Topics for theses (B. Sc., M. Sc.)

Bachelor's, Master's and diploma theses can be thematically in the following subject areas - corresponding to the research priorities at the Institute of Business and Human Resource Education. Please indicate three priorities for your desired areas and topics in the application form.


In the context of further developing and ensuring the quality of schools, standards for teacher education are increasingly demanded. Based on various expert proposals, the Länder have formulated teacher training standards. The aim should be to align teacher education with these standards in the sense of lifelong learning. However, these standards are operationalised in very different ways. Therefore, the question of the extent to which the respective standards are supported by empirical research and can be implemented didactically in an appropriate manner is of particular importance.

Facets of this topic include:

1. Subject knowledge of the teachers
2. Subject didactic knowledge of the teachers
3. Class management
4. Professional self-regulation
5. Communication
6. Assessment and evaluation

Selected introductory literature:
• Baumert, J., & Kunter, M. (2006). Stichwort: Professionelle Kompetenz von Lehrkräften. Zeitschrift für
Erziehungswissenschaft, 9, (4), 469-520.
• Cooper, J. M. (Ed.) (2006). Classroom Teaching Skills. 8th Ed. Boston, N.J.: Houghton Mifflin.
• Gage, N. L. (1979). Unterricht - Kunst oder Wissenschaft? München, Wien: Urban & Schwarzenberg.
• Oser, F., & Oelkers, J. (2001). Die Wirksamkeit der Lehrerbildungssysteme. Chur, CH: Ruegger.

In view of internationalisation and globalisation, intercultural learning is becoming increasingly important at all hierarchical levels of a company. The business community is trying to meet these requirements with a variety of training and further education measures. Scientific analyses and practical reports unanimously show that there are great difficulties in preparing employees appropriately for international cooperation, communication and collaboration. This requires knowledge of the elements and modes of action of central interactions in the intercultural field.

Facets of this topic include:

1. The role of "face" or "saving face" in intercultural business relationships. 2.
2. Cultural differences in decision making
3. The formation of intercultural working teams
4. Intercultural conflict management
5. Intercultural assessment
6. Intercultural didactics
7. Curricula for intercultural learning groups
8. Acculturation processes

Selected introductory literature:
• Bolten, J. (1995). Cross-Culture – Interkulturelles Handeln in der Wirtschaft. Sternenfels, Berlin: Wissenschaft & Praxis.
• Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating Across Cultures. New York, London: Guilford.
• Weber, S. (2005). Intercultural Learning as Identity Negotiation. Frankfurt/M.: Lang.
• Weber, S., & Hofmuth, M. (2012). Messung unterschiedlicher Facetten von interkultureller Kompetenz. In G. Niedermair (Hrsg.), Kompetenzen entwickeln, messen und bewerten. Linz: Johannes Kepler Universität.

A central challenge facing society is how to deal with the issue of sustainability. Reports on climate change and its consequences, fair employee remuneration and equal opportunities show the relevance of this topic. Through the national action plan, vocational training in particular is also being made responsible for teaching trainees sustainable action skills. In various projects on the teaching of sustainable design competence, we are dealing with questions of modelling sustainable design competence, teaching (e.g. by means of app-based learning tools) and visualisation.
learning tools) and visualisation within the framework of corresponding assessments of sustainable competent action.

Facets of this topic include:

1. Validation of competence models of sustainable design competence (e.g. via taxonomy levels, real action situations, visible evidence).
situations, visible evidence). 2.
2. Sustainable consumption as a sub-facet of sustainable development
3. Gap between thinking and acting (e.g. effect of emotions on learning processes, attitude changes, behavioural changes)
4. Evaluation of tasks, scales and test items
5. Testing of app-based learning tools
6. Analysis and discussion of the educational results obtained.

Selected introductory literature:
• Balderjahn, I. (2013). Nachhaltiges Management und Konsumentenverhalten. (1. Aufl.). Konstanz: UVK.
• Carrigan, M. & Attalla, A. (2001). The myth of the ethical consumer – do ethics matter in purchase behaviour? Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7), 560–578.
• Kreuzer, C., Ritter von Marx, S., Bley, S., Reh, S. & Weber, S. (2017). Praxisorientierte Gestaltung einer Appbasierten Lern- und Assessmentumgebung für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften im Einzelhandel. bwp@, 33(Dezember 2017), 1–26.
• Kreuzer, C., Weber, S., Off, M., Hackenberg, T. & Birk, C. (2019). Shedding Light on Realized Sustainable Consumption Behavior and Perceived Barriers of Young Adults for Creating Stimulating Teaching-Learning Situations. Sustainability 11(2587) 1-18.
• Kuhlmeier, W., Mohoric, A. & Vollmer, T. (2014). Berufsbildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung. Modellversuche 2010-2013: Erkenntnisse, Schlussfolgerungen und Ausblicke (1. Aufl.). Berichte zur Beruflichen Bildung. Bielefeld: Bertelsmann W. Verlag.
• Sheeran, P. & Webb, T. L. (2016). The Intention-Behavior Gap. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 10(9),

