Research

The research activities of the chair focus on current issues in the field of IS-Management, