There are two ways of thinking in research. On the one hand, researchers can transfer findings from practice to theory or transfer findings from theory to practice. The following figure shows these two ways of thinking. I would first like to show the usual procedure for a thesis and then how you can go through a topic without literature.

Reading tip: Build research design

Deduction and induction in the overview

Reduction: The standard for final theses

The reduction means to transfer information from theory in practice. Therefore, reduction means to derive/derive concretely. For example, you know: goldfish live in the water. I have a goldfish. So this goldfish must also live in the water.

Reading tip: Find literature

I would like to show you this with the example of change strategies in companies. Here’s a look at the literature: What is the change strategy (Kotter, Lewin,…). Now you ask experts: how relevant are these and can they be applied? You then derive recommendations for action from this. From theory to practice!

Reduction using the example of change strategies

This is usually the absolute standard case in a thesis. I also usually do not recommend to deviate from it, otherwise it will be very complicated. In short, do the following:

  • Read something,
  • ask practitioners how relevant this is and
  • derive recommendations from this.

Induction: Theme without literature

Induction means inducing or inducing and is the generalized thinking. Let’s stick to our goldfish: My goldfish lives in the water. My goldfish is a fish. So all the fish have to live in the water.

Reading Tip: Grounded Theory

Now, however, you absolutely want to edit a topic even though there is no literature. Then start with expert interviews and see: What insights are available on my topic in practice. To do this, you can do several rounds of interviews. For example, you might ask, “How are you currently doing digitization?”. Once you have enough information, check the literature to see if there is any of it. You then derive theories and models from the findings. So you are guided by practice in theory!

Induction

This case is quite complicated and not easy. You should know that you have an increased effort and ask yourself, “Do I want this? Am I so motivated?”

Conclusion

They have two possibilities in research. I fundamentally recommend preferring the first case. For you as the first research work, the second case is already a rather hard nut, but brings much more exciting results. Decide for yourself! An example of both researches can be found in my studies. The reduction is the study on work 4.0 and the induction the study on leadership.

Lindner, D., Ludwig, T., & Amberg, M. (2018). Work 4.0 – Concepts for a new way of working in SMEs. HMD Practice of Business Informatics, 6(1), 17.

Lindner, D., & Greff, T. (2018). Leadership in the age of digitalization – what do executives say? HMD – Practice of Business Informatics, 7(1), 20.

Image source: Designed by Freepik – freepik

Gibt es noch Fragen?

Falls es noch Fragen gibt, habe ich zwei Tipps. Ich habe meine Erfahrung aus 5 Jahren in der Betreuung von Abschlussarbeiten im Buch: "Empfehlungen für die Bachelor- und Masterarbeit" zusammengefasst. Dieses gibt es bei Springer und Amazon seit August 2020. Das Buch ist ein offzielles Fachbuch in kann damit zitiert werden. Weiterhin können Sie mich gerne mal anrufen. Hierzu einfach im Buchungssystem nach einen freien Termin schauen. Ich nehme mir jeden Monat einige Stunden Zeit um Studenten zu helfen.

Mein Tipp vor der Abgabe Ihrer Abschlussarbeit

Es lohnt sich immer eine Abschlussarbeit professionell Korrekturlesen oder auf Plagiat prüfen zu lassen. Der Vorteil ist, dass Sie dabei auch Feedback erhalten und den akademischen Sprachstil verbessern. Anbieter wie bspw. Scribbr helfen mit guten Preisen bei der Abschlussarbeit.

Genderhinweis: Ich habe zur leichteren Lesbarkeit die männliche Form verwendet. Sofern keine explizite Unterscheidung getroffen wird, sind daher stets sowohl Frauen, Diverse als auch Männer sowie Menschen jeder Herkunft und Nation gemeint. Lesen Sie mehr dazu.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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