau how he came to address the topic of burnout in his bachelor’s thesis:
“I have always been interested in psychology and the importance of mental health so it was important for me to bring those two elements into my thesis and relate it to current issues I had been witnessing in the business landscape. At the time I started thinking about my topic we were still in the depths of the pandemic, and working from home was still mandatory for most people. I was seeing and hearing so many examples of people from my network experiencing abnormal levels of stress at their jobs and having difficulties adapting to the new way of life and working, which ultimately led me to the topic of burnout prevention, stress reduction and health promotion. I thought these topics were extremely relevant and also forward thinking. The importance of mental health in the workplace is on the rise and starting to be seen as equally important as physical health. My motivation for this research was to be able to provide valuable and insightful data and recommendations so that CEO’s, managers, entrepreneurs and employees can integrate these learnings into their lives to create healthier and more positive work environments.”
You can read the full paper here.
Bootstrapping New Networks – Incentivization Strategies to Leverage Network Effects within Digital Platforms by Using Blockchain Technology
Master’s thesis by Philipp Wohlfart
Start-ups must deal with the “cold start” problem and especially for platforms that fight the “chicken and egg” dilemma, building an initial user base is a major challenge. Since new emerging technologies such as blockchain technology have so far received only little attention in research on this topic, although they promise attractive solutions, Philipp Wohlfart addresses this issue in his master’s thesis. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship graduate explores the question of how blockchain technology can help to bootstrap new networks by using token incentives when application utility is still missing. To answer the question, Phillip Wohlfart conducted six semi-structured experts interviews – with the result that token incentives can support in many ways.
“From the factual coverage to the method to the results, a truly outstanding work: logically argued, well researched, and very structured and transparently presented. Phillip Wohlfarts findings have both theoretical and practical implications for stakeholder management and alignment within platforms. They also provide insight into how to create, evaluate or analyze sustainable blockchain-based platform designs.”Prof. Dr. Anne Tryba, supervisor of the thesis and former Professor for Entrepreneurship at MBS
Read the full thesis here.
Analysis of the Impact of Customer Experience Management Among B2B Companies in the Construction Industry
MBA master’s thesis by Sarim Mehtab Hasan
While B2C companies have been firmly incorporating customer experience management (CXM) strategies into their business models for quite some time and there is accordingly sufficient research on the subject, the relevance of CXM in the B2B context has only recently been repeatedly emphasized. To investigate the importance of CXM in the context of his master’s thesis, Sarim Mehtab Hasan chooses the construction industry, for which the requirement of customer experience is even more vital due to diverse stakeholders. Interviews with senior professionals from construction companies show that the construction industry is still traditional, focuses on short-term returns, which doesn’t align with customer’s needs, and overall lacks awareness of CXM and its benefits. Sarim Hasan uses these – rather sobering – results to derive recommendations as well as short- and long-term implementation strategies for the construction industry in terms of customer experience, which earned his thesis the rating “outstanding”.
We asked Sarim Hasan what it means to him that his thesis in the MBA General Management was awarded as MBS Outstanding Thesis:
It was my first time writing a thesis and I learnt a lot during the entire process. Not only was I able to get an extensive understanding of the topic of CXM in the B2B environment but also improve my personal & professional skills. This, combined with the experience I gained from the business projects during my studies at MBS, really elevated my capability to manage projects effectively, which is something I currently apply on a daily basis in my full-time job. Getting this award gave a substantial boost to my confidence levels, especially to take on new risks for a higher reward, and validated the importance of CXM in today’s customer-driven business world. After working for almost 8 months in a customer-facing role post-MBA, I can undoubtedly confirm that my thesis has played a major role in my performance as a Customer Experience Manager at A2MAC1 and I hope that other business students find value in my research and take it even further.
You can read the full paper here.
Economic Evaluation of Digitized Health Data for the German Health Care System Using the Example of the Electronic Health Record
MBA master’s thesis by Dr. Sven Grösgen
Dr. Sven Grösgen dedicates his final thesis to a highly topical and explosively discussed subject: Germany’s plans to introduce of an electronic patient record. Such a digital file promises not only to improve healthcare, but also to have a positive impact on the economy. However, the status quo is that only 1.8% of total annual spending has been devoted to driving digitization in healthcare, while per capita spending continues to rise at the same time. With a general analysis of the electronic patient record and a detailed cost benefit analysis, Sven Grösgen shows that digital storage of health data has potential to counteract inefficiencies in healthcare and that the costs would be offset within the first ten years. In addition, the MBA graduate advocates an “opt-out” instead of an “opt-in” model and provides further impulses on how the implementation of an electronic patient record can be increased and further developed into an electronic health record.
“The author provides a very good and knowledgeable overview of existing literature and discusses all relevant aspects of the topic. At the time of the research, various reservations of both medical practitioners and patients shaped the discourse, so the focus on the economic benefits is particularly enlightening. As the relevance of the topic has recently increased even more, reading this thesis can be recommended to anyone seeking a sound basis on this topic area.”Prof. Dr. Eva Stumpfegger and Prof. Dr. Florian Bartholomae about why they decided to nominate Sven Grösgen’s thesis as MBS Outstanding Thesis
Read the full thesis here.