Deutsch Intern
Chair of Business Administration and Marketing

Project seminar: Design & implementation of your own research project in a team

The research seminar will start in the summer semester 2024 on April 8th and run for a period of 12 weeks. This means that the seminar will end during the lecture period and thus well before the exam phase. Information on the application deadline and scheduling can be found further down on this page.


  • In this project seminar, students work in teams of two in close coordination with the research group to carry out a research project on a topic currently being worked on at the chair.
  • Students can either apply directly as a team of 2 or as an individual.

The seminar is therefore an ideal preparation for the independent Master's thesis while at the same time strengthening practical skills (e.g. data analysis, data visualization, reporting).

General information

  • The aim of the seminar is to investigate relevant research topics in the areas of social media data, e-commerce, and interfaces with luxury and sustainability marketing.
  • Students will work independently in groups of 2 people to carry out a research project (e.g. literature research, narrowing down topics, data collection and analysis).
  • All parts of the research project will be intensively supervised by the research group.
  • Applications are generally possible from the 1st Master's semester onwards.


Research topics

There are several topics to choose from during the seminar. Each group will focus on only one topic. Please indicate your order of preference when applying.

Important information: Although the main topics are fixed, the final direction of the research question and investigation depends on the results of the literature research and the agreements between the supervisor and the teams.

Topic 1: Analyzing attention and engagement on TikTok based on real data

Consumers can interact with content on TikTok in many ways (e.g., liking, commenting, sharing, saving). However, users see far more posts every day than they can process and interact with. Every type of engagement is therefore preceded by a kind of selection process or the devotion of attention. Similarly, only a small number of posts are viewed to the end - attention is therefore lost on many posts. The aim of this paper is to investigate the post characteristics that increase or reduce both attention (post selection) and engagement (interaction with posts) on TikTok. Real data from the platform is provided for the analysis.

Topic 2: Promotion of sustainable consumption in e-commerce shipping through PWYW

In this topic, you will deal with an innovative pricing mechanism that not only involves consumers in pricing, but also gives them full control over it. The aim is to explore methods of how and under what circumstances PWYW can ensure that consumers pay (more) money online for more sustainable alternatives. In addition, effects on purchase satisfaction, WOM etc. could also be investigated.

Topic 3: Influencing product perceptions through contextual backgrounds

The presentation of products in online stores is a key criterion for product perception and product purchase. This topic aims to answer the question of whether it is possible to influence consumers' product perception through contextual backgrounds. In particular, it will be investigated whether products (or the product images) are perceived as more sustainable or more luxurious depending on the background and how this perception affects website use and purchase intention.

Topic 4: Optimal design of e-commerce incentives

This study examines the effectiveness of incentive systems in e-commerce (e.g. free shipping, discounts, loyalty programs, product samples, guarantees, etc.) and their effects on providers and customers. Incentives are an essential component of online commerce, which can contribute to both increased sales for providers and customer satisfaction. Various incentive models on purchasing behavior will be examined and how they help to achieve important marketing goals (e.g., sales increase, customer loyalty, repurchase behavior).

Topic 5: Dark patterns in e-commerce: education and perception as a means to counter manipulative sales tactics

"Dark patterns" in e-commerce are manipulative design strategies that aim to entice customers to make decisions that they might not make under other circumstances. These strategies include, for example, artificial scarcity, social pressure, time-limited offers and "Confirmshaming". The aim of this study is to quantitatively investigate how intervention measures (e.g., education or priming) regarding manipulative sales techniques can influence consumer decision-making and whether this leads to a negative perception of online stores that use such practices.

Topic 6: Perception of influencer products

Social media influencers are increasingly launching their own products or even entire brands and companies. The aim of this study is to investigate the differences in consumer perception between influencer posts for their own products (or projects) and classic influencer posts promoting other companies' products. For example, a distinction can be made between influencer types (e.g. nano vs. micro influencers), media formats, platforms or product categories.


Structure and application

Processing time: 12 weeks from kick-off
Scope: Term paper of 40 pages (10 ECTS)
Language: German/ English
Supervision: Group sessions; individual sessions by arrangement
Organization: WueCampus course room follows
Can be credited to: see WueStudy (course number: 10510940) 


2. Application

  • For summer term 2024 please send us the following information by Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 at the latest to  Kevin Schwehm
  • IMPORTANT: Please send only one (!) PDF file. Incomplete application documents and/or those not submitted by the deadline cannot be considered
  1. Short letter of motivation (1 page)
  2. Prioritization of the topics for the group assignment (at least 3, preferably prioritize all topics)
  3. Current curriculum vitae
  4. Current transcript of records


The acceptance or rejection for the seminar for summer term 2024 will take place on March 8th 2024


Scheduling in summer term 2024

Mon, April 8th 2024, 10 am

(online via Zoom)

  • Kick-off meeting (short introduction to scientific work)
  • Official registration of topic and seminar
  • Announcement of the groups
Every 2 weeks (exact dates to follow) Short interim reports (each team reports for 10-15 minutes on progress, issues and problems, followed by 10-15 minutes of discussion)

Mon, July 1st, 11:59 pm

Submission of the manuscript by e-mail

expected Tue, July 16th, 11:15am - 12:45pm

Final presentations


Contact: Kevin Schwehm will be happy to answer your questions at any time.


Formal guidelines

Please note our guidelines for the formal design of academic papers.


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