Entrepreneurial thesis beats top schools

Prestigious research award for WHU thesis project

A thesis paper on natural language programming has received the Research Methods Paper Award at the 41st Annual Conference of the Strategic Management Society. The thesis, co-authored by Master in Entrepreneurship graduate Raphael Derstappen and his supervisor Professor Dries Faems, experiments with novel natural language programming algorithms. Using a sample of approximately 5000 cybersecurity start-up firms, Derstappen and Faems use these algorithms to map specific entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Competing against top business schools from around the world, the final round of the competition saw Derstappen and Faems up against scholars from schools such as Stanford, INSEAD, and UCLA. The jury was particularly impressed by their integrated approach, which improves researchers’ ability to describe and map business activities within an industry. It also offers improvements to the analysis of the relationships between firm characteristics and their performance outcomes. 

“This project demonstrates the willingness of our WHU students to go the extra mile and deliver exceptional results that can meet the highest standards in academic research,” says Professor Dries Faems.

For more information on the thesis ‘Developing an Integrated Approach for Topic Modeling in Management Research’ and the core results of the research project, you can watch the following video here.

Curious about our Master in Entrepreneurship? Find out more here