代写 International Business & Management Studies
You are nearing the end of your studies at RUy , and now the time has come for you to write your masterpiece. Maybe you have been looking forward to this moment, thinking of it as a great opportunity to finally showcase your combined skills and talents. Maybe, on the other hand, you have been dreading this thesis, looming before you as an insurmountable challenge.
Either way, whether you are excited or frightened, you can rest assured that the knowledge and skills you have acquired at your IBMS studies are more than sufficient to bring this task to a good end. Next to that, you can still rely on the expertise of your supervisor to help you find the way back should you get lost.
Wherever you will end up in your future, we hope you will remember your thesis not as your last assignment as a student, but as your first step as a professional.
Significance & Goal of the Thesis programme
This document contains the graduation guidelines for students from the International Business and Management Studies programme at the Rotterdam Business School. These guidelines are written specifically for the academic year 2014-2015, but remain in effect until superseded by new guidelines. As a result, these thesis guidelines replace all previous thesis guidelines.
All information with regards to the thesis module is to be obtained from this document only. In these guidelines all aspects of the thesis are discussed, such as the general requirements for the thesis, the approach to be taken and the structural aspects. The guidelines provide information about the graduation semester, graduation procedures and final assessment of the thesis, competencies and the final presentation (defence).
In order for you to have a smooth thesis process, it is important that you prepare for the thesis semester properly. This guide has been produced with the object of helping you achieve this.
The primary goal of the IBMS programme is to deliver students to the professional market by equipping them with the appropriate professional qualifications. When entering the professional field, you are expected to be able to apply the competencies that you have attained throughout your education at the Rotterdam Business School. The term ‘competency’ refers to skilled performance in professional practice. Obviously, ultimate professional authenticity can only be found in professional practice itself, and being in the professional practice enables you to experience the practical value of what you have learned at university.
You, as a student, must demonstrate that you have attained at least an initial level of competence for the professional field for which you have been prepared. During the thesis semester, you should resolve a practice-based issue for an organisation. This issue must be relevant to your professional field. At the same time, you must also work on a knowledge issue ensuing from the practice-based problem in question. When resolving the practice-based and knowledge-based issues, you will further develop your competencies as part of an integrated approach.
The thesis assignment is the ideal opportunity for you to portray yourself in the best possible manner. You will be missing out if you do not use the thesis to portray and position yourself within your professional field. With this in mind, you are recommended to set to work very carefully indeed when choosing a subject for the thesis.
Remember one important characteristic of the graduation programme: it is not a placement
. During the graduation programme, you will do applied research, on basis of which you should be able to issue appropriate advice about a professional situation or development. Your role is that of an independent researcher and advisor.
On behalf of the IBMS staff
The thesis committee
Goals related to qualification for graduation
Doing research for and writing a thesis is an important element of the IBMS programme. It is the way in which you demonstrate your ability to present your ideas coherently and in a well-organised manner through clear analysis and concise discussion, demonstrating your understanding of theory in practice. It is vital that you display your own original thoughts by coordinating your material developed from the range of business disciplines which have been covered in the IBMS curriculum. During your graduation semester you need to work on the following objectives:
§ To independently deal with an issue from professional practice. This involves your being able to describe, analyse and assess the problem definition and for it to be researched properly, and in addition being able to provide your client with thorough, substantiated advice;
§ To anchor your advice in theory (your own research);
§ To make your own contribution more explicit, making it clear that you are able to apply the knowledge, insights and skills that you have attained during the course of the programme in a situation in which you are expected to resolve a specific problem for a company;
§ To clearly and logically describe the results, the approach and the substantiation of your activities;
§ To demonstrate the competencies necessary to be able to function as a manager that has graduated from a university of applied sciences with an initial level of competence;
§ To include, wherever possible, an element of sustainability.
A thesis is regarded to be a student’s ‘masterpiece’ and must, therefore, meet the academic standards set by RBS. In addition, the thesis must meet international requirements.
The number of credits allocated to the thesis is 28. This implies that students are expected to spend 28x28 hours (= 784 hours) on preparing, researching and writing the thesis.
As can be seen in the section above, one of the goals to be achieved is “to demonstrate competencies necessary to be able to function as a manager that has graduated from a university of applied sciences.” In order to ensure this, all students are required to begin with an evaluation of both international competencies and all the generic competencies that are part of the IBMS programme and that have not been assessed at Bachelor level (level 3) yet. These competencies are: International Awareness, Intercutural Competency, Leadership, Business Research Methods, Planning and Organising and Ethical and Corporate Responsibility. Please consult the Framework IBMS Competencies document on InTouch for a detailed description of all competencies and their levels.
An evaluation consists of a short description of the current level for each of the abovementioned competencies, including evidence that demonstrates this level has been achieved. An example of such evidence is the outcome of a relevant character survey. Where necessary, there should also be a plan to attain level 3 for each competence.
The final thesis should once again contain such a competencies evaluation, based on the level of the student at the end of the thesis phase. For a possible format, please see section 2.3 of this guide.
Acquiring an assignment
A thesis must at all times
be written for an existing corporate entity that fits the IBMS profile, i.e. an organisation that operates, or at the very least is planning to operate, internationally.
Students are responsible for procuring their own assignment. Companies can be approached by writing an application letter or assignments may be found online. Another good way of obtaining a thesis assignment is by visiting the external relations office (BEB – Bureau Externe Betrekkingen
). Lastly, you can check the openings available on InTouch directly.
In the end, an assignment must work towards providing a strategic implementation plan for an issue as set out by the management of the company.
At all times, a company for which a thesis is written must meet the following requirements:
§ The company must operate internationally, or must at least have extensive plans to do so.
§ The company must have a website in Dutch and/or English.
§ The company coach must have obtained at least a Bachelor degree.
§ The company coach must be able to communicate in English fluently.
§ The company should employ at least 10 FTEs (Full-Time Equivalents)
It is the responsibility of the student to ensure these requirements are met. Should a company not have at least 10 FTEs, then it might still be possible to write a thesis there. However, the increased risk of an unsuccessful assignment is something the applying student must take into account.
Only one student is allowed to write a thesis at a company at any one time. In the case of larger organisations, students can write a thesis at the same company, but must be working for different departments, and their work may in no way overlap or connect.
A company is acceptable if the location that has issued the assignment is located within the European Union, unless decreed otherwise by RBS.
