The role of the founder’s social competence on start up success

Key Info

Basic Information

Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftswissenschaften für Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler
Bachelor; Master


Although many start up founders have large social networks and plenty of contacts, academic research has shown that these networks (which can be crucial for the success of their companies) are leveraged by the founders with differing levels of “efficiency”. Previous insights suggest, that both financial achievements and processes within the company are affected by the founder’s social competence (also referred to as “political skill”). Interesting, unanswered questions in research might address the effects of social competence on the success of financing via external investors (e.g. Business Angels or Venture Capital Funds), the innovation levels and abilities of their firms or employee satisfaction.
The aim of this thesis shall be to better understand the effects of entrepreneurial social competence. The specific research question of the thesis can be worked out together. The thesis can be either quantitative (e.g. statistical analysis of a survey conducted by you) or qualitative (e.g. via interviews with founders and/or investors). In rare occasions a literature review might also be conceivable.

An excerpt of your most important tasks during your thesis:
- Definition of the research question
- Independent literature research
- Data collection either quantitatively (survey) or qualitatively (interviews)
- Analysis and discussion of the results

What's in it for you?
- scientifically valuable contribution at the intersection of entrepreneurship and (behavioral) psychology
- Close supervision and individual coaching with doctoral student with similar research focus
- Insights into in-depth research on the topic and contacts in the startup scene

Literature for initial reading:
„Political Skill in the Organizational Sciences“, Ferris et al., 2012
„Entrepreneur political skill and new venture performance: Extending the social competence perspective” Tocher et al., 2012

Keywords: Political Skill, Social Competence, Entrepreneurship, Start ups, Behavioral Psychology