Research topics

Research

 


Application and effects of cognitive systems

The meaningful processing of big amounts of (un)structured data using powerful analytic methods (key word: cognitive computing) represents a major opportunity and challenge for the future work place. In this context, we conduct experiments, e.g., with eye-tracking, to better understand the effects of self-developed cognitive systems on human decision-making, cognitive biases, and human well-being. This should help people and organisations to better understand the consequences of digitalization particularly of artificial intelligence.

Key researcher:

Partner: Lena Waizenegger


Blockchain Business

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are the first practical implementation of the blockchain technology. The blockchain is a decentralized database that stores transactions into blocks, which are then cryptographically chained together. This database is managed through a consensus mechanism in a decentralized Peer-to-Peer network. Therefore, the blockchain technology allows the potential for decentralized organization of consumers, markets, businesses and governments through the ability to create decentral consensus about a shared set of facts within a group of people. In this research, we analyze the implications and implementation possibilities of blockchain technology on digitized business models and the resulting economic effects of the changes in these digitized business models for all market participants in blockchain ecosystems.

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Digitization of Business Processes

In the digital transformation age, firms facing high cost pressure and high flexibility requirements. Thus, firms have the need to efficiently adapt and implement their business processes. However, modeling, implementation, and execution of business processes are still time consuming and cost intensive tasks. Planning approaches and semantic concepts seem to be reasonable approaches to improve this situation and increase the degree of digitization of business processes. In this research, which belongs to the scientific field of Semantic Business Process Management, we design approaches for an automated modelling, implementation, and execution of business processes.

Key researcher:

Partner: Bernd Heinrich, Mathias Klier


Digital Transformation Program Management

In the digital transformation age, the majority of companies conduct digital transformation programs to digitize, integrate, and automate business processes, to analyze big data sets, to automate decision making using artificial intelligence, etc. Such programs usually have a long time horizon and consist of multiple interdependent and sequenced IT projects. Moreover, program owners often revise the initial planning of IT projects during the runtime of a digital transformation program and reallocate resources, change requirements, defer or change the sequence of IT projects. Consequently, interdependencies between ITIPs and managerial flexibilities have to be considered in the planning of digital transformation programs. In this research we design and evaluate approaches to plan and select IT projects in digital transformation programs.

Key researcher:

Partner: Bernd Heinrich, Dennis Kundisch


Hybrid decision making

The market for information and communication technologies that support decisions in businesses and organisations has developed tremendously. Such developments, often labelled Big Data or Business Analytics have raised the attention of management, politics and societies alike. We conduct experiments, using eye tracking technology, to improve our understanding of how information and communication technologies influence human decision making and to contribute to the design of productive and humane decision support. Our research helps companies and organisations to design and sustainably manage the interplay between people and automated systems in the context of the digital transformation connected with Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things and the widespread application of Artificial intelligence.


Key researcher:

Partner: Robert Briggs, Gerhard Schwabe, Gert-Jan de Vreede


Collaboration techniques for Idea Convergence

Organisations often employ small teams or large crowds in order to develop ideas for innovative products and services. These teams or crowds can generate a large number of ideas in a short amount of time which need to be reduced and clarified to prepare for further detailed consideration. Contrary to the wealth of research on electronic brainstorming, we know little about this challenging and time-consuming activity called convergence in the field of Collaboration Engineering and about how information and communication technologies could best be designed to facilitate convergence. We conduct laboratory and field experiments in which we study convergence techniques with the help of our analysis technique and software CoPrA. We also design artefacts that help the design of collaboration software, for example for the classification of ideas and team activities.

Key researcher:

Partner: Gert-Jan de Vreede, Barbara Weber


Connectivity

The phenomenon that professionals are always connected and feel aligned to work, results in a blurring of occupational and private lives putting strain on professionals. Professionals are not able to go "offline" any more and their mobile devices are their permanent companions and the constant link to their work. Within this broader field of ‘connectivity’ we conduct a number of different empirical studies (cross-sectional, process-based) and observations (using smartphone monitoring apps) to investigate consequences of connectivity on the individual, team, organisational and societal level.

Key researcher:

Partner: Lena Waizenegger


Information systems project control

IT projects tend to be complex and face considerable uncertainty. It is thus not surprising that many IT projects do not meet stakeholder expectations, are delayed, or even fail entirely. We investigate the use of control and coordination mechanisms in IT projects teams. In particular, we focus on the enactment of such controls, as the interaction between controller and controllee has significant consequences not only for the overall project success, but also affects socio-emotional outcomes, such as job satisfaction, stress or work engagement. We also investigate the broader effects of digitalization on IS project control.

