MBA Thesis: Not sure which topic I should take, help me decide!

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Mac Juli, Nov 3, 2020.


What should I chose as a topic for my MBA Thesis?

Poll closed Nov 7, 2020.
  1. How to detect fraudstes in the electronic parts industry

    2 vote(s)
  2. Does proximity to the CEO's office affect one's career

    5 vote(s)
  3. Porters 5 Forces: a viable model for negotiations in the electronic part market?

    2 vote(s)
  4. Business plan for an accredited EXCEL school in the EU

    1 vote(s)
  5. I don't know

    0 vote(s)
  6. None of these are good

    2 vote(s)
  1. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    Feedback is appreciated.

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  2. innen_oda

    innen_oda Active Member

    No chance of a dissertation in detecting dodgy MBA degrees?
    Mac Juli likes this.
  3. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Would be good, but I guess the competition there is too tough.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Pick the one you can get written the easiest, because no one will care once you've graduated.
    SteveFoerster, Mac Juli and Johann like this.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm all for the fraud detection topic. I'll confess - part of it is because I'm kind of obsessed with fraudsters for a couple of reasons. I did some fraud-related work in my 30 years in the credit biz. and then later, I discovered all the fraudsters who ran bad "schools." Some were pretty interesting people.

    More important: I'm sure it's a problem in the electronics industry and that Mac has gained up-close knowledge of it through his work. I studied writing at both College and Uni and they always said "Write what you know." I think that tallies well with Rich's advice.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
    Mac Juli likes this.
  6. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your feedback!

    My problem with this is that these "strategies" I could probably white about are either something like a sophisticated analyse of the distribution of the first digits of the stock list (which can be done in 10 minutes - but I am certain no buyer will do this in practice) or absolute banal advice ("Do 2 minutes of recherche before you pay $10,000 in advance, will you?!). A MBA Thesis contribute at least some original thought and work, shouldn't it? Or am I wrong?

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  7. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    I'm not sure why a professional Master's degree would need original research, but of course it should include original thought, that's what you have probably been doing the whole way through the program anyway!
    Rich Douglas and Mac Juli like this.
  8. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member



    I had to write what amounted to a thesis of original research for an undergrad program. Already holding a grad degree at the time, I knew the expectation the instructor was placing on it was way overboard. The instructor was expecting for me to go out into the field and spend months gathering data, and to be clear, this was NOT part of what the rubric or directions called for. I thought to myself "what is the point? No one is ever going to read this, it's an undergrad paper!"

    There were some other issues I had with the instructor regarding a lack of decorum and a lack of understanding of certain research concepts, to the point I had to present a case to their administration showing the instructor was unfit and needed retraining. They agreed. I got a new instructor and did what Rich said. Everything went smoothly from there. Had I not issued a dispute, I might still be there making revisions that made no sense and being negatively graded on things that weren't even part of the rubric just to put out a deep research paper only two people (myself and the instructor) will ever read.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There is a difference between doing "original research" and making an original and significant scholarly contribution.

    For example, original research could be a survey done with former K-Mart shoppers to discover where they now shop. But it is atheoretical and does not make a contribution to scholarship. It might answer an interesting and useful question, but it neither tests nor creates theory, which is the basis for scholarship.

    Further, original research (data creation, gathering, and analysis) isn't necessary for a typical master's thesis. Re-examining extant data works, for example, or a meta-analysis of previous research. A design project is also a common basis for a master's thesis. (I had one client who proposed a re-design of airports to improve both security and the passenger experience.)

    John Bear once offered this mnemonic:
    • Bachelor's: Learn a "batch" of knowledge
    • Master's: Master your field of study
    • Doctorate: "Doctor" the field of study to change it
    Here's mine:
    • Bachelor's: Know
    • Master's: Do
    • Doctorate: Create
    As with all such things, YMMV.
    Dustin, Maniac Craniac and Mac Juli like this.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    You could possibly survey and include statistical incidence of fraud losses sustained by companies in this field. An analysis of the % chances of being taken in by such frauds, and the average loss (and yearly totals) incurred. Hence, the ROI in potential loss avoided by your suggested methods for checking thoroughly - and a cost-analysis of the expenses (time, etc.) of checking. Plus the overall damage to the industry and economy as a whole by these fraudsters (which exceeds their own 'take' by a considerable margin). Lots of room, here, I'd think. As Rich suggested you do, I think much of that info would be available - look up, rather than research anew.

