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 overview of the topic that you wish to concentrate on in your thesis (see "storyline").
  • Storyline: For a discussion of the topic with your supervisor(s), please develop a "storyline": the objectives and an action plan for the thesis.
  • 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.
  • Individual tutorial: You may schedule occasional individual appointments.
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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



Jan Sebastian Ebert

Student Affairs Manager