Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation
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Master Thesis Supervision

The Brown Bag Research Seminar on Innovation

The Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation invites to the "Brown Bag Research Seminar on Innovation". This series invites researchers from MTEC and other universities to present recent work or working papers. The intention behind the series is to accelerate exchange and learning.

The topics of the past brown bags

Schedule and Location

Forecast of Upcoming Speakers

Tina Ambos (Sussex), Oct 15 2014
Xavier Castaner (HEC Lausanne), Nov 10 2014
Dan Raff (Wharton), Mar 11 2015
Dovev Lavie (Technion), Apr 8 2015
Dean Shepherd (Indiana), May 13 2015
Ann Majchrzak (USC), May 22 2015
Holger Patzelt (TUM), June 24 2015

Our address:
Weinbergstrasse 56-58 / 8092 Zürich

Master Thesis at SMI

If you are interested in being tutored and writing your master thesis at SMI, please contact our Master Thesis coordinator.

Research and education at the chair of Strategic Management and Innovation is mainly focused on competitive strategy, innovation, and knowledge management. The following list of subjects and questions is meant to provide students with a feeling for focal topics. For more details, you can check profiles of SMI members .The students are welcome to define and propose their own theses topics within these areas in addition to the thesis topics offered below. If you have ideas for a topic, feel free to contact any of the team members. The diploma thesis can be conceptual/theoretical, focused on a particular industry, or oriented to solving a practical problem in a company.
You can also contact with our master thesis coordinator, Burcu Kucukkeles regarding any question about master thesis at SMI.
The details for MSc students and MAS students can be found on the corresponding program pages.
We are looking forward to working with you!

Recent thesis offers

Semester Projects on Mobile Empowerment in Collaboration with Disney Research Zurich

More information can be found here.

Open Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry is a huge innovation-driven market with high relevance for human mankind. Medical research and the launch of new drugs and medical technologies are key drivers of a pharma firm’s sales, with approximately 80 % of sales coming from new patent-protected drugs. The drug development process, however, is costly and lengthy with a high failure rate. Therefore, the key issue in the industry is R&D productivity. Based on an existing database of approved drugs and an update thereof, the goal of this thesis is to analyse how closed and open modes of collaboration in drug development influence innovation performance of pharmaceutical firms. The thesis is carried out in collaboration with an industrial partner active in healthcare-focused investing.
For further information, contact Nina Geilinger (

A Machine Learning Approach to Understanding Firm Performance

This project aims at applying state-of-the-art machine learning techniques on a rich mix of current and historical firm- level and market data, including information on—but not limited to—innovation activities, competition, strategic choices, and subsequent payoffs. In particular, this study seeks to provide novel methodological contributions that enrich our understanding of the drivers and dynamics at play in organizational performance. The overall goal of this thesis is to both assess the effectiveness of the existing methods and open new perspectives at the interface of computer science and management disciplines. This thesis is in collaboration with the Learning and Adaptive Systems Group at D-INFK. [More info].
Contact: Konstantinos Trantopoulos <>.

General ideas for thesis topics

The following list contains ideas for thesis topics, which can serve as an inspiration for students to further develop ideas for thesis proposals.

1. Competitive strategy:

New distribution channels in electronic media
The impact of internet services on the music industry.

Internationalization of Financial Services Firms
The key success factors of entry into the Chinese market

Sources of competitive advantage in investment banking
The case of foreign exchange transactions

Building competitive advantage for Swiss firms in the Global software industry
In search of new market opportunities

R&D alliances in the semiconductor industry
Selecting the right partners

2. Innovation

Area of Free Revealing

3. Knowledge Management

Area of Knowledge Sharing

Area of Knowledge Creation


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