People are expected to be innovative, think creatively and contribute to urgent issues such as climate change or digitalisation. It is precisely for such issues that appropriate solutions are lacking. Economic, ecological and social "new-value creation processes" are needed to deal with these challenges. The perception of entrepreneurial innovation potentials (entrepreneurial opportunities) is a core element of this: opportunities are perceived in order to create new value (i.e. product, service, process). Accordingly, an orientation and the development of Entrepreneurship/Intrapreneurship programmes to promote these abilities and skills - more precisely Opportunity Recognition competence - play a key role.Entrepreneurship education focused on Opportunity Recognition is therefore important to prepare people for their complex and dynamic role in the work context and in society. in the work context and in society.

Facets of this topic include:

1. Measurement of opportunity recognition (e.g. universities, training)
2. Factors influencing opportunity recognition (e.g. prior knowledge). 3.
3. What is creativity and how can it be measured?
4. The relationship between creativity and opportunity recognition. 5.
5. Instructional approaches to training in opportunity recognition skills (e.g. university programmes).

Selected introductory literature:
• Ardichvili, A., Cardozo, R., & Ray, S. (2003). A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(1), 105–123.
• Baggen, Y., Kampen, J. K., Naia, A., Biemans, H. J. A., Lans, T. & Mulder, M. (2018).Development and application of the opportunity identification competence assessment test (oicat) in higher education. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 55(6), 735-745.
• Fayolle, A. & Klandt, H. (2006). International Entrepreneurship Education. Issues and Newness. United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
• Frank, H. & Mitterer, G. (2009). Opportunity Recognition - State of the Art und Forschungsperspektiven. Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, 79(3), 367–406.
• Kreuzer, C. & Weber, S. (2017). Modelling Opportunity Recognition competence as a foundation for teaching and learning in vocational education. Vocations and Learning, 11(3), 399–432.
• Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. The Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 217–226.
• von Graevenitz, G., Harhoff, D. & Weber, R. (2010). The effects of entrepreneurship education. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 76 (1), 90-112.

The importance of job structures and occupational profiles is increasing. The widely discussed buzzwords Industry 4.0, Work 4.0, Economy 4.0 and Vocational Education and Training 4.0 often stand as ciphers for these changes. In relation to dual vocational education and training, this raises a variety of questions: among other things, in what way are commercial jobs changing? What changes, if any, will result from this for training content and occupational profiles? Which competences must be developed more intensively in order to be able to competently cope with the future demands of a digital world of work? What challenges does this pose for both the company-based and the school-based part of (dual) vocational training? At the same time, questions arise at the didactic level: To what extent does the use of digital tools succeed in stimulating and promoting vocational education processes and the associated teaching and learning processes in a target-oriented (more optimal) way?

Facets of this topic include:

1. Challenges of digitalisation in vocational education and training
2. Development and promotion of digital competences
3. Curricular adaptation to digital requirements
4. The use of digital tools in vocational education and training (VET)
5. Digital evaluation and digital assessment
6. Digitisation of work processes and business models
7. Identification of occupational requirements and typical occupational challenges
8. Adaptation of vocational education and training to digitalised work processes
9. Digitisation in the company-based part of dual vocational education and training

