Credits: 6

Schedule: 09.01.2019 - 07.02.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Virpi Outila
Alexei Koveshnikov

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Instructor's contact information

Virpi Outila (virpi.outila@aalto.fi)

Office hours: By appointment

Assistant teacher: Max Dike

(marcellinus.dike@aalto.fi)

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Period I,Töölö campus, III (2018-2019)
Period I, III (2019-2020), Otaniemi campus

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

This course introduces students to the MSc thesis process. The aim of the MSc thesis seminars is to provide the students with the knowledge and skills necessary for writing a high-quality Master’s Thesis. The seminars assist the student in structuring their thesis work, and provide a supportive forum to discuss issues relevant to the different stages of research.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The MSc Thesis Seminar provides an overview of the thesis process. Students will be introduced to the different sections of the thesis and will produce a professional research proposal at the end of the seminar. The MSc thesis seminar comprises of three compulsory introductory sessions, one-on-one meetings with an assigned personal supervisor, and one voluntary progress seminar in which students present their work and give feedback to others.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

This course introduces students to the Master’s Thesis work by covering the fundamentals of the research process and requirements for a thesis. Upon successful completion of this course, you should:  

  • know what a good Master’s thesis is 
  • be able to independently develop a research proposal in the area of your specialization 
  • be able to conduct independent scientific research under supervision 


Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

100% assignments

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

The seminar will be graded based on the following the assignments: 

  • Assignment #1: analysis and evaluation of existing thesis (20% of the final grade) 
  • Assignment #2: first draft of individual research proposal (20% of the final grade) 
  • Assignment #3: memo of supervisory meeting and steps to be taken (10% of the final grade) 
  • Assignment #4: final research proposal (50% of the final grade) 

The final grade (0 to 5) is based on cutoff points below: 

0-50 points = 0 

50-59 points = 1 

60-69 points = 2 

70-79 points = 3 

80-89 points = 4 

90-100 points = 5 


All assignments have to be completed and returned and all assignments need to be passed with a grade of 1/5 in order to get a final grade for the course. Attendance in the seminar lectures is mandatory. 

Note that turning in class assignments is considered acknowledgement of guidelines on scholastic honesty and academic integrity. 

Assignments:

Assignment 1: 

Analysis and evaluation of an existing thesis relevant to your topic/methods/interests/level of ambition. First describe briefly the study and how it relates to your research interests. Then evaluate it using the Master’s Thesis Evaluation Rubric as your evaluation tool. Assess 1) What was good? 2) What could be improved? 3) What did you learn from reading this (and other) theses? The rubric can be found in the materials folder. The length of the assignment is 1200-1300 words. 

Assignment 2: 

Development of an individual research proposal, which includes your research setting and problem/objective(s), research questions, conceptual definitions, and ideas concerning your theoretical framework, data collection and methodological choices. The length of the proposal is 1200-1500 words. 

Assignment 3: 

Contacting your supervisor and presenting the first draft of the research proposal to her/him. Then write a memo of 1) what was discussed, 2) what you learned, 3) what kind of steps you intend to do to improve your proposal and 4) what is the timeframe for the improvements. The length of the memo is 400-800 words. 

Assignment 4: 

Writing a full length research proposal based on the feedback from the supervisor and the course teacher. The length of the proposal is 4500-5000 words (i.e. approximately 15 pages). Instructions for writing the proposal can be found in the materials folder. Please return by (1) uploading to the MyCourses return box and (2) emailing to your supervisor. 

Technical instructions for all the assignments 

Please use 

  • Times New Roman 12 cpi 
  • line spacing 1,5 
  • margins 2,5 
  • Harvard referencing system http://libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm 

Please provide the word count on the first page of your assignments 

Kindly observe that course assignments 1-3 are to be written in English only, and assignment 4 in the language the thesis will be written i.e. in English (or in Finnish). 

Assignments 1-3 will be graded by the course teacher and assignment 4 by the supervisor. 


Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Contact teaching 12h
Independent work 148h
Total 160h (6ECTS)

Details on calculating the workload (applies in this implementation): 

Classroom hours 9 h

Class preparation 9 h

Assignments 142 h

Total 160 h (6 op)

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Set of materials provided by the lecturer.

Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation): 

A master’s thesis approved at Aalto Biz for the assignment due for Seminar #2. Articles relevant for your topic. 


Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

https://mycourses.aalto.fi/course/search.php?search=26E99905

Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Only for students working / starting to work on their thesis.

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

0-5

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Compulsory registration via WebOodi one week before the start of the teaching period.
Please write following to the text box “Further information” when registering in WebOodi:
1. Which Master’s Program you are in: M&IB, Global Management, IDBM, Creative Sustainability
2. Thesis topic or the tentative thematic area of research
3. Intended thesis schedule
4. Other relevant information (e.g. if you have started already, if you already have a supervisor, or if you have a commission from a company)

There is compulsory attendance during the first three seminar sessions.

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Compulsory registration via WebOodi one week before the start of the teaching period.
Please write following to the text box “Further information” when registering in WebOodi:
1. Which Master’s Program you are in: M&IB, Global Management, IDBM, Creative Sustainability
2. Thesis topic or the tentative thematic area of research
3. Intended thesis schedule
4. Other relevant information (e.g. if you have started already, if you already have a supervisor, or if you have a commission from a company)

There is compulsory attendance during the first three seminar sessions.

Additional information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

If you are not able to attend a session, to compensate you will have to write:

  • a one page summary each for 3 pre-selected articles on methodological aspects of doing academic research in Management Studies (i.e. 1 page for each article, see below)
  • Plus a page where you provide your reflections concerning why (or why not) and how the summarized articles can be useful for / applied to your own project
  • The assignment is evaluated as pass or fail –> You need to pass!

Compulsory readings

Eisenhardt, K. (1989). Building Theories from Case Study Research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4): 532-550

Alvesson, M. Kärreman, D. (2007). Constructing Mystery: Empirical Matters in Theory Development. Academy of Management Review, 32(4): 1265-1281

Plus one of the following:

Gioia, D. Chittipeddi, K. (1991). Sensemaking and Sensegiving in Strategic Change Initiation. Strategic Management Journal, 12: 433- 448

  OR

Mantere, S. Schildt, H. Sillince, J. (2012). Reversal of Strategic Change. Academy of ManagementJournal, 55(1): 172-196

  OR

Welch, C., Piekkari, R., Plakoyiannaki, E., & Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, E. 2011. Theorising from case studies: towards a pluralist future for international business research. Journal of International Business Studies, 42: 740-762.


Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

Session

Date

Place

Topic

Assignment Due Date

Seminar #1

9.1.2019

9:15-11:45

E-127 Arkadia

Introduction
to thesis process, posing research questions

 

 

Seminar #2

16.1.2019

9:15-11:45

E-127 Arkadia

Planning a
research proposal

 

Assignment 1

15.1. at 23.00

Seminar #3

30.1.2019

9:15-11:45

E-127 Arkadia

How to
review literature and write

Assignment 2

29.1. at 23.00

 

 

 

 

Assignment 3

1.3. at 23.00

 

 

 

 

Assignment 4

15.3. at 23.00

Seminar #4

to be decided

to be decided

Progress seminar

 

Description

Registration and further information