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. Besides applying for a topic from the list you can also propose a subject 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 want to propose your own subject, 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 tutor, 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 supervisors. This offers you the opportunity to discuss potential problems and to make sure that you are on track.
  • Individual tutorial: You may schedule additional individual appointments with your tutor at the Institute.
  • 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. The IMC recommends a standard serif typeface, full justification, and page margins of one inch throughout.
    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. General WHU regulations (e.g., concerning text length, structure, and formatting) take precedence wherever applicable.
  • Recommendation for research: Besides the library resources you should also take into account the links to organizations and journals in management accounting & control on our Homepage.
  • Examples of past thesis topics:
    Shared service center: Assessing its effects on the role of management accountants – Maren Schönfelder
    Is Mother Theresa a sinner? The role of the "advocatus diaboli" in the canonization process of the Roman Catholic Church – Nadja Marx
    Business partnering in practice – The relationship between controllers’ roles and reporting practices – Dominic Djannesari
    Institutional complexity in the soccer industry – Niklas Meyer

Recommended reading

APA Publication Manual



Jan Sebastian Ebert

Student Affairs