Key researcher:

Partner: Martin Wiener, Magnus Mähring, Carol Saunders, Alec Cram


Online Feedback in Open Innovation

Many organisations open their innovation processes to crowdsource potentially innovative ideas for future products and services. The role of feedback for idea development in early stages of innovation processes plays an important role. However, it has been shown that the selection of the best ideas is a big challenge and decision-support systems could help. We investigate how qualitative feedback affects the refinement of ideas and if it could be considered as an indicator for good ideas. Findings should help organisations to improve their selection processes.

Key researcher:

Partner: Anol Bhattacherjee, Daniel Zantendeschi


Online Rating Systems

Online rating systems help consumers to reduce uncertainties about the attributes and quality of products and services. It is therefore little surprising that consumer ratings influence 90% of all purchase decisions in the Internet and that e-commerce platforms such as Amazon.com consider online rating systems as their most important feature. We conduct analytical and experimental analyses to study the impact of consumer ratings in different variants of online rating systems on consumers’ purchase decisions and platform providers’ pricing decisions in order to develop recommendations for the design of online rating systems.

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Partner: Dennis Kundisch, Barrie R. Nault, Michael Scholz


Consumers increasingly favor sharing instead of owning products. Granting these consumers temporary access to underutilized products is the basic idea of the recently emerged sharing economy, which is expected to grow up to $335 billion of revenues in 2025. The Time Magazine considers sharing instead of owning products as one of the ten most important ideas that will change our world. Some economists predict that our established capitalistic system is passing and the sharing economy is rising in its wake that will transform our way of life. We are already witnessing the emergence of a hybrid economy where the two econom-ic systems often work in tandem (i.e., companies from automotive industry traditionally sell their cars and at the same time share their cars via sharing platforms such as car2go) and sometimes compete (i.e., Airbnb competes with the hotel industry on shares in the accommodation market). This trend is driven by sharing platforms such as AirBnB or Uber. The innovative character of these platforms is that they use electronic market systems based on the mobile Internet to match lenders and borrowers and consequently increase trade and allocative efficiency. To prove the predictions mentioned above, researchers have to shed more light on the economic effects of sharing platforms. The main goal of this research is to analytically examine and predict the economic effects of sharing platforms on the participants of the sharing ecosystem and the society as a whole. Based on these findings, we prototypically implement sharing platforms, test our theoretical findings in experimental studies, and develop solutions on how to design the sharing ecosystem.

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Partner: Barrie R. Nault


Two-tier Internet

The open Internet is characterized by the concept of net neutrality, where Internet Service Provider are not allowed to prioritize traffic and all data packages transferred through the Internet are treated equally. The problem with the open Internet is that it is plagued by congestion that restricts the development of sophisticated Internet-based services. Internet Service Providers and Content Providers have proposed a two-tier Internet with fee-based prioritization of traffic in a fast-lane Internet that coexists with the open Internet to overcome these problems. Opponents of a two-tier Internet believe it would reduce the quality of service of the open Internet. The challenge is for policy to balance a fee-based fast-lane Internet for priority traffic and safeguard the viability of the open Internet. In this research, we analyze the effects of a two-tier Internet on end users, content providers and the society as a whole and deduce policy implications to efficiently govern a two-tier Internet.

Key researcher:

Partner: Barrie R. Nault


Unintended consequences of IT use

Reports of negative consequences of information and communication (ICT) use have become a standard item in today’s news feed. Despite positive effects such as increased workplace productivity, better product quality, job enrichment and increased intra- and inter-organisational connectivity, there is increasing awareness that ICT adoption also comes with unintended consequences that in some cases are alarming. Within the broader field of ‘the dark side of IS’ we focus on topics such as social media usage and its negative consequences, Information overload and connectivity, as well as the role of IT in the acceleration of life.

Key researcher:

Partner: Martin Wiener


Knowledge maturation

Knowledge as a key resource that sustainably changes how companies and organisations operate in increasingly dynamic markets. We consequently need concepts and instruments which create an ICT-enabled environment in which knowledge workers can better learn, generate, connect and integrate knowledge. Together with Andreas Schmidt (Karlsruhe), we have developed the knowledge maturing model with which we aim to support companies and organisations in their design of information and communication systems for knowledge work. Our model explains processes of knowledge creation by individual employees, teams and organisations up to inter-organisational knowledge partnerships and networks. The model offers a conceptual foundation for the development of tools and services that facilitate knowledge creation in and beyond organisations.

Key researcher:

Partner: Andreas Schmidt


Knowledge protection

In our connected knowledge world, organisations benefit from the acquisition, sharing and joint creation of knowledge together with external parties, but at the same time they have to protect themselves against external parties that seek to appropriate critical knowledge. Thus, engaging in inter-organisational knowledge creation activities requires finding a sensible balance between knowledge sharing and protection. In this project, we try to understand how organisations perform knowledge protection in networks of organisations and how the application of knowledge protection practices affects knowledge sharing.

Key researcher:

Partner: Stefan Thalmann