Any issuing company locations outside of the European Union are subject to closer scrutiny and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. At all times the student needs to hand in documents to the thesis coordinator that demonstrate the existence of the company and give further insight into its operations. In addition, evidence of the company’s support for the student’s thesis assignment must be presented.
§ Thesis application
§ Thesis proposal + competencies analysis
§ Proposal approval
§ Writing & supervisor feedback process
§ Re-analysis of competencies
§ Thesis approval
§ Application for graduation
代写 International Business & Management Studies
Section 1 – Process overview
Two information meetings for the thesis will be planned in the first semester of the year. One meeting will take place during the semester, the other after the end of block 2 (to ensure people who are away for a study abroad can attend). The meeting will be announced via Hint notifications, and is mandatory to attend for all students who expect to start on the thesis within the current academic year.
1.1 starting requirements & application
You are expected to demonstrate that you have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to be able to work and achieve results at the level expected of a graduate from a university of applied sciences. As this is not possible without a certain foundation, you are required to have met the following criteria
before you can begin writing a thesis:
§ You have attained at least 168 ECs in total. This total should contain at least all credits from the propaedeutic stage (year 1) and all 60 ECs from year 2
§ You have attained at least 48 ECs within the third-year programme
§ You have successfully completed the placement
§ You have successfully rounded off all BCN modules
§ You have obtained all credits for all research modules
Please note that while passing the Minor/Study Abroad is not a set requirement, you can be denied starting your thesis module if your progress in either programme is not satisfactory. The final decision is taken by the thesis coordinator under advisement from the Minor lecturers or Study Abroad coordinator.
Upon finding a company and assignment, students should obtain a thesis application form from InTouch, fill it out and e-mail it to the thesis coordinator. The thesis coordinator assesses your starting requirements, whether or not the company is appropriate, and if the proposed assignment contains the complexity that can lead to a thesis. If so, the coordinator will pass on the application to the relevant member of the thesis committee for final approval. Students are then assigned a supervisor by the responsible member of the thesis committee, and a 2nd
reader by the thesis coordinator.
Should the thesis coordinator or thesis committee member not approve the application, they will inform the student on how to proceed.
Thesis supervision happens in small groups in (at least) the first 4 weeks of the thesis module, during which you will be working on your proposal and can brush up on some knowledge where necessary. Because of that, please note that there are only two starting moments per semester:
For theses in semester 1, starting is allowed either in week 1 or in week 5 of block 1.
For theses in semester 2, starting is allowed either in week 1 or in week 5 of block 3.
Starting your thesis at another moment is not possible
due to the way the thesis module starts. The date of approval on the application form is used to determine what your starting week is.
1.2 Supervision appointment & start of process
Students are able to indicate their preference for a supervisor by indicating this in the appropriate field on the thesis application form. Please note that there are no guarantees, and you might not be assigned your preferred supervisor. Whenever possible, the professional expertise of the supervisor should have a link with the nature of the student’s thesis. After a supervisor has been assigned, a second reader is also assigned to the student. The second reader will be selected randomly by the thesis coordinator; preferences are not taken into account.
Students should make an evaluation of their competencies as described earlier on. Then, students must create a thesis proposal that details how they will approach and tackle the assignment issued by the company. This proposal must first be approved by both the supervisor and the 2nd reader before work can be started on the actual thesis.
All students are obliged to sign a graduation placement contract with their thesis company
. Next to the company and the student, RU must always be a signing partner in such a contract as well. The thesis coordinator should sign the legal document on behalf of the RU. Contracts that you can use are available on InTouch. A contract set up by your thesis company is also acceptable, as long as the items stipulated in the contracts as available on InTouch are included. Please consult the thesis coordinator if your company prefers an own contract. Note: thesis assignments not under a contract in which RBS is a signing party are considered work contracts and are not acceptable!
Throughout the thesis writing process, progress is monitored via InTouch, the tracking system of the RU of Applied Sciences. You can access InTouch via an internet browser by going to http://intouch.hr.nl
. The login for students and staff is located in the bottom right corner of the screen; you can log in with your regular school account.
First and foremost, if you didn’t find your thesis assignment via InTouch directly, you must add the company and the contact details of your company coach to InTouch. This person will then be notified that he is linked to you as company coach. Because of this, please make sure you inform your company coach of an e-mail that will be sent when you add the company to InTouch! Please note:
without a vacancy found via InTouch or your having added your thesis company’s information the system does not allow you to proceed!
InTouch organises the thesis process in two phases: the application phase and the thesis phase. The application phase consists of meeting the starting requirements (approved by the thesis coordinator) and the thesis application. In order for the application form to be valid, it must be signed by the relevant member of the thesis committee. After this, the coordinator can make the thesis phase accessible and work can proceed.
Within the thesis phase, you must upload the signed contract you have with the company (please see the documents tab for blank contracts), the proposal (to be approved by supervisor AND second reader), the final version of the thesis and the company evaluation (see documents tab).
Your supervisor will take care of the documents for contact with the company, Ephorus report and the final assessment form.
Once all documents have been uploaded and approved, except for the assessment form, you can apply for the thesis defence at the administration desk.
1.4 Roles & responsibilities RBS
The progress that you are making with your thesis will be monitored during meetings between the student and the supervisor and the company coach. The supervisor will assess whether you are on the right track in relation to the objectives to be achieved. The company coach will guide you during your time with the graduation company and should give you feedback on the drafts of the thesis and your research. The written advice of the company coach is part of the assessment, although it cannot be part of the grade.
The supervisor acts as the only communicator towards the student regarding the thesis process. Any improvements the student is required to make in the thesis are given to the student by the supervisor alone. All contact between the company coach and RBS must go through the supervisor.
A supervisor should also have contact, at least once, with your company coach regarding your progress. This contact should preferably take place early in the process in order to ensure that all parties intend to go in the same direction.
When a thesis proposal is deemed acceptable by the supervisor, and there has been contact with the company coach, the supervisor should verify acceptability with the second reader as well.
The supervisor is responsible for supervising the thesis writing process. Students approach their supervisor to receive feedback on their work. Whenever a student contacts their supervisor, the supervisor must formulate a response within 5 business days, if only to indicate that the message will be dealt with.
