Extent: 30 ECTS (810 h)
Timing: semesters 1-4
Level: Master's thesis
Starting level and linkage with other courses
The course is connected with all compulsory advanced professional studies (CAPS), all elective advanced professional studies (EAPS), and with the Free-Choice Studies.
Upon successful completion of the Master’s thesis and the maturity exam the students will graduate from the Master’s programme and earn the degree of Master of Business Administration.
The goal of the Master’s thesis is to develop and demonstrate the ability to apply the selected research strategies and methods in identification and solution of an authentic, work related, international business management problem. Furthermore, the objectives of the thesis are to develop international business management skills, competences, and qualities of students that would make them competitive in the global job market.
The differences between the BBA thesis and IBMA Master’s thesis are that the IBMA Master’s thesis:
- is always a project/product-based thesis.
- focuses on an authentic work place problem that needs improvement or solution.
- has international business dimension.
- has a research methodology and methods discussion.
- develops a theoretical/conceptual framework to approach the international business problem.
- some of the recommendations.
- assesses the business value contribution of the suggested recommendations or solutions when they are implemented.
- has reflection discussions on the learning journey from individual and organizational perspective.
The required sections of the IBMA Master’s thesis are (see also the required chapter in Moodle):
- Introduction (description of the work development project (research phenomenon), statement of goals and research question(s), statement of limitations, and so on)
- International business dimension of the study
- Critical literature review (presenting what we already know about the phenomenon)
- Conceptual framework based on the relevant concepts discussed (this framework is to help to answer the main research question of the study)
- Methodology (statements of research assumptions, justifying the research philosophy, strategy, and methods)
- Presenting the work development recommendations.
- Implementing some of the recommendations.
- Presentation of the results, outcomes or findings of the project(s), implemented at the target company
- Assessment of the business value of the thesis project based on information gathered from stakeholders
- Assessment of the quality of the results or findings, validity, reliability, ethical issues, the role of the researcher
- Conclusions, recommendations, suggestions for further research, reflections on the learning process
Cooperation with the business community
The Master’s Thesis is directly linked to a business/product development project.
The Master’s Thesis should have a discussion about the international business relevancy of its topic.
Teaching and learning methods
Independent studies 809 h
Self-assessment of learning in WinhaOpaali 1 h
Thesis related activities are for example: thesis idea presentation, thesis plan, work development project plan, work development project kick off meeting, working on the work development project, 3 required thesis progress reports for workshops 4-5-6, studying the literature, meetings with thesis tutors, implementing some of the thesis recommendations, presenting the thesis at work place, collecting feedback, finalizing the thesis and writing the maturity exam.
Accreditation of prior learning (APL)
Thesis tutors (HAAGA-HELIA thesis tutor will be assigned after the Thesis Plan is accepted)
Regarding the process and content: IBMA Thesis Guide (available in Moodle and in Students’ MyNet)
Regarding the format: HH Thesis Writing Guide (available on Students’ extranet)
The thesis will be assessed by the HAAGA-HELIA thesis tutor, inspector, and by the company contact person for the work development project. Thesis assessment form and criteria are available in Moodle and MyNet. Thesis grade will be given after the maturity exam is accomplished. The self-assessment of learning does not impact on grade and it will be used for developing the thesis process.