Aarhus-BSS_2On this page you can find thesis projects (MBA, MSc, Bcc) offered by the Strategic Foresight Research Network at Aarhus University. For more information on the projects, please contact the project supervisor, mentioned in the description of the individual projects.

 

How to Re-define the Retail Industry in a Digital Era

Supervisor: René Rohrbeckbitten

Background: Megatrends, macro-economy, sharing economy, big-data, digitalization, sustainability etc. – these are just some of the terms and concepts disrupting several industries, and at some level changing parts of, or the whole business model, at once. Looking at the retail industry these trends and developments will probably change the industry over time as well. What opportunities can be found and how will it affect a retail chain and the industry in general?

Aim: This thesis project seeks to describe how to re-define retail in a digital era and thereby describe future opportunities for the retail industry in general.

Structure of work:

  • PHASE 1: Describe the main challenges for the retail industry in Denmark today.
  • PHASE 2: Find retailers in Denmark that seam to extend their lead in the digital era.
  • PHASE 3: Suggest examples from other industries that manage to utilize the opportunities in the digital era, which may be adopted in the retail industry.
  • PHASE 4: Set up different scenarios for the future retail industry in Denmark.
  • PHASE 5: Discuss the results and how this might influence the supply chain and/or the organisation as a whole.

Scope: The project can be conducted by MBA, MSC and BSC students and is large enough to also be worked on by two students working as a team.

Pre-read:

 

Benchmarking Future Preparedness of Organizations

Logo Rohrbeck Heger - Strategic Foresight + Innovation ConsultantsSupervisor: René Rohrbeck

Background: Both from the academic research and consultancy practice at Rohrbeck Heger, we have developed a Maturity Model for benchmarking the Future Preparedness of Organizations. This model is regularly applied across industries and in public and private organizations. In your thesis project you can apply the model to one or multiple organizations of your choice, or join us in one of our ongoing assessments.

Aim: Benchmark the Future Preparedness of organizations and prepare proposals for upgrading the organization’s capabilities.

Structure of work:

  • PHASE 1: Assess organization
  • PHASE 2: Compare your organization’s scores with industry peers and with best practices
  • PHASE 3: Run (top) management workshop to validate and discuss your findings
  • PHASE 4: Develop proposal on how to best upgrade existing capabilities
  • PHASE 5: Run (top) management workshop to discuss and prioritize development activities

Scope: The project can be conducted by MBA, MSC and BSC students and is large enough to also be worked on by two students working as a team.

Location: You may conduct the project from Denmark or join Rohrbeck Heger in their Berlin office.

Pre-read:

 

Individual Learning Effects of Foresight Activities

Supervisor: Christina Bidmon

Background: From the perspective of a focal firm it is of high interest to measure the value created by its foresight activities. Current studies mostly address this individual icon
question by looking at the impact on firm-level outcomes such as financial performance or competitive position. Another perspective, which has not yet received much attention, is to consider how specific foresight activities enable individual decision-makers to better see, understand and act upon the future.

Aim: This thesis aims to design a survey tool to capture what employees and managers learn from the participation in foresight interventions, e.g. workshops on scenario planning or roadmapping, over a given timeframe.

Structure of work:

  • PHASE 1: Review literature and set-up survey
  • PHASE 2: Pre-test and apply survey in firm(s)
  • PHASE 3: Consolidate and analyze data
  • PHASE 4: Interpret and discuss findings

Scope: The project can be conducted by MBA, MSC and BSC students and is large enough to also be worked on by two students working as a team.

Pre-Read:

 

Impact of R&D on Future Preparedness

Supervisor: René Rohrbeck

Background: Several companies aim to maintain their innovativeness and competitive advantage through investments in new technologies development or Research & Development activities. However, we observed that companies across size and industries differently prioritize R&D activities and investments. Therefore, we aim to Bildergebnis für r&d iconenhance our understanding on the impact of R&D on the Future Preparedness of a company and its overall performance.

Aim: The project will describe the value contribution of R&D activities within companies, widely accepted in the literature and practice. Based on empirical data, the relationship between R&D investments and the Future Preparedness of companies will be shown. The key question to be investigated: Are R&D intense companies better prepared for the future?

Structure of work: 

  • PHASE 1: Describe the value creation of R&D activities and investments
  • PHASE 2: Consolidate R&D investment data from different sources (most data available, some R&D data of selected companies need to be completed)
  • PHASE 3: Analyze Data
  • PHASE 4: Establish relationship between R&D investments and Future Preparedness
  • PHASE 5: Discuss results and impact of R&D investment on overall corporate performance

Scope: The project can be conducted by MBA, MSC and BSC students and is large enough to also be worked on by two students working as a team.

Pre-read:

 

Performance Drivers of Internal Corporate Venturingseo-performance-graphic-in-a-circle_318-50374

Supervisor: René Rohrbeck

Background: Internal Corporate Venturing is becoming a key driver to probe new businesses and achieve growth. Many companies tap into unexplored business areas by setting up corporate ventures, with the mandate to build new businesses and competences in the shortest time frame. However, the success of a corporate venture depends on opportunity search practices applied by the parent companies and internal operational factors of the venture such as his agility, innovativeness, autonomy, etc. Currently, there is limited literature describing key factors driving the success of an internal corporate venture.

Aim: The project aims to investigate the key success factors of internal corporate ventures. The study will focus on German ventures, analyzing the venturing structure of leading German companies and accelerators/ incubators. The study will follow a dyadic approach, meaning two sides of a venture will reply to the survey. A portfolio manager overseeing venture progress will rate the performance of each venture. The venture manager, responsible for venture operations will provide insights on the operating model of the venture. Based on the two data (performance and operating model) the study will set a link between venture operating model and performance to derive key success factors

Structure of work:

  • PHASE 1: Describe key operating model elements driving venture performance
  • PHASE 2: Consolidate performance and operating model data of German ventures
  • PHASE 3: Analyze Data
  • PHASE 4: Establish relationship between ventures’ operating model and performance
  • PHASE 5: Discuss results

Scope: The project can be conducted by MBA, MSC and BSC students and is large enough to also be worked on by two students working as a team.

Pre-read: