Tesi di Laurea


The master degree thesis is a test of the cultural maturity, both technical and scientific, acquired by a student during the course of study under the guidance of a lecturer. The degree thesis therefore represents the culminating moment of the entire curriculum of studies. It is the student’s task to contact the teacher via email to fix an appointment in which to discuss the possibility of assigning the thesis and the topic to be treated.

The teacher, at the master's level, prefers experimental theses, i.e. based on the processing of original data (acquired through analysis of business cases, surveys, etc.), or literature reviews, i.e. based on an exhaustive and detailed analysis of the state of the art and emerging problems or aspects that are still controversial in a specific field of enquiry. It is also possible for students to propose only descriptive theses, but in such a case, for the master’s degree theses, honors cannot be proposed. Experimental theses and literature review theses may lead to the development of new perspectives and theories useful for interpreting business phenomena or for better understanding their development dynamics. In this regard, Sapienza University offers wide access to national and international databases accessible via the following link:


It is useful also to use the following search engine:


The drafting of a scientific report is an integral part of the research carried out, of which it represents the phase of communication of the results, without which a research cannot have value. For its preparation, the student is supported by the teacher who must be periodically informed of the progress of the work, will sign the thesis for approval and will present the topic and the student / author to the Graduation Commission. The thesis must be an original work: that is to say that the contents, considerations, critical comments, conclusions presented by the candidate to the Degree Commission must not be mere repetitions of what was conceived, developed and published by others, but must be the result of the work done by the candidate himself, obviously guided by his supervisor. This does not exclude that on the date of discussion of the thesis the data contained therein (or part of them) have already been formally published or communicated in a congress venue by the candidate alone or with other co-authors.


In drafting your proposal, it is mandatory to specify two main issues: the area of enquiry and the problem under investigation. It is not important which of the two issues comes first. It is instead necessary to clearly define both of them. Note that it may be possible a scenario in which you defined a given area of enquiry. Right after, once elaborated your idea, you could need to come back again to the research field level and eventually to select a new, different area of enquiry in which to position your idea.

Concerning the area of enquiry, students must position their work within one of the following areas: firms' performance, positioning, resources and capabilities, firms' growth and change, implementation of a strategy (i.e., see research field in strategy).

Concerning the problem, you need to come up with a fresh, new idea for your thesis. What are you looking for? Are you interested in studying the size of the effect of a variable A on a variable B? Are you looking for "how" a variable A is influencing a variable B? Are you searching for "under what conditions" a variable A is influencing a variable B? Do you want to develop a fully new theory around the influence of a variable A on a variable B?

To this purpose, it is mandatory to carefully read and understand the following works:

Lave, C.A, March , J.G., 1993. An Introduction to models in the social sciences. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1-85.

Once selected your research field, defined your fresh, new idea, you have to draft your proposal. Here below there are some other useful references:

- Kerlinger, F., 1986. Foundations of behavioral research. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace & Company, Ch.2, "Problems and hypotheses", pp. 15-25

- Singleton, R.A., Straits, B. C., 2017. Approaches to social research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

- Davis, M.S., 1971. That’s interesting! Towards a phenomenology of sociology and a sociology of phenomenology. Philosophy of Social Science, 1, 309-344.

- Sutton, R.I., Staw, B.M., 1995. What a theory is not. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40, 371-384.

With regard to the content, a thesis must be an opportunity to effectively train a student in scientific research or in high-level professional activity. For example, it is suggested that the thesis work is not formally concluded before the contents of the thesis are sufficiently qualified to a level that can be considered potentially presentable for publication or for a conference communication. In addition, the thesis must be linguistically correct. Any formal defect (grammatical, syntactic, phraseological, logical, etc.), will make the thesis difficult to read and not understandable. The language must be plain, clear and free from colloquial, slang or too technical expressions. If the use of very technical expressions is believed to be useful or indispensable, candidate must be explained such terms in an understandable form to a general reader. It is neither required nor useful to present texts with excessive spacing and with too large margins. The Degree Commission evaluates the quality and not the quantity of the thesis.


Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Students must also use inclusive language which acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.


Divide your thesis into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc.. Use this numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.

Given the above formatting rule, the three-year degree thesis does not provide for a particular structure while the master's thesis should be structured as a formal publication and therefore it should be divided into traditional sections, such as:









INTRODUCTION: it consists in presenting the problem and framing it in the general scenario of the field as shown by the careful examination of an updated national and international literature and / or previous experience. Then, candidate must provide clearly and in detail the assumptions of the research. In an excellent Introduction, the student will be able to demonstrate that research question is interesting. At the same time, student can provide evidence of both his specific culture in the field and his ability to synthesize and communicate even to readers who are not strictly specialists in the field itself.

PURPOSE AND PLAN OF THE RESEARCH: consists in describing in a synthetic way the objectives of the research and in schematically listing the methods adopted in order to achieve the set objectives.

THEORY: it is the backbone of your work and comprises the theoretical background of on which a thesis is grounded. Usually, the theory section comprises and it is based on a systematic review of the extant literature on the problem under investigation. It is important, also, to include in this chapter the variables under investigation, their expected relationships and sign as well as an explanation of "why" such relationships between variables are expected to occur and, eventually, "under what" conditions the considered relationships will hold or not.

METHODOLOGY: consists of a detailed report on the approaches followed to achieve the objectives of the work. For the experimental theses, it is essential that the student understands that the accurate description of the procedures adopted must allow the reproduction of the described results to anyone interested. For literature review, it is equally necessary that a student clearly indicate the reference time period, journals and publications subject to examination, classification methods, criteria for selecting contributions within the journals and methods of analysis. In such a case, it is strongly suggested to follow the method proposed by Wolfswinkel, J., Furtmueller, E., Wilderom, C.P.M., 2011. Using grounded theory as a method for rigorously reviewing literature. European Journal of Information Systems, 35, 1-11.

