Thesis Topics

Thank you for your interest in writing a Bachelor's or Master's thesis at the Chair of Information Systems Management. Below you find the current list of our research topics. If you think one of these topics sounds promising, we are happy to hear from you. Unless otherwise noted, thesis topics are open to Bachelor and Master students, can start immediately and should be preferably written in English language. Get in touch with us ideally 8 weeks before your intended start.

Important for bachelor students: Experience in scientific work in the field of IS/MIS is required, i.e. successful completion of the WAWI module and/or successful participation in an ISM seminar.

If you applied for one or more thesis topics at our chair, please add the topic and the supervisor to your request mail.

Topics

Using AI in the Decision-Making Process of Venture Capitalists

Using AI in the Decision-Making Process of Venture Capitalists

Venture Capitalists often  have difficulties when it comes to the valuation of start-ups in the early stage. These investors have to take decisions under uncertainty, time pressure and suffer from bias. Can AI be used to overcome this challenges by supporting the decision-making process of Venture Capitalist? This thesis can pursue different goals. Potential research questions could be:

  • Are ML techniques already used by VCs? (If so, which ones are preferred and why?)
  • Which ML techniques are more suitable than others in the decision making process of VCs?
  • What is the Impact of AI on the Decision-Making Process of VCs?
  • Which patterns (past valuations) of the Decision-Making-Process of VCs are suitable for predicting a future successful investment?

Method: Qualitative Analysis, secondary statistical analysis, DSR

Language of Thesis: Preferably English, German possible

Literature for getting started:

Supervisor: Ferdinand Mittermeier

The Impact of Outsourcing Market Consolidation on Service Quality

Do M&A on the outsourcing provider market create disruptions for outsourcing arrangements? This thesis topic is aimed at analyzing whether secondary data is available and could be merged and used to examine whether mergers or acquisitions of multiple outsourcing provider firms creates frictions on the client side (problems or even termination of outsourcing arrangements because of loss of quality etc.)

Language: preferably English

Method: statistical analysis of secondary data

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Daniel Beimborn

Technology Forecasting - How reliable is the Gartner Hype Cycle?

Gartner’s Hype Cycle is one of the most frequently published and cited technology forecasts. But, how reliable, consistent, and accurate is it? Objective of this thesis is to set up a data base of historical Gartner hype cycle reports and compare both their consistency over time and their accuracy mapping it with other data sources.

Method: Secondary data analysis, potential for use of AI-based pattern recognition techniques

Language: preferably English

Literature for getting started:

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Daniel Beimborn

Tackling the Scaling-Up Problem of Digital Health Start-Ups

The healthcare industry has started to use technological innovation and digital tools to improve its services. This has brought a variety of benefits, but also risks and challenges. Even if regulatory measures such as the German Digital Healthcare Act (Federal Minsitry of Health 2019) show that policymakers are supporting the digital transformation of the healthcare sector and that digital healthcare applications are recognized in the provision of care, the basic problem remains: The complex and regulated environment of the healthcare system bears numerous barriers to digital healthcare innovation. There are also a number of technological and behavioral barriers to be considered. The aim of this thesis is to identify the scaling-up challenges for Digital Start-Ups in the healthcare sector as well as to develop an aciton plan to adress them.

Method: Literature Review, Design-Science Research, Action Design Research

Language of Thesis: Preferably English, German possible

Literature for getting started:

  • Otto, L., & Harst, L. (2019). Investigating Barriers for the Implementation of Telemedicine Initiatives: A Systematic Review of Reviews. AMCIS.
  • Agarwal, R., Guodong Gao, DesRoches, C., & Jha, A. K. (2010). The Digital Transformation of Healthcare: Current Status and the Road Ahead. Information Systems Research, 21(4), 796–809.
  • Federal Ministry of Health, “Digital Healthcare Act (DVG),” Digital Healthcare Act (DVG): Driving the digital transformation of Germany’s healthcare system for the good of patients, https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/digital-healthcare-act.html
  • Hevner, Alan R.; March, Salvatore T.; Park, Jinsoo; and Ram, Sudha. 2004. "Design Science in Information Systems Research," MIS Quarterly, (28: 1).
  • Sein, Maung K.; Henfridsson, Ola; Purao, Sandeep; Rossi, Matti; and Lindgren, Rikard. 2011. "Action Design Research," MIS Quarterly, (35: 1) pp.37-56.

