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Seminar "Empirical Studies in Entrepreneurship and Innovation"

Understanding phenomena like entrepreneurship and innovation requires collecting and analyzing sound empirical data. A theory remains meaningless if it cannot be linked to and tested within a real world setting. There are two basic empirical approaches to test and develop theories. First, one can follow a qualitative approach and study either a single or a small number of cases in depth. Second, one can opt for larger surveys or data collections that do not provide as much detail about a phenomenon but provide some robustness against invalid generalizations from few cases to a larger population. In this seminar we will follow the second approach. Participants are asked to either analyze existing data (that will be provided) or to collect new data by conducting surveys within or outside the university.

The topics cover areas such as:

  • Entrepreneurs’ social preferences
  • Entrepreneurial orientation of firms and its impact on internationalization
  • Exit from foreign markets, closing subsidiaries, and other withdrawals of international commitments
  • Locus of control: Perceived influence of one’s own actions on reaching the own goal – different ways of measurement
  • Potential and actual entrepreneurs’ perceptions of risk
  • Distinct ways of coping with obstacles
  • Career anchors: Is a quick-and-dirty as good as a sophisticated measurement?
  • Competitiveness and students‘ career anchors
  • Exploring entrepreneurship at a European level


Depending on the chosen topic, students need to be familiar with the following issues. If the focus rests on the analysis of existing data, they need to be familiar with basic statistics and regression analyses and ideally have some experience with software for statistical analyses. If student opt for own data collection, there are less methodological requirements, but they should be willing to approach people and engage in significant data collection effort.

This seminar is based on group work comprising 2 to 3 participants. Application via Wusel.

We suggest that groups of student who want to work together conjointly also register for this seminar via email (jackstaedt{at} Please indicate in the email the group members and their student IDs. Other participants will be grouped together at the first seminar meeting.

During a first meeting we will present the topics and distribute some basic texts. We will discuss in depth how the empirical study could look like. During a second meeting, participants present their own questions and precise plans for their own data analysis / data collection. Each group of students will present the results during a final presentation session at the end of the semester. The seminar thesis is due by the end of August. 

Average grade in this course: 1,6


Credits obtained by students in this seminar are accepted for the following modules:

MWiWi 1.4 - "Innovations- und Technologiemanagement" (Witt)

MWiWi 1.8 - "Personalmanagement" (Fallgatter)

MWiWi 1.14 - "Energie- und Projektmanagement" (Witt)

MWiWi 2.4 - "Entrepreneurship und Wirtschaftsentwicklung" (Volkmann)

MWiWi 2.6 - "Industrieökonomik" (Bönte)

MWiWi 2.7 - "Infrastruktur und Wirtschaftsentwicklung" (Volkmann)


Application via Wusel until 06 April 2014

First Meeting 10 April 2014  8.00-10.00 (N.11.12)

Mid-Term  08 May 2014 8.00-11.00 (N.11.12)

Final presentation 10 July 2014  9.00-12.00 at the Jackstädt Center (P.08.16)

Submission of seminar thesis until  30 August 2014


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