Master and MBA Theses
Student research activities are primarily expressed by the thesis, which is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree. Ideally, a master thesis establishes a link between theory and practice.
The theses published here have reached grades 90% or higher. By special requests of some students, their theses will be withheld for a certain time period (5 years max.) and will be published after that.
For maintenance reasons our theses will be offline for a short period.
You are cordially invited to attend our theses defenses here online via MS Teams.
Student: Lukas Stangl
Supervisor: Arno Scharl
Title: Digital Transformation in the Sports Apparel Industry: The Case of Nike, Inc.
The global revenue of the sports apparel industry is larger than it has ever been before. Digital transformation has been a driver for the industry, leading to digital innovations within the industry. This has led to the fall of market leaders while creating opportunities for new market entrants by capturing market share through leveraging new technologies. The company Nike, Inc. has been the market leader in the sports apparel industry for several decades and is known to be a forerunner in innovation. The purpose of this research is to examine how digital transformation has affected Nike, Inc. and the sports apparel industry and how it
will shape the future. A secondary aim is to investigate how Nike’s customers perceive these changes and to scrutinize their digital needs and expectations. This research furthermore aims to conclude about the digital needs and expectations of Nike’s customers and if they align with Nike’s strategy.
The research used a triangulation of three methods and provides a holistic analysis to make recommendations to the management of Nike. Primary research was conducted through a questionnaire-based customer survey and expert interviews with the management and specialists at Nike. Secondary research included reviewing frameworks for strategic analysis. The analysis distinguishes digital natives (i.e. aged 21 years or younger) and digital immigrants (i.e. aged above 21 years). The results showed that these two groups differ in their sales-channel preferences, digital needs and expectations. The secondary research was
confirmed by the findings from the expert interviews and customer survey. Overall, Nike’s digital transformation strategy appears to align with the needs and expectations of the company’s customers.
Student: Amine Adelnia Najafabadi
Supervisor: Bozana Zekan
Title: The Impact of Sustainability Certifications on the Hotel Choice of the Leisure Travelers
Sustainability certification is receiving greater importance as the knowledge about the effects of tourism operations on the environment is increasing. Sustainability certifications can be considered as tools to measure the effects of businesses’ operations on the society, culture, economy and environment. Such certifications have the potentiality to improve the performance of the businesses in the tourism industry through employing the assessment criteria based on the global sustainable development goals.
Hotel industry has started to benefit from sustainability certifications and one of the reasons is that the customers’ demand for sustainable hotels has been increasing and guests are showing willingness to select hotels that are operating in a more environmentally-friendly manner. The existence of sustainability certifications has also helped hoteliers to reduce the operational costs by saving money on electricity and water consumption. According to the studies in the literature, sustainability certifications also give the possibility to the hotel managers to improve the image of their establishments through validating their operations and showing their stakeholders that they are performing properly.
The aim of the present thesis is to analyze the effect that sustainability certifications exert on the booking intention of the leisure travelers. The study observes the factors that leisure travelers consider when they intend to book a hotel and investigates how sustainability certification can motivate the guests to select a hotel. According to the results, the study reveals that the knowledge about sustainability certifications and how they function in the hotel industry has a strong positive correlation with the intention of the leisure travelers to book a sustainably certified hotel. The guests who are aware of how sustainability certifications operate in the hotel industry are willing to book a certified hotel on their future leisure trips. That is why the researcher has also allocated a part of the thesis to the concept of communicating the sustainability values of the hotels to the guests as a way to increase the knowledge of the public on how hotels are operating. The findings of the research can be found beneficial to hotel practitioners in reflecting the fact that the existence of such certifications will attract more guests to their establishments. The results can also benefit the sustainability certification bodies since they feel the need for implementing much stronger marketing initiatives to encourage hotel managers to apply for sustainability certifications.