By the time you have completed the Research Proposal IBA course you are expected to have shown proficiency in:
- formulating a research question;
- applying fundamental business management concepts and/or theories to analyse the research question;
- develop a research framework (a model if applicable) and/or design a solution for a business problem;
- adopting a coherent research design;
- demonstrating the scientific contribution and practical relevance of your research;
- providing a consistent, well- structured and well-argued text;
- planning and managing your own learning process;
You are expected to deliver a research proposal for your individual research project, to be developed within an IBA Bachelor Thesis Circle|
Appropriate assignments for the bachelor thesis
The Bachelor Thesis IBA course is a research-oriented assignment, with well- justified choices concerning empirical or design research that contributes to existing knowledge on the topic chosen and to ongoing research projects (in an IBA-related field) within the UT.
The thesis project can be conducted at:
The University of Twente (a so-called ‘internal assignment’). An internal assignment can involve the collection of data at external organizations, but also working with an existing dataset (secondary data).
A company (a so-called ‘external assignment’) in which you will conduct your research.
A foreign university (a so-called ‘international assignment’). You may choose to participate in international research provided you focus on international management aspects within a specific knowledge domain.
Finding a research project
The first step in finding a research project is reading the short descriptions on Canvas of the various bachelor research topics – rooted in our seven master specializations. You are advised to reflect on the descriptions of offered research topics at the start of module 11 (CHANGEL) on the Canvas site for the Bachelor Thesis IBA (202000578) (even if you plan - or have agreed with the study advisor - to complete your bachelor thesis in the first quartile). From the descriptions, you should identify research topics that you are potentially interested in. After careful consideration, you can register for your first, second and third choice of research topic. Next, these preferences are used to determine student demand for specific research topics. Popular research topics will then be developed into more elaborated bachelor thesis circles. After a poster market, students register their definite 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of bachelor thesis circles on Canvas.
You will be supervised during the development of the research proposal in Q3, and the execution of the bachelor thesis research in Q4 or Q1, by UT teachers/researchers (usually BMS faculty members) whose responsibility it is to provide the necessary support concerning the BSc Thesis project for individual students and/or groups. For each individual thesis project, a graduation committee will be formed consisting of at least two qualified examiners (see Examiners list) who are responsible for the grading of the research proposal and the final thesis. The leader of the bachelor circle, in principle, also serves as the first advisor for all students enrolled in that circle. In some cases, one or two additional advisors can be part of the graduation committee but please mind you always need 2 examiners from the Examiner list.
Working in Bachelor Thesis circles
Every Bachelor Thesis project is a piece of individual work, and is graded as such. However, in research, co-operation and discussion/debate with peers is important. The bachelor thesis circles offer an opportunity for such debate and co-operation and to pool research effort in a group with peers in order to obtain better and timely results. Projects within a bachelor thesis circle share a common theme and so literature and insights into developments can be shared. Initially, project supervision will be organised as group meetings in which active co- operation between students is essential. Here, for example, formulating research questions is a good example of an aspect that can benefit from discussion with peers.
The examiners in your graduation committee will assess the research proposal for your bachelor thesis using six criteria:
Students not showing enough progress halfway through the project (deadline specified in Canvas) fail the course and will need to find a new bachelor thesis research project.
- Problem analysis and theoretical background
- Research motivation, project rationale /
- Research project objective
- Research question(s)
- Methodological approach / research design