Writing Your Thesis at the IMC

The objective of a thesis is to show that the candidate is able to work independently and in an academic way on a question related to the field of business administration. If you are interested in writing your thesis at the Institute of Management Accounting and Control, please consider the following points:

  • Topic: We propose a number of topics for theses in management accounting & strategy execution and their digitalization. Besides applying for a topic from the list you can also propose a topic of your own choice as long as it is within the fields mentioned above and – ideally – within the field of our research areas. If you would like to propose an original topic, please give us a short sketch of your ideas.
  • Mandatory midterm presentation: After about half of the preparation time all candidates will be asked to present storyline, structure and, if available, first results to the supervisor(s). This offers you the opportunity to discuss potential problems and to make sure that you are on track.
  • Formal requirements: The following reference materials are strongly recommended reading, also with regard to the procedure of preparing an academic thesis:
    Priority 1
    : Respective section of § 6 "Final thesis" ("Abschlussarbeit") from the curriculum ("Studienplan") of your BSc/MSc program.
    Priority 2
    : American Psychological Association (2010). Publication Manual, 6th ed., Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. This is a comprehensive style guide to academic writing in the social and behavioral sciences. You should pay detailed attention especially to citation rules.
    Priority 3: Regarding formatting, the IMC recommends Times New Roman 12pt as a standard serif typeface, as well as full justification, a spacing of 1.5 lines, and page margins of one inch throughout. General WHU regulations (e.g., concerning text length, design of the cover page, etc.) take precedence wherever applicable.
    Priority 4: IMC requires students to submit an abstract alongside the thesis, as well as an executive summary for a thesis written in collaboration with a company.
    Priority 5: If you conduct interviews for your reserach, we require you to submit either a summaries/protocols or the audio records on a data carrier along with your thesis if you are a Bachelor student, or, if you are a Master student, to transcribe the interviews to your thesis appendix.

  • Recommendation for research: Besides the library resources you should also take into account the links to organizations and journals in management accounting & control listed on our home page.

Examples of past thesis topics

  • Shared service center: Assessing its effects on the role of management accountants – Maren Schönfelder (MSc)
  • Integrated information systems: The influence on process performance in management accounting – Alexander Deneke (MSc)
  • Teaching to the test vs. developing knowledge: Controlling education – Jonas Solbach (MSc)
  • Strategic renewal in the Catholic Church through Pope Francis – Victoria Mondorf (MSc)
  • The management of strategic risk in a leading direct bank – Lea Montermann (MSc)
  • Business Intelligence at Bayer – Gero Hippke (MSc)
  • Business partnering in practice: The relationship between controllers’ roles and reporting practices – Dominic Djannesari (BSc)
  • Institutional complexity in the soccer industry – Niklas Meyer (BSc)
  • Management control in public institutions – Peter Kuhl (BSc)
  • Incentivizing creative disruption – Pauline Klein & Jan-Eric Walsken (BSc)
  • Standardized versus division-specific KPIs as basis for business decisions – Maximilian Seiwert (BSc)
  • Digital Costing - Data-based business models: An analysis of future mediums of exchange – Jonas Knuth (BSc)
  • Agile@Controlling: How can controlling support different degrees of agility in organizations? – Daniel Braun & Jakob Merz (BSc)

Recommended reading

APA Publication Manual


Photo of Jan Sebastian  Ebert


Jan Sebastian Ebert

Student Affairs Manager