The supervisor continues providing feedback until he deems the thesis ready for defence. At this time, the supervisor will contact the second reader again for verification. Should there be need for improvements, the supervisor will inform the student about this.
The first meeting between student and supervisor should serve to set goals and manage expectations. It should be clear to both parties in what way supervision will take place, how often meetings will be held, in what way comments will be given and what can be realistically expected of both student and supervisor. This meeting should also serve to establish at least one business day on which both supervisor and student must be available for supervision.
1.4.2 Second reader
The second reader is a neutral party that serves to verify the level of a student’s proposal and thesis. In the proposal phase, the second reader is approached by the supervisor in order to assess the proposal. Only if the second reader consents can the student proceed writing the thesis.
Similarly, when a supervisor deems a thesis defensible, the second reader must also approve before a defence can be planned.
It is not
the intention that the second reader starts acting as a second ‘supervisor’, giving comments on what the student has written. However, should the second reader require any specific improvements in order to get the student’s work at a passable level, this is discussed with the supervisor, who relays this to the student, accompanied by his own advice on how to deal with this.
In this way, the neutrality of the second reader is maintained. It is therefore of utmost importance that the supervisor does not communicate with the student regarding defensibility of a thesis or acceptability of a proposal before
this has been discussed with the second reader.
1.4.3 Third reader
A third reader can be invited to attend a defence by the thesis coordinator and/or thesis committee at any moment. This third reader might serve for the purpose of quality assurance without influence on the student’s grade. However, a third reader can also be appointed as (extra) third assessor. His/her opinion then needs to be taken into account in the same way as that of the second reader when establishing the final grade. This third reader must also have been appointed as thesis assessor by the examinations board of RBS. The thesis coordinator should inform all parties involved in a defence of the attendance and role of a third reader.
In any capacity, a third reader is always allowed to ask questions during a defence.
1.4.4 Company coach
The company coach will coach you during your time with the graduation company and give you feedback on the drafts of the thesis and your research. Please note that the company coach must be in the possession of at least a bachelor degree or accepted equivalent!
The thesis company will be asked for advice on the level of the student’s professional and generic related competencies. Company coaches are welcome to attend a defence at all times, and are always allowed to ask questions during a defence. However, due to legal restrictions, the company coach or any other representative of the company may not be a party in the actual grading of the thesis.
1.4.5 Thesis coordinator
The thesis coordinator arranges a thesis process that is as smooth as possible for all parties involved and acts as chair of the thesis committee. The coordinator is responsible for assigning supervisors and second readers, and keeps track of all supervision. In all cases that are thesis related, the thesis coordinator should be informed first. Where necessary the coordinator makes a decision.
In case of any issues between a student and supervisor, the thesis coordinator should always be contacted first. He then decides on how to proceed.
1.4.6 Thesis committee
First and foremost, the members of the thesis committee act as representative for the main IBMS areas of expertise by approving the relevant thesis applications and by advising the coordinator on supervision for each thesis.
In case of a content-related conflict between student and supervisor or between supervisor and second reader, the thesis coordinator can also ask the thesis committee to act as adjudicating body. The thesis committee provides its vision on the thesis by assessing it. Based on this assessment, the thesis committee will issue advice to the thesis coordinator on what action to take.
The assessment of the thesis committee should always be available to the student, supervisor and/or second reader involved.
For academic year 2015-2016, the members of the thesis committee per area of expertise are as follows:
1.4.7 Assessment team
In some instances, the thesis coordinator may decide to appoint an assessment team. This team consists of two thesis assessors, who act together as a second reader in order to approve a proposal. The proposal must be unanimously approved.
An assessment team can also be appointed for a defence. The thesis coordinator decides whether the team acts as second reader, as with the proposal, or whether the team takes over the defence for full assessment. If the latter is true, the thesis supervisor is only responsible for the competency assessment. All other elements of the thesis shall then be assessed by the assessment team.
1.5 Responsibilities of the student
A thesis research project is your responsibility; it is the way in which you demonstrate your ability to work independently on a major piece of research with minimum supervision. Secondly, it demonstrates your understanding of the knowledge that you acquired from your courses at IBMS.
One of the most important elements of the thesis is that you are properly in touch with the company that you write your thesis for. This means that you are expected to be physically present at the company for some time. If you are not, this can be deemed a reason to cease supervision.
You have the right to 18 hours of supervision for your thesis within the semester that your start.
Supervision time consists of all
activities that need to be done, and so includes time for your supervisor to read your work, contact and confer with the second reader and the defence session itself, next to meeting with you and giving feedback on your work. You must make sure that you selectively ask for time from your supervisor in order to not be out of supervision time before your thesis can be declared defensible. Also remember that it’s not possible for your supervisor to give you these 18 hours within a time frame of a few weeks, so it’s also up to you to make sure your supervision time is fairly evenly divided. This should be very clearly agreed upon during the first meeting with your supervisor. If you have taken up all of your supervision hours, your supervisor can decide to suspend supervision; you can then only still defend your thesis, provided it is defensible. If you are out of supervision hours, your supervisor is only required to assess your thesis for defensibility once
As part of your thesis project you will need to collect data that will allow you to answer your research questions. As such (depending on the nature of your project), it might be necessary to approach third parties that have an interest / a stake in your thesis company (competitors, for instance). When approaching these companies, you are to always
introduce yourself as an IBMS student working on a thesis project for company x; at no moment in time are you to present yourself as a student working for the IBMS programme / RU only
Whenever you need to involve such a third party, make sure to include the following documents in your appendix:
- A letter in which a company representative states that the company agrees to let you use the data that you collected from them in your thesis;
- Contact information for the person in question.
The end product must be all your own work, not the work of your thesis task team, friends or colleagues.
Regulations require that you meet agreed deadlines as laid out in your GANTT chart. In the event a student does not respect deadlines, the supervisor can decide to put supervision on hold. Consequently, the student is likely to face severe delays in graduating since supervisors are only appointed once per semester, for a period of one semester.
The aim of the thesis is to assess your ability to undertake independent work. This means that you do not produce a ‘PR report’ for an organisation or a company, passing it off as a piece of research.
The standard of English, style and overall presentation of the thesis report is your own responsibility. Therefore, it is important that your report is properly proofread in order to ensure that the grammar and spelling is correct; this is not the responsibility of the thesis supervisor. A thesis must be written at a level of English that corresponds to level C1 according to the European Common Framework of Reference for Languages.
