Abschlussarbeiten

Forschungsbereich: Management and Financial Accounting

(Ansprechpartner: Eline Schoonjans/ Dominik Kemsa/ Marcus Witter )

(BA / MA) Who is ESG friendly?

An increasing body of research identifies a relationship between female directors and ESG performance of US firms. Empirical evidence suggests that female directors are more likely to be benevolent, universally concerned, possess skills in human resources and sustainability, and are less power-oriented than male directors (Adams and Funk, 2012; Kim and Starks, 2016). These traits make it likely that gender-diverse boards generate higher E&S performance (Tang et al., 2015). Several empirical results confirm that the presence of female directors is positively related to renewable energy consumption, E&S performance, and negatively related to environmental infringements (Atif et al., 2020; Liu, 2018; Francoeur et al., 2019).

 

Possible Research Questions:

How are ESG scores distributed across US firms? (Bachelor)

How are ESG scores distributed across European firms? (Bachelor)

Does the documented positive relationship between female directors and E&S performance persist in Europe?

How do European gender quotas affect the relationship between female directors and ESG performance?

 

Methodology: Empirical & statistical analysis

 

References:

Adams, Renée B. and Patricia Funk. 2012. “Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Does Gender Matter?”
Management Science 58(2):219–235.

Atif, Muhammad, Mohammed Hossain, Md Samsul Alam and Marc Goergen. 2020. “Does
board gender diversity affect renewable energy consumption?” Journal of Corporate Finance
p. 101665.

Francoeur, Claude, Réal Labelle, Souha Balti and Saloua EL Bouzaidi. 2019. “To What
Extent Do Gender Diverse Boards Enhance Corporate Social Performance?” Journal of
Business Ethics 155(2):343–357.

Kim, Daehyun and Laura T. Starks. 2016. “Gender diversity on corporate boards: Do women
contribute unique skills?” American Economic Review 106(5):267–271.

Ginglinger, E., & Raskopf, C. Are women directors inherently ESG friendly? Evidence from board gender quotas.

Liu, Chelsea. 2018. “Are women greener? Corporate gender diversity and environmental
violations.” Journal of Corporate Finance 52:118–142.

Tang, Yi, Cuili Qian, Guoli Chen and Rui Shen. 2015. “How CEO hubris affects corporate
social (ir) responsibility.” Strategic Management Journal 36(9):1338–1357.

 

Contact: Eline Schoonjans (eline.schoonjans@tum.de)

(MA) In god we trust, all others must bring data: The fallacy of software cost planning

Software evolves to the key differentiating feature for products of various industries. Caught in this transformation, companies are struggling to achieve the targeted software project results with regard to time, quality, and costs. Focusing on the latter, companies need to re-think their cost accounting and capital budgeting approaches to enable accurate and efficient planning of software costs. Thereby, the application scope ranges from internal project budgeting to negotiating prices for purchased software products.

The objective of the thesis is to identify and evaluate factors influencing the accuracy of software cost planning in general, and the impact of data on planning accuracy in particular. For data collection purposes, students can choose their preferred industry.

Methodology: Literature review, empirical research, statistical analysis

Start: September/October 2021

Contact: Marcus Witter (marcus.witter@tum.de)

(BA/MA) Divide and conquer: Development of a method for software cost planning

Software evolves to a dominant complexity driver across several industries. Taking the example of automotive vehicle development and focusing on the role of cost management, car manufacturers and suppliers need to accurately and efficiently plan the cost of software development under uncertainty, e.g., for internal budgeting or negotiating prices for purchased software products. Popular methods like expert estimation techniques lack standardization while the sole use of algorithmic models is not expedient as they are not designed for current requirements and lack adequate historical data.

The objective of the thesis is to develop a method to plan and evaluate software project costs. The method can range from modified expert estimation techniques to model-based regression approaches or a combination of various techniques. Further, students can choose their industry of focus.