RESULTS: consists of the qualitative and quantitative processing of the collected and processed material. It is appropriate to report only results consistent with the work plan, that is, those that bring an effective contribution to the field of research. In experimental theses, in dealing with the results of empirical observations or experimental procedures, statistical analysis is often indispensable. When this occurs, it is important that the student understands the reason for using a specific statistical method. In this vein, it is also useful (and often essential) to master both the principles that stand at the basis of statistical data processing and concepts. Numerical (Tables) or graphic (Figures) presentations of the results must be accompanied by progressive numbering for each category and self-explanatory captions, such that it is possible to read and interpret them even when they are extracted from the body of the thesis text.

DISCUSSION: contains a critical and comprehensive analysis of the data presented in the Results section. For experimental theses, the Discussion generally ends with considerations that enable the reader to understand whether the working hypothesis presented in the Research Purpose and Plan section has been verified and, if not, what the reasons could be. The candidate must demonstrate both the conceptual mastery of the evaluation methods used and the ability to correctly evaluate the acceptability of the results themselves.

A summary chapter of CONCLUSIONS could be added to summarize and underline the main points discussed: this is particularly useful when the Discussion section is very articulated and complex. If the candidate and his supervisor deem it necessary, the Results and Discussion sections can be merged, reserving to the concise section Conclusions the task of critically schematizing the entire paper, underlining the verification or not of the working hypothesis and any future prospects.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: consists of a list of references to the existing literature consulted during the work. Bibliographic references usually appear in two locations: within the text (in summary form) on every occasion in which the reference is useful. In-text references must be indicated in the round brackets, with evidence of Author’s surname, year and the number of the page (s). For example: (Panati, 1981, 48-53). At the end of the work, all references used must be included in a final list (in extended form), arranged alphabetically, with the following style:

Reference to a journal publication:

-Griffiths, W., Judge, G., 1992. Testing and estimating location vectors when the error covariance matrix is unknown. Journal of Econometrics 54, 121-138 (note that journal names are not to be abbreviated).

Reference to a book:

-Maddala, G.S., 1983. Limited dependent and qualitative variables in econometrics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reference to a chapter in an edited book:

-Reinganum, J., 1989. The timing of innovation: Research development and diffusion. In: Schmalansee, R., Willig, R. (Eds.). Handbook of Industrial Organization, Vol. I. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 849-908.

Reference to a website:

- http://www.uniroma1.it

The candidate must be well aware of the importance that any statement reported in the text, when not original (i.e., when it is not the result of observations, considerations, deductions or opinions of the writer of the text), is attributed to its Author. All publications cited in the text must be included in the Bibliography section, marking those actually consulted by the student. Where necessary, synthetic bibliographic citations must also be included in the captions of Figures and Tables that are not original or modified by the author of the thesis.


Once approved the proposal, the student must develop her/his thesis according to the following steps:

1) Search for relevant literature, prepare a full list of references well formatted according to the standard here included and submit such a list to the supervisor for revision. Please label the file (in word format) as: References_[your last name]_[your first name]_[your matricula]_[date]

2) Once approved the list of references by the supervisor, the student must carefully read the considered references, draft a document that includes the structure of the thesis in chapters and paragraphs and submit it to the supervisor for revision. Please label the file (in word format) as: Structure_[your last name]_[your first name]_[your matricula]_[date]

3) Once approved the structure of the thesis, a student must develop one chapter at a time, discuss it with the supervisor and once satisfactory proceed with the next chapter. In submitting a new chapter, please include also, if available, previous discussed and revised chapters. Please label the file (in word format) as: Chapter[1 or 2 or 3…]_[your last name]_[your first name]_[your matricula]_[date]

4) A final version of the thesis must be sent to the supervisor at least 10 days before the submission deadline for discussion and revisions. Please label the file (in word format) as Full thesis_[your last name]_[your first name]_[your matricula]_[date]


Since it is common for scientific reports to be presented in oral form (in congress venues, for example), an oral presentation of the thesis and a consequent public discussion of the same are fundamental moments for the cultural preparation of the candidate. During the graduation exam, the candidate will therefore present to the Commission a comprehensive summary of the work done and already delivered in writing, according to an expository sequence agreed with the supervisor. For this purpose, it will be the candidate's responsibility to choose the illustrative material to show, which usually consists of a series of images (in text and / or tabular and / or graphic format) projected with a video projector via computer. For the presentation of the thesis, the candidate will have a maximum time of about 20 minutes (5 minutes for three-year degree theses), which is generally followed by a discussion moderated by the President of the Degree Commission, in which the student must demonstrate mastery both of the results achieved and of the methodologies used and of the general framework of knowledge in which the experimental work is inserted and of the new contributions achieved with the work exhibited. They will also have to demonstrate an ability to understand any questions asked and to develop relevant answers.

Note 1: if you are a master degree student and are interested in having me as your supervisor, please, read carefully the above introduction, download and fill the form available at the bottom of this page and send it to me via email.

Note 2: Quanto sopra riportato vale nello specifico per le lauree magistrali. Per gli studenti di laurea triennale, l'elaborato è generalmente di natura descrittiva e riguarda un problema di ricerca rispetto al quale si può sviluppare un approfondimento mediante o analisi della letteratura (max 3 lavori scientifici) o attraverso l'utilizzo di casi di studio. Per la mia supervisione di una tesi triennale è sufficiente inviarmi una email di richiesta in forma libera oppure, se ritenuto opportuno, allegando alla mail il modulo richiesta tesi in italiano qui reso disponibile.