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Master Seminar II


The Relevance of Marketing Research


            Instructor: Prof. Dr. Werner Reinartz
            Supervisor: Maren Becker, Annette Ptok
            Date: April, 20th, 10 am - 2 pm 
            Room: Wiso-building, Room 410


The examination consists of two parts:

  • Academic paper on a specific topic (seminar thesis),
  • Presentation and discussion of seminar topics.

Students are jointly evaluated on their seminar thesis, presentation and participation. 

Die Prüfungsleistung besteht aus zwei Teilen:

  • Wissenschaftliche Arbeit über ein bestimmtes Thema (Seminararbeit),
  • Präsentation und Diskussion der Seminarthemen.

Studenten erhalten eine Gesamtnote basierend auf der Seminararbeit, der Präsentation des eigenen Themas und der Beteiligung an der Diskussion. 


Marketing science and college curricula have repeatedly been criticized to become too out of touch with practical business management. Since students are taught what scholars research and practitioners often lament the practical relevance of such research, we have to ask: does the marketing discipline really produce valuable knowledge for marketing practice?

This master seminar aims at shedding light on the area of conflict between marketing science and practice and introduces students to means of approaching such a topic in a scientific, empirical fashion. Working in small groups of 4-5 people, different facets of the dispute are highlighted. Research papers and editorials serve as the basis for class presentations and discussions; in particular, we focus on (1) conceptual and editorial articles, (2) empirical research studies, and (3) studies that have been recognized as especially relevant for marketing practice through prizes and awards. The following questions will be answered within the seminar:

-          Has marketing research become irrelevant to business practice?

-          What factors makes marketing research (ir-)relevant?

-          Do different ways to look at practical relevance (conceptual, empirical, practice awards) yield similar                 conclusions and drivers of relevance?

-          How to disperse relevant academic findings? 

Main seminar procedure

Groups of four to five students will be assigned to specific sub-topics which will be announced in the kickoff of the seminar. Working as a group, the students will have to prepare both a term paper and a presentation on their given topic. The presentation should last around 30 minutes, and cover the most important findings of the term paper. The presentations and arising discussions will be held during an intensive 1-day-course. It is therefore vital that all students participate actively, and are prepared for intensive team-work.

Prior to the beginning of the course there will be an introductory session in which the course topics will be introduced and assigned. Students will also receive advice on required skills for the course.

Attendance on the following dates is compulsory:

  • Thursday, April 20th, 2017, seminar introduction and introduction to academic writing, in room 410 (WiSo-building) from 10.00 am – 2.00 pm. 
  • Tuesday, July 11th, 2017, seminar presentations of term papers, in Seminar room II from 10.00 am – 5.00 pm. Attendance for this session is compulsory.

you register for the course, please ensure that you will be able to attend both sessions! Attendance is compulsory for all participants. Failure to attend will result in exclusion from the course and a corresponding number of malus points!

Criteria for course credit

In order to receive the full course credit, the following requirements must be fulfilled:

  • Term paper – each student in the group must contribute to the paper
  • Preparation and delivery of a group presentation on the project report
  • Active participation in the sessions. Students are expected to make significant contributions to any discussions which take place during the course

Introductory session

The introductory session is on Thursday, April 20th, 2017, 10.00 am – 2.00 pm in room 410 (WiSo-building). On this date the topics will be assigned to each group. There will also be an introduction on how to work scientifically. Attendance is compulsory!

Term paper

As a means of introduction, some initial readings will be provided for each seminar topic in the introductory session. Apart from that, further research, especially in international journals, is expected. Please make sure that your literature is not out-dated. Of course, the exception proves the rule but your work should not go back more than approximately 10 years. You should include between 5 and 15 literature sources per group member. However, the grading for the term paper will be identical for each member of a group. It is therefore absolutely vital that each individual section is properly incorporated into the final term paper. The term paper should be written in English.

Please take the information provided on our website on how to write a term paper, a bachelor, or a master thesis into consideration!


TTerm papers have to be handed in to your advisor (two print copies) and emailed (Word-file) to her/him by Thursday, June 22nd, 2017, at noon the latest. Presentations (Power-Point-file) have to be handed in via email to your advisor by Thursday, July 6th, 2017, at noon the latest.

Seminar and presentations

The 1-day-course will be held on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 (10.00 am – 5.00 pm) at the University of Cologne (Seminar room II). Presentations should be composed and held in English. It should be the result of a collaborative effort and it must be internally consistent. However, not every group member must take part in the actual presentation. The grading for presentations will be identical for all members of a group.


April  20th, 2017, 10.00 am – 2.00pm

Introductory session,

room 410, WiSo-building

June 22nd, 2017, at noon

Deadline for term papers

July 6th, 2017, at noon

Deadline for presentations

July  11th, 2017,  10.00 am – 5.00 pm

Presentations at the University of Cologne,
Seminar room II