Methodology: Literature review, case study, survey, expert interviews

Start: September/October 2021

Contact: Marcus Witter (marcus.witter@tum.de)

(BA/MA) To do or not to do: Recent trends in behavioral and experimental research in software project settings

Software projects frequently overrun costs and time. A study of software projects found that more than 70 percent of projects exceed their initially budgeted costs, with an average cost overrun greater than 50 percent. The reasons for cost overruns are manifold, yet they have in common to originate from software's intangible and inscrutable nature. Thereby, challenges vary from capital budgeting decisions under uncertain planning conditions to managerial decisions to continue instead of abandon or redirect troubled projects.

The objective of the thesis is to conduct a literature review on recent trends in behavioral and experimental research in software project settings. Potentially, the literature review can lead to the development and execution of an experiment.

Methodology: Literature review, experiment (optional)

Start: September/October 2021

Contact: Marcus Witter (marcus.witter@tum.de)

Forschungsbereich: Behavioral Economics

(MA) Can we reduce stress to increase happiness?

The more we grow up as individuals, the more we somehow seem to ‘unlearn’ how to find happiness in life. And even as a society, the more we evolve the more issues we see with a struggle for purpose, low life satisfaction, burn-out, and bad mental health. Excessive stress is a key risk factor for burn-out and mental illness. Stress indicators correlate negatively with happiness metrics. Subsequently, zentor developed and refined an intervention (online course) to help people better cope with stress. Now the aim is to find out if that intervention is effective and can contribute to a happy and fulfilled life. The goal is to evaluate the zentor stress management course (as one module of our digital offering) as a pre/post empirical study with test subjects against a control group with your help. Your insights will directly translate into how zentor refines and builds their future offering and how zentor manages an evidence-based approach to mental health.

This thesis is in cooperation with the Startup zentor.

zentor (www.zentor.de) is a Munich-based startup, which uses scientific insights from positive psychology and happiness research to develop and refine a digital mentor for a fulfilling life. More details in our short pitch here: youtu.be/1vyZFJ38fJI

Possible Research Questions:

  • Which metrics best evaluate the effectiveness of our intervention (online course)?
  • Can general wellbeing and individual happiness be improved through the course?
  • To which extent does the course improve stress experience and coping skills?
  • How could outcomes be improved and be monitored long-term?

Methodology: Pre/post empirical study

References:

  • Lazarus, R. S. (2011). Evolution of a model of stress, coping, and discrete emotions. In V. H. Rice (Ed.), Handbook of Stress, Coping and Health
  • Selye, H. (1976). Stress without Distress. In G. Serban (Ed.), Psychopathology of Human Adaptation (pp. 137–146). Boston, MA: Springer US.
  • TK-Stressstudie. (2016). Entspann dich, Deutschland.
  • Metric for happiness: https://zentor.de/purpose-score/
  • The intervention: zentor.de/class/stress/

(MA) How to find purpose and improve mental health?

The more we grow up as individuals, the more we somehow seem to ‘unlearn’ how to find happiness in life. And even as a society, the more we evolve the more issues we see with a struggle for purpose, low life satisfaction, burn-out, and bad mental health. Having purpose in life is one key pillar for a fulfilling life and a driver for individual happiness. zentor developed a proprietary metric (zentor Purpose Score) to measure happiness in life and found that it correlates negatively with depression and other metrics for mental illness. Subsequently, zentor developed an intervention (online course) to help people find purpose in life. The aim of the thesis is to find out if that intervention is effective and can contribute to a happy and fulfilled life. The goal is to evaluate the zentor “Finding Purpose” online course as a pre/post empirical study with test subjects. Your insights will directly translate into how zentor refines and builds their future offering and how zentor manages an evidence-based approach to mental health.

This thesis is in cooperation with the Startup zentor.

zentor (www.zentor.de) is a Munich-based startup, which uses scientific insights from positive psychology and happiness research to develop and refine a digital mentor for a fulfilling life. More details in our short pitch here: youtu.be/1vyZFJ38fJI

Possible Research Questions:

  • How do we best measure mental health (in addition to our metric)?
  • Can general wellbeing and individual happiness be improved through the course?
  • Which domains/aspects of a fulfilling life are affected by the course and to which extent?
  • How could outcomes be improved and be monitored long-term?