Your responsibility also includes arranging meetings with your thesis supervisor and providing, before the meeting, relevant information/questions you want to discuss with your thesis supervisor. When you submit new and/or revised material to your supervisor, indicate clearly (using highlights or the ‘track changes’ option in Word) what is new and/or revised.
The thesis is eligible for defence only if all elements are present in InTouch, and both the supervisor and second reader have approved of these elements where required (see section 1.3). The only element that should be left open before defence is the final assessment.
1.6 Distance coaching
Students who would like to write their thesis abroad need to provide their supervisor with a communication plan together with their thesis proposal. In this communication plan must be laid down, in detail, the actions/precautions in place in order to keep communication with the thesis supervisor afloat. Students are ONLY allowed to depart from Rotterdam after having participated in their thesis group during the first 4 weeks, or once their proposal has been approved by both supervisor and second reader, whichever comes first.
In case you fail to observe the above or fail to keep communication going while abroad, the thesis coordinator may decide, after being informed by the thesis supervisor, to suspend the supervision process until certain requirements (to be decided upon by supervisor and thesis coordinator) have been met.
Please remember that at all times the thesis defence must either take place in the physical presence of the assessors of your thesis, or via a reliable video connection at one of the partner universities of RBS. In the latter case, this needs to be agreed upon and confirmed by both the partner university and the RBS (thesis coordinator).
1.7 Non-EU students
At all times, non-EU students must comply with IND regulations.
Please note that current regulations require all non-EU students to obtain at least
half a year’s worth of ECs (30) per year. Failure to do so likely results in the IND not extending your student visa.
1.8 Thesis writing at partner universities
Students who write their thesis at a partner university still need to follow RBS guidelines. An IBMS second reader will be appointed. The student must involve the IBMS second reader throughout the process.
Regardless of the partner university’s thesis structure, the student must make sure that his/her thesis includes the BBA Generic and at least one of the Professional Competencies, and the plan of implementation (both similar to the requirements for IBMS students).
Please see section 1.6 on how to deal with the thesis defence at a partner university.
1.9 Thesis semester & thesis duration
The duration of the thesis module is one semester. No matter at which moment during the semester you start, the thesis module ends at the same time as the semester in which you started. Like any module, the thesis is assessed at the end of the period. This means you are assessed regardless of your progress.
In the event that you fail your assessment, you have the opportunity of a re-sit by finalising your thesis during the next semester and being assessed once more. If the re-sit also results in a failing grade you need to redo the entire thesis module by starting with a new company and/or assignment.
A thesis covers one entire semester, or 20 weeks of work. In order to ensure a timely defence, a suggestion
is given in the table on the next page on how long each activity should take. These suggestions are based on the amount and difficulty of the work on an average thesis, as well as past experience. Please note that this is a guideline only; you should discuss your personal planning with your supervisor.
Major Research Activities
Cumulative Lead Time in Weeks
Preliminary research. Defining the research problem, formulating the research goal and main research questions.
Proposal, chapter 1 introduction
Reviewing relevant literature, formulating the theoretical foundation of the research, devising a conceptual framework.
Proposal, chapter 2 literature review
Choosing a fitting research strategy, the data collection method(s), deciding on sampling issues, planning and taking measures to guarantee the creditability of the research, designing the data collection instrument (questionnaire/observation list/ in-depth interviews)
Proposal, chapter 1 introduction, chapter 3 methodology
Presenting the proposal
Preparing the fieldwork
Chapter 2 methodology, chapter 4 findings
Carrying out fieldwork, collecting evidence
Chapter 4 findings
Analysing data from fieldwork, reporting the research findings and draw conclusions
Chapter 4 findings, chapter 5 conclusions and recommendations
Formulating the recommendation and strategic implementations
Chapter 5 conclusions and recommendations, chapter 6 strategic implementations
Finishing the full draft of the thesis
Refining the thesis, handing in the final draft
1.11 Scheduling a defence & graduation
As mentioned before, the thesis module ends when the semester ends, at which time you will be assessed. Assessment happens either when your thesis is declared defensible or in the last week of the semester, whichever comes first.
Once a thesis has been declared defensible or if there are 10 business days left before the last week of a semester, a defence date should be planned. Defences can take place on any work day within the academic year, provided all parties involved are available. You should confer with your supervisor and second reader to establish a preferred date and time for defence. This date and time should be indicated to the administration office at the time you apply for your defence.
If you need to plan a defence because there are 10 business days left before the last week of the semester, it could be that your thesis is not yet completed. If this is the case, your supervisor and second reader can declare your defence unfeasible; if this happens you cannot defend and your thesis will be awarded ND
Please make sure you plan your defence well in advance. You should take 5 business days as a guideline; if you approach the administration desk fewer than 5 days before your preferred defence date, it might be that your defence session cannot be planned anymore.
As all necessary documents have already been uploaded to InTouch throughout the process, including your final thesis, you only need to fill out the Consent Digital Repository form, which will be provided to you at the administration desk. You do not need to hand in a hard copy of your thesis, unless your supervisor and/or second reader specifically ask you to do so, in which case you hand this in to them
, not the administration office.
All defences must take place in the physical presence of the assessors of the thesis at all times. See section 1.6 on distance coaching for a possible alternative if you are writing your thesis abroad.
During the defence, the second reader acts as chair and leads the session. The chair decides whether or not an audience (maximum 2 people) is allowed to attend a defence session. A request to this end must be made at the time of defence application.
After the defence, in order to be eligible for graduation, all credits for all modules in the IBMS programme must have been obtained and registered in Osiris. Once this condition has been met, you can request your graduation by filling out a graduation application form (available from the administration desk). You need to attach a copy of your grades list and ID and have the form signed by your Study Career Coach. The form can be handed back in to the administration desk.
Please note that students can be declared graduated by the exam board only
! The exam board meets during pre-planned sessions; in these sessions students can be declared graduated, based on the graduation application forms that have been made available to them for that meeting. In order to ensure you graduate in a certain month, make sure you first check the meeting date for the exam board (available on Hint). Your form will only be available if you have handed it in at 12:00 noon at least 5 business days before the exam board meeting
. The dates on which the exam board meets can be found on HINT.
1.12 The defence session
The duration of the defence session should be scheduled for 60 minutes.