Supervisor: Ferdinand Mittermeier

Measuring Social Networks – A Comparison of Information Systems Research and Organization Sciences

Social networks have been an exciting object of research for many decades and the methodology of Social Network Analysis (SNA) is very popular. However, it is not easy to collect data showing who knows whom or who communicates with whom and how often. From direct surveys to the evaluation of e-mail log files and the use of social badges worn by company employees, there are many different methods.

The goal of this thesis is to analyze the two literature fields of Business Informatics and Organization Science with regard to which survey methods of the SNA social networks have been empirically measured so far and which empirical findings have been obtained on the basis of the measurements in each case. In a meta-analytical comparative approach, statements on the influence of SNA survey methods and key figures on empirical findings will then be inductively derived.

Method: Literature Review, Meta Analysis

Language of Thesis: Preferably English, German possible

Literature for getting started:

  • Methodical foundations: http://www.socialcapitalgateway.org/NV-eng-measurement.htm (Wasserman and Faust, 1994; Scott, 2000; Van der Gaag, Snijders and Flap, 2004)
  • SNA in Information Systems: (Espinosa, Cummings, Wilson and Pearce, 2003; Klein, Lim, Saltz and Mayer, 2004; McLure Wasko and Faraj, 2005; Vidgen, Henneberg and Naudé, 2007; Kane and Alavi, 2008; Trier, 2008; Fischbach, Schoder and Gloor, 2009; Lee, Heng and Lee, 2009; Lim, Saldanha, Malladi and Melville, 2009; Sykes, Venkatesh and Gosain, 2009; Oinas-Kukkonen, Lyytinen and Yoo, 2010; Yu, Hao, Dong and Khalifa, 2010) (Chellappa and Saraf, 2010) and others in JAIS 2/2010 Special Issue,(Wijngaert, Vermaas and Bouwman, 2008) (Ho and Chang, 2009)
  • Organization Science: (Umphress, Labianca, Brass, Kass and Scholten, 2003)
  • Other Sources:
    • In (Yang, Lee and Kurnia, 2009): Hampton 2003, Hampton/Wellman 2003, Kavanaugh et al. 2005, Haythornthwaite 2001, 2002, Matzat 2004)
    • In  (Kane and Alavi, 2008): Ahuja/Galletta, Ahuja et al., Borgatti/Cross, Sparrowe et al.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Daniel Beimborn

For master students only

Innovation through Outsourcing

Research aim of this master thesis is to analyze whether outsourcing vendors that invest more into innovation for their clients are more successful. Based on some previous works of the Chair of Information Systems Management and on secondary firm performance data, the student will analyze a.  large data set of international outsourcing vendors, their innovation activities, and their performance metrics (revenue, market shares etc.). Outcome should be to show whether particular types of innovation activities lead to more market success than others.

Method: secondary statistical analysis

Language of Thesis: English

Literature for getting started:

  • Meiser/Beimborn: Innovation in Outsourcing – An Empirical Analysis of Outsourcing Vendors’ Innovation Approaches, International Conference on Outsourcing Information Services (ICOIS), Mannheim, 2019. (available on request)

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Daniel Beimborn

Success Factors of IT Nearshore Outsourcing Relationships

Aim of this master thesis is to analyze a rich set of qualitative data (about 120 recorded interviews from about 20 case studies) on the management of outsourcing relationships between German/Swiss client firms and Eastern/Central European IT service providers in various countries. Aim is to identify different strategies for managing vendor personnel and activities and evaluating their effectiveness. This study can be extended by collecting new cases, in particular, on failed nearshore outsourcing relationships.

Method: qualitative analysis

Language of Thesis: English

Literature for getting started:

  • Carmel/Abbott: Why ‘nearshore’ means that distance matters. Communications of the ACM, Oct 2007.
  • von Stetten: Control Modes in IT Outsourcing. Zeitschrift für erfolgsorientierte Unternehmenssteuerung (27:12), 2015, pp. 703ff
  • von Stetten/Beimborn/Weitzel: Analyzing and Managing the Impact of Cultural Behavior Patterns in Social Capital in Multinational IT Project Teams. Business & Information Systems Engineering (BISE), 2012, pp. 137ff.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Daniel Beimborn

State of the Art in Outsourcing Research

Goal of this research is to create an overview about the current status of outsourcing research and identify open white spots relevant to be. This work is based on previous research from 2009/2010 and aims to identify and synthesize the past ten years of outsourcing research.

