Notes on writing your thesis at the ISSE Chair

Proposed topics for bachelor and master theses can be found in our Moodle course "Fachwissenschaftliche Arbeiten am ISE und ISSE". Please contact us if you would like to work on one of these topics. The respective contact person is usually mentioned in the description of the topic proposals.


Own topic proposals that are related to the research areas of the Chair of Industrial Sales and Service Engineering are also welcome.

  • In order to be able to supervise you appropriately when working on your thesis, your topic request must always be related to the current research areas of the ISSE Chair. This is especially important if you are looking for cooperation with a company in connection with your thesis.

  • At our chair, we differentiate between three broad subject areas in which usually supervise theses. Please clearly assign your proposed topic to one of the topic areas.


    • Digital Servitization (e.g., Product-Service-Systems and Smart Services, strategic management of organizations in the context of digital transformation and service transformation)

    • Sales and Product Management (e.g., sales management, artificial intelligence (AI) in sales, product and technology management)

    • Organization and Communication (e.g., use of social media in the B2B context, B2B brand management, digital skills)


  • Before contacting us, you should have thought about a provisional working title and related topics to such an extent that you can develop a concrete thesis topic in a joint discussion with us. This includes that you have already conducted an initial search and screening of relevant literature. Although textbooks can provide a rough overview, they cannot replace the study of current research results published in academic journals and proceedings of international conferences. Please make sure that the publications you select are relevant to the content and that they are published in the highest possible quality. The JOURQUAL-Ranking can provide an orientation. Your screening of existing literature serves to identify challenges for practice and, in particular, academic research gaps, which you can then translate into research questions. You will then attempt to answer these research questions through your thesis.

  • It makes sense to structure the challenges and research gaps you have identified in the form of overview-like graphics or mind maps. A first draft of an outline will also help in a first joint discussion to outline a possible line of argumentation for your thesis.

  • When writing your thesis, we recommend that you consult our guidelines from the beginning as well as supplementary literature that deals with the writing of academic papers. In this way you reduce the risk of discovering fundamental or serious mistakes in a late phase of your thesis (e.g., in the handling of direct and indirect citations). The ISSE Chair's guide to writing scientific papers is the leading document. References in other books are to be considered subordinate in case of contradiction.

  • If you have successfully completed all these steps (compiling a list of relevant literature, formulating research gaps or questions, setting up a preliminary outline), you are well prepared for a first supervising discussion with us. Then please send your proposed topic (including assignment to one of the three topic areas mentioned above) and further information about yourself (e.g. motivation for the chosen/suggested topic, relevant academic achievements in the topic area) by e-mail to: isse@rub.de