The defence breakdown is as follows:
1. Presentation about the advisory report (maximum 15 minutes);
2. Presentation generic and professional competencies (maximum 5 minutes);
3. Defence. Questioning by the examiners with the object of clarification and examination of the extent of the student’s knowledge of the subject matter (maximum 25 minutes);
4. Assessment of defence by examiners (maximum 5 minutes);
5. Feedback on thesis and defence (maximum 10 minutes).
The second reader chairs the defence session.
A defence is an assessment like any other. Therefore, if the assessors believe you do not demonstrate your knowledge and mastery of the subject in all parts that are assessed, you can fail your defence.
In order to receive a passing grade for the thesis module, all separate grades that contribute to this must at least be awarded a 5.5
. If one or more of the individual contributing grades to the thesis module are lower than 5.5, then the highest failing grade counts as the final grade for the thesis module.
1.13 Re-sits & exceptional situations
In the event that the first thesis assessment opportunity is awarded ND
or a failing grade, there is the opportunity for a re-sit. A re-sit opportunity is offered in the next thesis semester. Students who start the thesis module in one semester can re-sit their defence during
the next semester. The last business day of a semester is always the last possible re-sit option. Please note that this automatically excludes most weeks in July and August, as these are holiday weeks!
Please note that you only have the right to 4 hours of supervision in a re-sit semester, so plan carefully!
If, during a re-sit attempt, a defence is once again declared unfeasible or if a defence results in another failing grade, the entire thesis module is failed and students have to re-take the module fully, starting with a new assignment.
In the event a student or assessor cannot attend a defence because of illness or other reasons beyond his/her control, a new defence session needs to be planned. RBS cannot be held liable for any delay incurred by such circumstances.
If at any moment the external party that the thesis is written for decides to prematurely end the assignment due to clearly discernible causes on the student’s part, this is considered a motion of no confidence and results in a fail for the entire thesis module (awarded ND). The thesis supervisor should contact the company coach and thesis coordinator before coming to this verdict.
Organisations will sometimes want to agree on confidentiality with students in relation to information to which students become privy. Such a clause is already present in the Graduation Research Contract available on Intouch. The student is advised to mark the thesis as confidential on the cover.
Due to the nature of a thesis (educational purposes) no other, separate non-disclosure agreements with individual lecturers can be signed, as they work under the legal responsibility of the RU of Applied Sciences.
When using company contracts, please note that at all times RBS must be able to use your thesis for educational purposes related to your graduation. In addition, no censorship of any kind may be executed on your thesis.
The student falls under the insurance taken out by the graduation company.
1.16 Plagiarism & fraud
The lifting/copying of other people’s work from texts, papers, graphics, theses, or other material without proper acknowledgement is heavily penalized and will result in your thesis report being failed. It is imperative that you acknowledge all authors of books, papers, texts, journals and internet web site topic pages which you have used as a source in your research, by referencing it according to the APA standard. Also, acknowledgement is to be given in writing to all those people who have assisted you while you performed your research project. If you fail to include the proper acknowledgements and source references, this is considered plagiarism. At all times plagiarism has serious consequences. The sanctions on plagiarism are determined on an individual basis by the RBS Exam Board.
In order to combat plagiarism, the final versions of all theses are to be uploaded to Ephorus (either by the student or the supervisor). The (digital) plagiarism report from Ephorus must be uploaded to InTouch by the supervisor before a defence can be planned. A result of higher than 15% is automatically deemed plagiarised, even if there is proper referencing, as a thesis must be a student’s own work. Any score of 15% or lower is in principle acceptable, but is always subject to final approval by the supervisor and second reader.
Forging research activities or the outcome of research, a survey, an interview etc. is considered fraud and is also absolutely inexcusable. If fraud is suspected, the thesis supervisor is obliged to report this to the RBS Exam Board, who will conduct an investigation. During this investigation, all thesis writing activities must be put on hold and supervision will be suspended. As with plagiarism, the sanctions on fraud are determined on an individual basis by the RBS Exam Board.
1.17 Inclusion of your thesis in a digital repository
RU is connected to the HBO Kennisbank
digital repository via which theses produced by students are made available to third parties for educational purposes. This facilitates the process of creating, acquiring and sharing knowledge within the education sector. The theses concerned are retained in the repository so as to be available to potential users based both at the RUy and elsewhere. By filling in the consent form, a student allows his/her paper to be included in the repository and made available on Http://www.hbo-kennisbank.nl/
You will receive the consent form for inclusion in a digital repository when you apply for defence, on which you can indicate whether you do or do not consent publication. Please fill out and return the form at all times to ensure your approval or denial for publication is properly recorded.
Section 2 – The thesis
2.1 Formatting requirements
The thesis must meet the following layout standards:
Font Arial 11 or equivalent
Line Spacing 1
Executive summary maximum two pages
Maximum number of pages proposal: 10
Maximum number of pages final thesis: 50 (excluding appendices)
Referencing and bibliography/list of works cited in APA format
2.2 Assessment criteria
Students are assessed by means of the IBMS competency matrix. This matrix will be discussed during the thesis information session. In addition, the matrix is available to all students at all times via InTouch. As for the final grading, the thesis supervisor and second reader are responsible for the final assessment. Students are assessed based on the quality of the thesis and performance in the final presentation. At all times, assessments are in accordance with the IBMS competency matrix.
Based on the generic IBMS competencies, students pass their thesis when they:
show leadership throughout the process
are efficient and successful on co-operation with all parties involved in the research process;
are able to effectively apply Business communication skills
are able to conduct the research in accordance with the guidelines
are able to plan and organise in an efficient manner
show the ability to learn from the research process
act in an ethically responsible manner throughout the research process
The start of the thesis process (after obtaining permission from the coordinator to start this process) consists of writing a proposal. This proposal consists of two elements: a competency assessment and a thesis proposal. Please note that a proposal should be short and simple; your proposal should be at most 10 pages!
Students who have finished the IBMS programme are required to meet level 3 of the profession-related, generic-related and interpersonal competencies (see the framework IBMS competencies document on Intouch for a full description). Therefore, before the actual thesis writing starts, students should evaluate their competencies in order to assess where further improvement is necessary. The table below is just an example of such an assessment.
Please make sure you include evidence for all your competencies! See p 3 of this guide for examples.
