German postgraduate student Christian Handtrack’s research concerning New Zealand small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) was so competent that his Commerce Department supervisors at Lincoln University recommended a change from a Masters to a PhD programme.
Because of this, there needed to be an international component. A short-term exchange semester has been arranged at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom for Christian to carry out this research. He will then return to Lincoln University to finalise his thesis.
Christian says very little research has been carried out as to how and by what means SME’s acquire, share and apply strategic information and knowledge that will help them in their business, he says.
“These issues are critical, as SME’s often operate under difficult conditions and are subject to global pressures from large corporations and demanding customers.”
For his postgraduate study, Christian sought a university where he could study in English.
“I chose Lincoln University because the offer was the best and the campus the most welcoming.”
The University has lived up to his expectations, he says.
“I’ve been impressed with the quality of my supervision and the amount of time my supervisors have given me. I also like being in the country and in the South Island.”
Christian’s strong work ethic and research ability have led to the award of a Lincoln University Scholarship to allow him to complete his doctorate, one of his supervisors Dr Fraser says.
“The final outcome of this project will be a significant practical contribution to the improved management of SME’s both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.”
As to a career, Christian says he has not yet given a great deal of thought to it, but the options open to him are many.