The Research Training and Bachelor Thesis course is a methodology course for students of the Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. In this course, students acquire the skills necessary to critically assess scientific research and learn how to draw correct conclusions about a studied phenomenon. They also learn how to conduct a scientific study and write a report that clearly communicates their findings.
The idea that established firms occupy a unique competitive position and are able to defend it for a long period of time does not longer apply to most industries. It is impossible for succesfull top management teams to rest on their laurels as young firms relentlessly challenge the status quo. A product or service that is superior today may be outdated tomorrow. Unencumbered by hierarchical decision-making processes, companies like Uber and AirBNB seem to appear out of nowhere and stir up entire industries.
Competitive advantages evaporate quickly and companies bear the burden of the new rules of competition. A recent issue of the Economist featured the article “Reinventing the Company” in which they argued that corporate growth is stagnating and managers have to remodel their firms in order to survive. Half of the big American firms have shrinking profits and analysts expect the sales of the S&P 500 to fall. How do established firms bolster themselves against start-ups “fuelled by coffee and dreams”? If you choose this theme you will examine how firms are able to remain successful by adopting an entrepreneurial orientation – an approach to strategy characterized by innovativeness, proactiveness and risk taking.
The hypothesis that will be studied is: “The stronger a firm’s entrepreneurial orientation, the better it performs”.