Applicability to Research Subject
I. International Business Competencies
International Business Awareness
The ability to evaluate patterns and trends in international business, elaborate further on the theory and practice of international trade and financial markets.
The ability to explain various methods to enter foreign markets, outline the arguments to support free trade, identify the sources of comparative and competitive advantage among nations.
The student can research and assess political risks, economic variables and legal systems of foreign markets.
The ability to make legal statements and support those statements with legal arguments.
The student is aware of recent international developments in specific regions.
During my placement for company X, I worked on creating a market entry strategy where I had to identify which method was most feasible. [Include this research/company evaluation that states they were satisfied/other evidence].
Prior to the actual thesis writing process, students must write and fine-tune their proposal until it is accepted by both supervisor and second reader.
To write an acceptable thesis proposal, please consult the instructions in appendix 1.
At all times, your thesis proposal must be approved by both supervisor and second reader. If this is not the case, the research cannot be continued. Under no condition a final thesis will be accepted without an approved proposal.
You need to discuss the assignment with your company coach before submitting the proposal to the supervisor and second reader.
2.4 Thesis contents
This is of great significance to your report/thesis. After reading this summary the reader should have a clear picture about your entire report/thesis. In the executive summary you introduce the company, relate to the core concepts being used and studied. Present your main research objectives, research question(s), design and the most significant research results. In addition you present your main conclusions and recommendations. This all should not exceed two pages.
Introduction (not numbered)
· Reflection on the IBMS/BBA competencies (generic and professional) and the relevance to the research (including the challenges)
· Personal motivation
· Background of the topic
In the introduction you basically state the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ of your thesis. The reader should be able to grasp the rough content of the thesis before him.
See pre-defence checklist (appendix 4)
1.0 Table of contents
1.1 Introduction case company (context)
1.2 Management issue
1.3 Thesis objective
1.4 Research objectives
1.5 Research design main research questions (and highlight of method of data collection used)
1.6 Ishikawa diagram (Fishbone)
1.7 Structure of the report
Here is some more explanation on items from this list:
· Management issue: this might be either a problem or a desired end result.
· Thesis objective: this is the end product (i.e. deliverable) to be delivered to the company.
· Use verbs as identify, describe,
determine, develop, establish, estimate etc. The thesis objective provides the starting point for the Ishikawa diagram.
Research questions: which information do you need, i.e. which questions have to be answered in order to reach the thesis objective (and thus solve the management issue). The research questions all correspond to a specific, and separate part of the thesis objective; when all of the research questions have been answered, the thesis objective has been achieved. See also pages 34-36 of Research Methods for Business Students by Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2010).
· Research objectives: these are derived from the research questions and are the deliverables that need to be produced by the student.
· Ishikawa diagram: the above should be visualized in an Ishikawa diagram in which the “head” of the fishbone is the thesis objective and the “bones” are the research objectives (possible causes). It should be noted that the fishbone never contains questions and/or theories.
At all times, when ending a chapter, you need to introduce the next chapter in the transition paragraph. Example: The next chapter deals with the ……..
Chapter 2: Theoretical foundation
Note that the Ishikawa diagram also determines the choice of your theory. You can ONLY use academic sources such as journals, books and reputable online sources like Harvard Business review. Your theoretical foundation must be based on a realistic amount of reliable academic sources.
What is essential of the theoretical foundation is that it gives the foundation of the research. This results either in a conceptual model (set concepts) or very precise definition of the used key concepts.
The relevance tree must be used to structure the search for relevant academic literature and to present a comprehensive overview of the literature. The purpose of the relevance tree is to give insight into how the relevant key concepts on which the research is based are linked to each other. The relevance tree can be used as key word generator to search through libraries.
Introductory paragraph (not numbered)
2.1 Introduction (What is discussed in the literature review? Why is this discussed in the literature review? Always start with definitions and make reference to the source of reference)
2.2 Per research question/theme:
Theory / Concept / Article 1
Motivation and comparison (Why this concept?)
Critical evaluation (Drawbacks and limitations)
Relevance for the research context
Etc. for all theories/concepts used
2.3 Relevance tree (based on Saunders, p 80)
2.4 Summary (The summary must give a short overview of discussions of the literature
review. It must give a comprehensive overview. This can in the form of a conceptual
Chapter 3: Methodology
Introductory paragraph (not numbered)
3.1 Introduction (What is discussed? Why is this discussed?)
3.2 Research questions
Link to unit of analysis
Link to data collection instruments used:
1) This can be the questionnaire
2) The questions used to guide the in depth interviews
3) The observation criteria
4) Content analysis of organizational documents
3.3 Research strategy and data collection*
· Provide proper argumentation for the research strategy;
· Describe and motivate unit(s) of observation and unit of analysis;
· Describe and give proper argument for the choices made on sampling: sample size and sampling techniques;
· Describe and motivate (proper arguments) choice on approaching potential respondents or objects of research.
3.4 Assuring credibility of the research
Discuss and motivate measures taken to assure validity and reliability of the research results. Give limitations and important assumptions. Report on any incident which might have a bearing on the validity and reliability of the results.
3.5 Planning and execution of the research. Report on planning and execution (per chapter). Highlight the deviation and causes of these deviations of the planning. Report on issues regarding research project risks
Summarize and highlight the choices made for the key components of the research methodology and issues regarding validity and reliability of the research results.
Chapter 4: Research findings
In this chapter
the theories and/or theoretical concepts as introduced in chapter 2 must be used to analyse the findings. Also, there must be an evaluation of research deviation at the start of this chapter (i.e. what has been done in practice compared to the design of chapter 3; what is different and why).
Findings are presented per research question, including both primary and secondary data. (Start chapter with introduction and end with summary)
4.1 Evaluation of research deviation
4.2 Research question 1
Answer to RQ 1
4.3 Research question 2
Answer to RQ 2
4.4 Research question 3
Answer to RQ 3
4.5 Research question 4
Answer to RQ 4
4.6 Chapter summary
CHAPTER 5: Conclusions & recommendations
Recommendations per research theme (based on the research questions and previous conclusions)
Section summary including an Ishikawa diagram with a clear overview of main conclusions/causes.
Introductory paragraph (in which you indicate that the two aspects (conclusions and recommendations are described in separate paragraphs).
