International allocation of relief teams by humanitarian aid agencies
a) Institutional factors
b) organizational factors
c) emergency-related factors
In this course, students explore a novel research question by reviewing the literature, developing a theoretical model, and deriving testable hypotheses from this model. The short-term goal of this course is to prepare students for writing a master thesis with the methodology of theory-based empirical research. As an important difference from Master Thesis Coaching which helps students with defining fruitful topics and framing studies at an overall level, Writing Academic Papers provides students with such topics and trains their proficiency in the shaping and phrasing of arguments that convince academic readers in detail. Having acquired these skills, students in equal measure qualify for becoming consultants, managers, or any other kind of actors who need to put their proposals in clear and compelling words.
As an overarching theme, students will explore and develop research topics related to internationally operating humanitarian aid agencies and the challenges these organizations face in allocating resources (medical care, food, water, etc.) and teams to effectively and quickly provide as well as coordinate humanitarian action to help local communities affected by humanitarian emergencies such as droughts and famines. According to the United Nations, the nature of humanitarian emergencies is currently changing in a way that although sudden-onset catastrophic events, such as tropical storms or earthquakes requiring rapid and well-coordinated humanitarian responses, will continue to happen many more humanitarian crises in the future will unfold gradually over time based on a combination of complex and interrelated circumstances such as climate change, irregular migration, etc. This poses new and significant challenges to humanitarian aid agencies, which students will investigate by looking at the institutional, organizational, and emergency-related factors that influence the ability of these organizations to react to, prioritize, and predict humanitarian emergencies in the future.
Session 1: Introduction
An introductory presentation by the instructor covers the foundations of economic models and empirical research in international business. Topics for the research projects are introduced and assigned to groups.
Session 2: Coaching
After discussing overall questions with all participants, we split up in groups. In group sessions we clarify and focus research topics, identify relevant fields of the literature, find theoretical arguments, and design models of hypotheses.
Session 3: Presentation preview
Students present a preview of their group research projects in class. In-class discussion and comments from fellow students provide valuable input in order to progress the research project.
Consultation by separate appointments
Groups gather in meetings with faculty to discuss their suggestions for developing the project.
Sessions 4-7: Presentations
Based on the input from in-class discussion and consultation with faculty, students present their theoretical models and hypotheses in class. Fellow students act as critical reviewers of the research project.