Thesis Assignment: 2. Research objective, main question & sub questions are clear, unambiguous and related to the problem. The SQ are consistent with the MQ and complete to answer the MQ.

Thesis Assignment

competency based assessment

Graduate Name: Date / Time:
Student No: Place / Room
First Examiner: Second Examiner
Supervisor FINAL GRADE:

(see other side)

External expert

KNOCK-OUT CRITERIA: the Thesis report needs to fulfil the following knock-out criteria (please tick):

Items included: Yes No
Management summary
Problem definition, research questions & methodology
Professional appearance of the report: Yes No
Well structured, APA referencing, correct use of English business language and not exceeding the maximum number of pages.

REPORT (50%)

Score 1: unsatisfactory Score 2: weak Score 3: good Score 4: outstanding

1 2 3 4 Assessment motivation
1. Introduction presents the international & strategic relevance of the Thesis assignment. The problem orientation & definition are clear and unambiguous, whereby relevant parts of the organisation are described.
Research Design & Methodology
2. Research objective, main question & sub questions are clear, unambiguous and related to the problem. The SQ are consistent with the MQ and complete to answer the MQ.
3. Appropriate theories and models are applied & the research design is consistent with the research questions.
4. The research methodology (desk / field, qualitative / quantitative, internal / external) is clearly outlined. And a proper reflection is given towards the validity, reliability & usability and towards the original Grad. Proposal.
Research findings & analysis
5. Structured presentation of the research findings whereby the results are objective and based on relevant desk research, valid & reliable field research and related towards the sub questions.
6. The research findings are analysed and interpreted for the clarification and answering of the sub questions and main question by using appropriate analytical methods.
7. Conclusions are logically derived from the represented research findings, whereby all sub questions are addressed and the main question is answered. Mutual cohesion between various research findings enables the student to develop an international strategic vision, whereby critical thinking and judgement is shown.
8. Well considered, creative and realistic recommendations to the client, contributing to the solution of the problem. The recommendations are based on convincing arguments and linked to the conclusions.
9. The advice incorporates a strategic vision. Meaning that the advice is aligned with the company’s strategic ambitions and the impact of the advice is justified in a broad perspective and on a strategic level.
10. An operational impact on how the advice fits in the company circumstances is given including concrete organizational and financial (cost/benefit) consequences of the advice.
General comments
The level of consensus or deviation between both examiners with respect to assessment of the Thesis Report and the determination of the grade is:
Total score


iGina is an international-minded agency, with six nationalities (excluding freelancer agency team) that works with international audiences in the Netherlands. Due to this international setting, iGina is internationally inclined and has plans to expand to other countries within the next few years. The desire to expand to other countries is also as a result of the business development strategy that the company is currently working on. In 2017, the company received a small grant called the “RVO Voucher” for individual coaching from the Dutch government that paid for a consultant to explore and prepare for international growth as the business was deemed an ideal candidate for international growth.

The team had several meetings with a consultant after receiving the grant in order to develop a plan to kick-start the project. However, no concrete plans were made and the company decided to focus on other aspects of their business development. There was no previous research into the subject at that time but the company has decided it is time for them to pursue this area of business development. Some theories that are related to international market expansion and can help to further understand the subject include a country selection process and a market entry strategy.


In order for iGina to expand to other countries, the company will first have to conduct in-depth research about which countries to expand to and how to go about the expansion. For this reason, the graduation research by the student will provide the company insight into the necessary strategies and processes to follow in the case of international market expansion. The purpose of the research is to provide the company with recommendations that will be useful in decision making to facilitate a successful expansion to other suitable countries.


The research objective is to give recommendations to Gina Dunn, owner of iGina Marketing before the 31st of October, 2018 as advice on the implementation of an international market expansion plan dealing with how to select potential countries to expand to and entry strategies for these countries.

By providing an overview of the company’s readiness for international expansion, the selection process of the new markets to enter, the strategies to use in entering these new markets as well as the involved risks which will have to be taken into consideration.


Which top 5 European countries would be most suitable for iGina to expand to and which strategies will be most applicable for entering these selected countries?

Sub questions:


1. Which international expansion model is most applicable for the research assignment?

2. What theory on international market entry modes is relevant for this research assignment?


3. With the aid of an internal analysis, how ready is iGina for international expansion?

3.1 What are iGina’s competencies and how can they be applied internationally?

3.2 What is the budget for iGina’s international expansion project?

4. What are external factors for the country selection process?

5. Who are the main competitors for iGina?

5.1 Who are the target customers of iGina’s competitors and in which way do they reach them?

5.2 Which competitors have engaged successfully in internationalization?

6. What criteria do (prospective) customers use in the selection of a branding agency?

7. In which way can industry trends influence iGina’s decision to expand internationally?


8. Based on the referenced SWOT analysis, what strategic options can be drawn?

9. What are the risks iGina is likely to face with regards to new market entry?

W:\FEM\Internship Administration ABS\IBMS\GA\Assessment form\IBMS GA assessment form 2015-2016_FINAL.docx, BW, 14-8-2018


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