5.1 Conclusions (based on the entire research)
Introductory paragraph (not numbered
5.1.1 Conclusion per research theme (based on fishbone). Include the Ishikawa diagram in which the causes based on your research findings are presented.
Introduction next section (not numbered)
5.2 Recommendations (saying ‘what’ needs to be done)
Introductory paragraph (not numbered
5.2.1 Recommendations per research theme (based on the fishbone). These recommendations should clearly follow from your conclusions; they should be feasible and linked to theories and/or tools (e.g. project management, HR policies, 7S model, SLA’s ) if relevant/helpful.
5.3 Chapter summary
Chapter 6: Strategic implementation
This chapter is a roadmap for the thesis company, describing feasible and actionable elements for implementation. These elements follow from the recommendations (“what’”) and explain “how” it needs to be done. In order to prove the feasibility of the implementation plan, a financial overview related to the proposed actions and benefits (e.g. increased sales and profits, decreased costs) has to be presented as well.
Introductory paragraph (not numbered)
6.1 Implementation (change) plan in accordance with the recommendations, based on the research objectives (Fish bone)
6.3 Timeline (short, mid and long-term actions)
6.4 Financial overview; resources needed and impact analysis (costs and benefits)
6.3 Chapter summary
Chapter 7: Reflection
Introductory paragraph (not numbered)
7.1 Reflection on the competencies (generic + professional)
7.2 Lessons learned throughout the process
7.3 Improvement points
7.4 Eligibility BBA degree (explain why)
7.5 Chapter summary
Make sure that you reference all the literature used in the bibliography. Use literature that is as recent as possible. Any sources mentioned in your text should be accounted for in your bibliography, including URLs, newspapers, magazines. The number of web-based references must be limited. A student writing a bachelor thesis must demonstrate the ability to read, understand and analyse literature instead of demonstrating their Google skills.
Wherever possible, all original sources must be given. This means if a book itself references another source, you should also go back to this source.
Assessment takes place based on the assessment form that you can find on InTouch. The rubric that details what needs to be done to obtain a certain grade is part of the assessment form. Please check the relevant tab in the assessment form to go to the rubric.
Appendix 1: Instructions thesis proposal
Thesis proposal key elements (summary)
Context: organisation characteristics of the client
Thesis background and context
-Description product/services, market activities, market position.
-Indicate size: number of employees, average annual sales, profits of last three years etc.
Thesis objective (consultancy assignment)
· Typify management issue (either a problem or desired end result).
Main research questions and objectives
· Formulate the objective in a single sentence. Use ideas from:
· Chapter 4 from Creswell (2009)
· Appendix A from Robson (2002)
· Chapter 2 from Saunders, M., Lewis, P. Thornhill, A. (2007)
· Start sentence with: “The objective of this thesis is (to establish, to determine, to identify, to estimate, to describe, to develop ……)”.
Give your main research questions, research objectives and short explanation for all.
Relate to the management issue and thesis objective.
Research questions: which information do you need, i.e. which questions need to be answered in order to reach the thesis objective. See also Saunders, et al (2007), pp 34-36.
Research objectives: these are derived from the research questions, and are the deliverables that need to be produced.
Research method empirical part (primary data collection)
The above should be visualised in an Ishikawa diagram (“fishbone diagram”), in which the head of the fishbone is the thesis objective and the bones are the research objectives (possible causes).
(Sources: Creswell: Part II (2009), Robson (2002), Chapters 4 to 6, Saunders, et al (2007), Chapters 4, 5, Yin (2003).
Unit of analysis
Indicate which of the following choices:
Case study approach (purpose is to develop detailed intensive knowledge about single “case” or of small number of related “cases”).
Survey approach (collection of information in standardized form from groups of people).
Case study as pilot or exploratory research and followed up by survey.
Mixed method approach.
Unit of observation
The unit of analysis is the major entity that is being analysed in the study. In Business and Management Studies the unit of analysis are often characteristics, processes, activities and phenomena related to an organisation or department, for instance: handling of stored goods, estimate sales, estimated profits and the effectiveness of quality assurances process or behaviour of salespersons in the sales process.
In Marketing Research the unit of analysis is often spending and buying intensions on consumer goods of households or individuals, opinion and attitude of individuals.
The unit of analysis is closely related with the goal of the research.
Case study characteristics
The unit of observation should not be confused with the unit of analysis. The unit of observation is the unit on which one collects data. For example in a research on household buying decision on cars the person with the highest income had to answer the questions in a questionnaire. In that case the unit of observation is the household member with the highest income. The unit of analysis in this case are all the buying decisions of all researched households. Another example; in a research on organisation’s competitive strength, potential clients (person responsible for the purchases within the organisation, decisions makers) where interviewed on their opinions on competitors’ products. The unit of analysis are the opinions on competitor’s products in order to establish the strength of competitors. The unit of observation is the decision maker, the persons responsible for purchases of the potential client’s organisation.
(See: chapter 9 (Creswell, 2009), chapters 9, 11 12 & 14 (Robson, 2002), chapters 5, 9,
10 & 13 (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007) and Yin (2003).
Your research questions have an exploratory nature. You suspect that there is a relationship between some phenomena. But you are not sure how and what this relationship is. Questions often start with why, what and who.
· In case studies sampling procedures are less strict then surveys. Mostly a probability sample is not necessary, unless you conduct a survey within case study context and representativeness is very important.
· Most used sampling techniques are: purposive (extreme case, heterogeneous, homogeneous, critical case, typical case) and snowball. Sampling techniques as self-selection and convenience sampling can be used as well.
· Take the population and its size into consideration (see also unit of observation).
· Further issues to be consider are:
· What sampling frame is available?
· Who should be interviewed in depth, what should be observed, which organizational documents must be selected?
· How many observations, interviews, documents should selected? Guideline in this is the principle of saturation. Rule of thumb between 20 and 50 interviewees.
(Participant ) observation
· Indicate whether or not participant observation is used. If so answer the other questions.
· Indicate researcher role(s): participant as observer, observer as participant, complete participant or complete observer.
· Indicate your time availability
· Indicate how many incidents/cases you are going to observe. Include a separate list indicating which incidents, when to observe.
· What are the chances of having access to the organization and /or processes to be observed?
· Is structured observation method used? Which behaviour is observed? How is the observation organized?
· Is a coding schedule used? Include as an example a short description.