Selected introductory literature:
• Blaschitz, E. (Hrsg.). (2012). Zukunft des Lernens: Wie digitale Medien Schule, Aus- und Weiterbildung verändern. Glückstadt: Hülsbusch.
• Csapó, B., Ainley, J., Bennett, R. E., Latour, T. & Law, N. (2012). Technological Issues for Computer-Based Assessment. In P. Griffin (Hrsg.), Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (S. 143–230). Dordrecht [u.a.]: Springer.
• Kultusministerkonferenz (2016). Strategie der Kultusministerkonferenz "Bildung in der digitalen Welt". Gefunden am 30.01.2019 unter
• Schallmo, D. & Rusnjak, A. (2017). Roadmap zur Digitalen Transformation von Geschäftsmodellen. In D.Schallmo, A. Rusnjak, J. Anzengruber, T. Werani & M. Jünger (Hrsg.), Digitale Transformation vonGeschäftsmodellen: Grundlagen, Instrumente und Best Practices (S. 1–31). Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.
• Wilbers, K. (2018). Industrie 4.0: Digitalisierung als Herausforderung der kaufmännischen Berufsbildung. In D.Buschfeld & M. Cleef (Hrsg.), Vielfalt des Lernens im Rahmen berufsbezogener Standards (S. 29–41). Münster: Waxmann.
• Zierer, K. (2017). Lernen 4.0. Pädagogik vor Technik: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen einer Digitalisierung im Bildungsbereich. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag

Social competences are becoming more and more important in the course of globalisation and the increasing change in society. If one asks entrepreneurs and HR managers about the importance of interdisciplinary competences to be taught in the course of studies, the ability to work in a team is the most important competence they expect from university graduates. This is also the conclusion of a study by the DIHK (German Chamber of Industry and Commerce) on what the business community expects of university graduates (Pankow, 2008). In order to master the future challenges of the professional world, team competences are therefore essential.

Facets of this topic include:

1. Construction and analysis of complex learning tasks (also with the inclusion of new media).
2. Modelling of team competence
3. Ways of recording the promotion of team competence
4. Tutorial support, team coaching and feedback
5. Interaction and reflection processes in teamwork

Selected introductory literature:
• Decuyper, S., Dochy, F., & Van den Bossche, P. (2010). Grasping the dynamic complexity of team learning: An integrative model for effective team learning in organisations. Educational Research Review, 5, 111-133.
• Figl, K. (2010). Team and media competencies in information systems (2. corr. ed.). München: Oldenbourg.
• Mathieu, J., Maynard, M., Rapp, T. & Gilson, L. (2008). Team Effectiveness 1997-2007: A Review of Recent Advancements and a Glimpse Into the Future. Journal of Management, 34 (3), 410–476.
• Salas, E., Burke, C. S., Fowlkes, J. E. & Priest, H. A. (2004). On Measuring Teamwork Skills. In J. C. Thomas (Hrsg.), Comprehensive handbook of psychological assessment (Volume 4, Industrial/Organizational Assessment). (S. 427–442). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
• Stumpf, S., & Thomas, A. (Hrsg.) (2003). Teamarbeit und Teamentwicklung. Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Economic aspects of VET have increasingly come to the fore in recent years. The willingness of companies to provide training depends on various factors that can hardly be influenced by an individual company (market development, demographic change, situation on the labour market, training regulations). Since a company cannot afford any major losses from vocational training in the longer term, the training investments must pay off in the short or long term. While dual vocational education and training can be a good way for a company to secure its future skilled labour needs in the long term and to train young people in a targeted manner, the productive work of apprentices in the company is also necessary to be able to cover the company's training investments at least in part. In this way, young people also have an opportunity to complete high-quality training with good career prospects without financial resources. However, although Germany is repeatedly held up as an example of a successful VET system, especially with regard to its relatively low youth unemployment rate, youth unemployment rate, the dual system is currently facing major challenges.

Facets of this topic include:

1. The influence of demographic change and the shortage of skilled workers on the apprenticeship market.
2. The costs and benefits of in-company vocational training
3. The role of vocational education and training in globalised product and labour markets
4. The influence of labour market institutions and VET policy on in-company training behaviour
5. The competition between academic and vocational education and training

Selected introductory literature:
• Brunello, G. (2009). The effect of economic downturns on apprenticeships and initial workplace training: a review of the evidence. Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training 1(2), 173-186.
• Dionsius, R. , S. Muehlemann, H. Pfeifer, G. Schönfeld, G. Walden, F. Wenzelmann & S. C. Wolter (2009). Ausbildung aus Produktions- oder Investitionsinteresse? Zeitschrift für Betriebs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik 105 (2): 267-284.
• Kriechel, B., S. Muehlemann, H. Pfeifer & M. Schuette (2014). Works councils, collective bargaining and apprenticeship training. Industrial Relations 53(2), 199-222.
• Wolter, S.C. & P. Ryan (2011). Apprenticeship. Handbook of Economics of Education, Vol. 3, ed. by R. Hanushek, S. Machin, L. Wössmann. Amsterdam: Elsevier North-Holland, 521-576.