Methodology: Pre/post empirical study

References:

Forschungsbereich Energiewirtschaft, nachhaltige Mobilität, Nachhaltigkeit im Finanzsektor & in Unternehmen

(Ansprechpartner: Maximilian Blaschke / Moritz Rombach / Magnus Schauf / Lukas Kemmer / Lukas Schloter / Anton Kelnhofer / Alexander Schult / Sarah Steinbach)

(BA) Calculating the cost of electric mobility: Levelized cost of battery production

Description: Due to the electrification of transport and increasing demand of energy storage most experts expect to see an extreme increase in battery demand in the future. A big question is how to calculate the cost of actual battery production (e.g. per MW capacity, MWh energy, etc.). One concept would be to use a "levelized cost" approach. In this literature review we want to find out if and what "levelized cots of battery production" approaches are already existing today.

Prerequisites: Interest in sustainability, electric mobility

Methodology: Literature review

Start: ASAP or September 2021

Contact: Lukas Kemmer (lukas.kemmer@tum.de)

(BA) Calculating the cost of the energy transition: Levelized cost of energy storage

Description: Due to the decarbonization of the energy system and the resulting increase in variable renewable energy production we expect a rise in demand for energy storage (e.g. via electric battery or hydro storage). A big question is how to calculate the cost of adding storage to an energy system (e.g. per MW capacity, MWh energy, etc.). One concept would be to use a "levelized cost" approach. In this literature review we want to find out if and what "levelized cots of energy storage" approaches are already existing today.

Prerequisites: Interest in sustainability, power sector, decarbonization

Methodology: Literature review

Start: ASAP or September 2021

Contact: Lukas Kemmer (lukas.kemmer@tum.de)

(BA/MA) Subjective measures: How emission test procedures discriminate

Description: With the new „Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure“ (WLTP) the European Union introduced a measure that would account for different driving patterns and street conditions worldwide. While this measure should be eligible for every country, USA, China and Japan want to either change or simply ignore this new measure. This has a huge effect on the taxation of the vehicles in the respective countries.

For your Bachelor-Thesis: We want you to review the existing literature regarding test procedures and investigate the effects of different testing procedures on the export of vehicles.

For your Master-Thesis: We invite you to quantify this effect by empirically testing the procedures for country effects.

Prerequisites: Being awesome & structured thinking

Methodology: Literature Review

Start: latest October 2021

Contact: Maximilian Blaschke (maximilian.blaschke@tum.de)

(BA/MA) Enabling E-mobility: How electric grids can support high EV adoption

Description: With EVs finally taking off since 2020, the use of EVs by a significant proportion of consumers by 2025 is very realistic. While this development is very desirable from an emission perspective, recent studies have shown that electric grids in Europe are struggling to support the increased electricity demand in peak hours. In this thesis, we want to create an overview on potential effects of high EV adoption on the electric grid, as well as related countermeasures, such as Smart Charging or use of private household PVs.

Prerequisites: Interest in renewable energy & EVs. Basic quantitative analysis (e.g. with Excel)

Methodology: (BA) Literature review, empirical analysis, (MA) add. develoment of own approach and model

Start: September/October 2021

Contact: Sarah Steinbach (sarah.steinbach@tum.de). Please follow the official application process as described here.

(BA/MA) Economic potential of hydrogen production in Africa

Description: In this thesis, we want to collect insights on the potential of green hydrogen production in African countries for potential utilization in Europe. Green hydrogen is quickly becoming one of the most promising technologies to support renewable energy systems and bridge seasonal energy mismatch. To produce green hydrogen, e.g. wind turbines or solar PVs are used to power an electrolyzer that produces the hydrogen which can be stored and then used to power gas turbines and / or be converted back into electricity. We aim at understanding the economics attached for African hydrogen export and its effects on the European energy market as well as development potentials in Africa. The focus is on summarizing existing literature, drawing conclusions and identifying further research needs.