· Are more observers involved? What are their backgrounds, training and experiences? Include this information in a separate list.
Semi-structured and in-depth interviewing
· Indicate which method of qualitative interviewing techniques is used: One-to-one (Face-to-face, telephone), one-to-many (focus group). If used answer the next questions.
· How many informants are necessary? What are the roles and functions of these informants? Include a separate list with contact details.
· Are informants reliable? How can you prove this?
· Are informants available? When are they available? Are your informants committed to assist you with your research?
· Indicate your time availability.
· Indicate the number of open and complex questions in the interview.
· Other sources used
· Are other information sources used to ensure triangularity? Indicate which ones: diaries, financial statements, company reports, company databases, other relevant secondary data, surveys, et cetera.
· Measures taken to get reliable data
· How to assure informant and/or observed persons commitment and help.
· What are the control measures to get reliable informants and/or relevant case to be observed?
· Which checks are used to assess the professional quality of the interview questions, the interviewer or observation list.
· Which measures are used to prevent biases of the interviewer(s) or observer(s)?
· How should the interviews and observations and findings on other sources be recorded?
(See: Chapters Ch 7 & 8 (Creswell, 2009), chapter 5, 8, 10 & 13 (Robson, 2002), chapter 5, 7, 11 &12 (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007)
The research questions are aimed at establishing frequencies of certain phenomena. The purpose is to describe the phenomena in term of frequencies (numbers and percentages) and investigate if there any statistically significant relationship between phenomena.
· Indicate the sampling framework to be used. Indicate the availability and accessibility of this.
· Establish the population and the population size (See also unit of observation).
Probability sampling method
· Indicate which type of probability sampling method is used: simple random, systematic random, stratified random, Cluster or multistage.
· Give arguments for choice.
· Give sample size, see also (Robson, 2002, pp. 161-162; Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007, pp. 204-245)
· Indicate which type of non-probability sampling method is used: quota, self-selection or convenience.
· Give arguments for choice.
· Give sample size(s), see also: (Robson, 2002, pp. 161-162; Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007, pp. 204-245).
Data collection method
· Indicate the data collection method(s) employed: telephone interviewing, post or e-mail interview, face-to-face interview or other way of distribution the questionnaires.
Measures taken to get reliable data
· How to assure high response rate(s)
· How important is representativeness.
· What are the control measures over the sample content
· Which checks are used to assess the professional quality of the questionnaire or observation list
· Which measures are used to prevent biases of the interviewer or observer?
· Which statistical analysis techniques will be used: frequency tables cross tables with chi-square or more advantages statistical techniques?
(See: Chapter 2 (Creswell, 2009), chapter 3 (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007)
This part gives the foundation of the research. This results either in a conceptual model (set concepts) or very precise definition of the used key concepts.
Indicate which theoretical frameworks (literature) you will use; give arguments for their choice. Note that the Ishikawa diagram determines the choice of your literature. List the chosen literature per research objective/question. You can ONLY use academic sources such as journals, books and reputable online sources like Harvard Business review. Your literature review must be based on a realistic number of reliable academic sources.
Are there any major risks involved at this moment or in the future which will have effect on:
Quality of the research.
Lead time of the project
Cost or needed manpower
If risk situation changes inform your supervisor immediately
Appendix 2: Pre-defence checklist
Core document formatting
Table of contents
Overview of abbreviations
Overview of figures and tables
Referencing and bibliography
Short introduction per chapter
Chapters summary + Introduction next chapter in previous chapter
Chapter 1 Introduction management issues and thesis objective
Presentation management issue (result/problem)
Chapter summary + Short intro next chapter
Chapter 2 Theoretical foundation
Sufficient theoretical concepts from books/journals are discussed: theories are described, compared, criticized and linked to the research context (relevance)
Theories are categorized per research question
Referencing of all theories (APA style)
Relevance tree (based on the theory p80 Saunders)
Introduction next chapter
Chapter 3 Methodology
Relevance tree (based on methodology)
Description research type (figure 10.1 p321 , p323 table 10.1 Saunders)
Description of data gathering (reference to Saunders)
Data processing (primary + secondary)
Justification of interviews
(Calculation of) sample size (in line with theory Saunders)
Research planning and risks
Introduction next chapter
Chapter 4 Research findings
Research justification (deviations from the original design as described in chapter 3)
Findings are presented per research question/theoretical concept. Include both primary + secondary data.
Introduction next chapter
Chapter 5 Conclusions (based on the entire research) and Recommendations
Conclusion per research question
Fishbone: which (sub) objectives are most important?
Introduction next section
Recommendations per research theme (based on the research questions and previous conclusions)
Section summary including an Ishikawa diagram with a clear overview of main conclusions/causes
Introduction next chapter
Chapter 6 Strategic implementation plan
Implementation based on the research themes and recommendations describing feasible actions to be taken
Including timeline (short, mid and long-term)
Including financial overview; resources and impact of the proposed actions (costs and benefits)
Including risk analysis of the recommendations/proposed actions
Introduction next chapter
Chapter 7 Reflection
Reflection on the competencies (generic + professional)
Lessons learned throughout the process
Eligibility BBA degree
代写 International Business & Management Studies
Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research Design, Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches
(Third ed.). Thousand Oaks, California, USA: Sage.
Robson, C. (2002). Real World Research, A Resource for Social Scientist and Practitioner-Researcher
(Second ed.). Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publishing.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2007). Research methods for Business Students
(Fourth ed.). Harlow, Essex, UK: Pearson Education Limited.
Yin, R. K. (2003). Case Study Research: Design and Methods
(Third ed.). London: Sage.
The starting criteria that you need to meet are detailed in the OER
of the year in which you started your main phase. Consult the study guide (lgids)
of your own main phase for the requirements you need to meet.
The minimum sample size for a survey is at 95 confidence level and a margin of error with a maximum of 5%. Correction for a smaller population is allowed according to the common procedure for this (see appendix 2 of Saunders (2009).
In this chapter you use the theoretical foundations as presented in Chapter 2 as a tool to help you analyse/clarify the findings derived from your interview and surveys.
Convenience sampling is also known as opportunity sampling, pragmatic sampling and haphazard sampling.
Yin (2003) discusses criteria for judging the quality of research design of cases studies in much more detail
A more extensive overview of measure are given in chapter 11 (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007, pp. 354 - 399)