    Could make a nice, comprehensive package.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
    Mac Juli likes this.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Could get you a 9.9 on the ENEB scale - and afterwards, maybe a nice published article in an Industry mag. Or a handbook for your firm (and others) ?
    Mac Juli likes this.
  12. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Yes, but very difficult to research. There is a very high dark figure, and as my mentor had put it: there are two types of buyers of electronic parts: Those who have been fooled and those who have been fooled and do not admit it. Buyers tend to be a very proud bunch, no one is going to admit that they fell prey to someting as easy as a simple advance fee fraud!

    Oh yes, a lot of room for research.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    (Sigh.) Sounds like you'll have to give them the age-old choice, then. Anonymity - or torture. (Kidding, of course.)
    Mac Juli likes this.
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    You don't need anecdotal stuff - what buyers might/might not admit to, over beer. You need detailed methods and hard numbers - and I suspect those are available. Even if buyers don't like to talk about it after work - somebody has to let accounting know, when a cheque doesn't match the goods, or the goods aren't any good - or there are no goods, etc. The bean-counters know.

    Professional Accounting Bodies are a good source of fraud info. Their journals and publications should have some very relevant stuff. And I'm sure there are industry watchdogs and people who compile fraud statistics - and publish them - if you find the right Federal Government office. Even accounting textbooks have fraud info that might be useful. After all, there are degree and professional programs in Forensic Accounting.

    Google Scholar might be your friend, too. Be like a bulldog - or Vincent (TeacherBelgium). Pull out all the stops, get your head down and go for it. At least one citation per paragraph. :)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  15. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    Omer gerd,

    Next to the CEO office? Are we in 1980? This is a virtual world. The fraud paper may have an angle / audience. If you liked the CEO angle, I would try to update it with something like... the impact of virtual work environments on career advancement.
    Mac Juli likes this.
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    @Mac Juli I did a simple, regular Google search in German - "fraud in the electronic parts / components industry." Lots out there. Some specific cases and losses. Maybe a case study or studies: a look-see at a biggie (or two or three) to see how they happened and how you think they might have been detected early and possibly prevented? Just a thought.

    "The truth is out there." Fox Mulder - The X-Files (David Duchovny)
    Mac Juli likes this.
  17. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Nope, we are not, of course. (But I sometimes with we were). And no, we are not a completely virtual world either. Even in the 2010s, I found at *all* my fellow purchasers a very interesting correlation between physical proximity (and the possibility for socializing with the CEO) and how the purchasing department was respected.

    In all fairness, I come from a SME background where personal connectiona are still most important. If you worked in a big enterprise, well, YMMV.
  18. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    Thank for your feedback! Even if the poll was in favor of the topic "Does proximity to the CEO's office affect one's career", there is a difference between the current election in the US and this poll here: I do not have to respect the outcome of the vote. :)
    I must admit that it was the topic which interested me most, as I visited several companies and could determine in advance by evaluating the location of the buyer's office how respected he or she was (and how happy he or she was with the job).

    However, the discussion here, especially the post of Mr. Douglas, was convincing. (Thanks again, much appreciated !!!) - So, my decision is:

    FRAUDSTERS BEWARE! I will evaluate if and how Benford's law is applicable to identify you (see here:, and then ... pray that someone will have mercy for your sorry asses! I won't!! YIIE-HAAAH!!

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
    innen_oda and Johann like this.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Good choice. I read in the Wiki that this type of analysis was used to detect possible fraud in Russian and Iranian published COVID-19 test results, and invoked to spotlight possible Iranian Election fraud - and possible Greek falsification of economic data, submitted prior to joining the Eurozone, among other shady goings-on. Lock 'em up, Mac! :)
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
    Mac Juli likes this.
  20. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I tried to send you a message privé but you have those turned off. I wondered, where are you studying?

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