Prerequisites: Interest in renewable energy & hydrogen. Basic quantitative analysis (e.g. with Excel)

Methodology: (BA) Literature review, empirical analysis, (MA) add. develoment of own model

Start: September/October 2021

Contact: Sarah Steinbach (sarah.steinbach@tum.de). Please follow the official application process as described here.

(BA/MA) Market dynamics for green hydrogen in energy intensive industries

Description: Green hydrogen is quickly becoming one of the most promising technologies to support renewable energy systems and support energy intensive industries. To produce green hydrogen, e.g. wind turbines or solar PVs are used to power an electrolyzer that produces the hydrogen which can be stored and has the potential to then be used in energy intensive industries such as e.g. steel. In this thesis we want to create an overview of different approaches to design a market model for green hydrogen and its use in energy intensive industries. The focus is on summarizing existing literature on hydrogen marjet models, especially in Europe.

Prerequisites: Interest in renewable energy & hydrogen. Basic quantitative analysis (e.g. with Excel)

Methodology: (BA) Literature review, empirical analysis, (MA) add. development of own market model

Start: September/October 2021

Contact: Sarah Steinbach (sarah.steinbach@tum.de). Please follow the official application process as described here.

(MA) The future of used EV batteries: Development of an economic model to determine the value of used EV batteries

Description: With the boom of electric vehicles we have to think about the end of life of the batteries. In this thesis we would like to develop a tool to estimate the value of EV batteries at the end of their life.

Prerequisites: Willingness to develop skills in economic modeling

Methodology: Economic modeling

Start: ASAP

Contact: Lukas Schloter (lukas.schloter@tum.de) Please apply directly via e-mail

The results and data of this thesis will be used in an ongoing project at the chair.

Forschungsbereich KMU

(Ansprechpartner: Tobias Beibl / Andrea Stübner / Benedikt Tratt / Carl-Philipp Beichert)

(BA/MA) Startups as innovation drivers for SMEs

Description: The coronavirus crisis clearly exposed Germany's deficits in the digitization of the economy and society. Collaboration between established SMEs and innovative startups offers significant opportunities for the respective companies and the German economy. New business models can be adopted and innovative products jointly developed. In particular, the digitization of German SMEs could receive a boost through collaboration with digital startups.

How can small and medium enterprises (SMEs) implement a more
open and co-creational business model by actively collaborating with startups?

Prerequisites: German language skills

Methodology: Literature review

Start: September 2021

Contact: Carl-Philipp Beichert (c.beichert@tum.de

Basic literature:

Chesbrough, H.W. and Schwartz, K. (2007), “Innovating business models with co-development
partnerships”, Research-Technology Management, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 55-59.

Ghezzi, A., Cavallo, A., Sanasi, S. and Rangone, A. (2021), "Opening up to startup collaborations: open business models and value co-creation in SMEs", Competitiveness Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. doi.org/10.1108/CR-04-2020-0057

Massa, L., C. L. Tucci and A. Afuah (2017). “A Critical Assessment of Business Model Research.”
Academy of Management Annals 11 (1), 73–104.

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., & Tucci, C. L. (2005). Clarifying business models: Origins, present, and future of the concept. Communications of the association for Information Systems, 16(1), 1.

Rahman, H. and Rahmos, I. (2013), “Open innovation strategies in SMEs: development of a business
model”, In SMEs and Open Innovation: Global Cases and Initiatives, pp. 224-237.IGI Global..

Teece, D.J. (2018), “Business models and dynamic capabilities”, Long Range Planning, Vol. 51 No. 1,
pp. 40-49.

Weiblen, T. and Chesbrough, H.W. (2015), “Engaging with startups to enhance corporate innovation”,
California Management Review, Vol. 57 No. 2, pp. 66-90.

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