Literature for getting started:

  • Lacity, M.C., Khan, S.A., and Willcocks, L.P. 2009. "A Review of the IT Outsourcing Literature: Insights for Practice," Journal of Strategic IS (18:3), pp. 130-146.
  • Lacity, M.C., Khan, S.A., Yan, A. 2016: Review of the Empirical Business Services Sourcing Literature: An Update and Future Directions. Journal of Information Technology (31), pp. 269-328.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Daniel Beimborn

Entrepreneurial Support Systems in the Digital Era

New venture creation is at the core of entrepreneurship and regarded as the source of most new employment in an economy, innovations and solutions to social and environmental problems (Shepherd et al. 2020). Digital technologies,  however, not only transform traditional business strategies, models and processes in incumbent firms (Bharadwaj et al. 2013), but also impact the field of innovation and entrepreneurship (Nambisan et al. 2019). However, existing research has largely neglected the role of digital technologies in entrepreneurial pursuits. Furthermore, despite the awareness of the potential that digitization bears for innovation and entrepreneurship, the failure rate of technologystart-ups is still close to 70% (CBInsights 2020). Business incubation is seen as an important instrument to help emerging companies tackle the challenges coming up in the start-up phase. While researching the starting-up of an organization is challenging (since many new ventures are terminated before they become visible), the analysis of entrepreneurial support systems seems promising to gain deeper insights into the process of founding new companies in the digital era.

Method: qualitative analysis, quantitative content analysis

Language of Thesis: Preferably English, German possible

Literature for getting started:

  • Ratinho, T., Amezcua, A., Honig, B., and Zeng, Z. 2020. “Supporting entrepreneurs: A systematic review of literature and an agenda for research,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change (154).
  • Kreusel, N., Roth, N. and Brem, A. (2018). "European business venturing in times of digitisation – an analysis of for-profit business incubators in a triple helix context", Int. J. Technology Management, Vol. 76, Nos. 1/2, pp.104–136.
  • Elia, G., Margherita, A., and Passiante, G. 2020. “Digital entrepreneurship ecosystem: How digital technologies and collective intelligence are reshaping the entrepreneurial process,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change (150).

Supervisor: Ferdinand Mittermeier

For master students only

Preparing People for Change (in collaboration with Deutsche Post DHL)

Employees attend CM trainings and try to apply the acquired knowledge in daily change challenges. How can we enlarge and accelerate the learning process with digital learning formats? Moreover, employees have to adapt to changes and, moreover, have to become more resilient to frequent/permanent change, as digital transformation will increase the dynamics and needs for organizations to adapt  (“be in a permanent beta mode”). Goal of this thesis is to analyze the scientific literature with regard to the effectivenesss of respective programs (e.g., resilience building) and to come up with concepts for adjusted training and employee change programs that fit to the requirements of organizational change driven by digitalization (while these changes can be of different nature: IT change, process change, team change, culture change etc.).

This thesis will be conducted in collaboration with Deutsche Post DHL Group, Group Change Management.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Daniel Beimborn

For master students only

Response Rates in Empirical Organizational IS Research – Conducting a Meta-Analysis of Success Factors of Survey Design

Achieving high response rates in survey-based empirical studies is a challenging endeavor. Managers have little time and receive more questionnaires, which reduces their willingness to participate in surveys. In turn, for researchers, it is mission-critical to design survey processes in a way that the study attracts participation of as many managers as possible.

Aim of this master’s thesis is to review existing empirical studies in the Information Systems discipline which did survey-based studies at the organizational level (e.g., outsourcing management, IT business value, IT change & transformation, organizational adoption of IT/IS). A meta-analysis shall compare the studies with regard to their design (which companies, which manager roles, which “incentives”, which countries etc.) and try to identify factors that lead to higher vs. lower response rates.

An example for a comparable study of another research discipline can be found in (Hiebl/Richter 2018).

Method: literature review, meta-analysis

Language of master’s thesis: English

Literature for getting started:

  • Hiebl, M.R., Richter, J.F. (2018): Response Rates in Management Accounting Survey Research. Journal of Management Accounting Research (30:2), pp. 59-79.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Daniel Beimborn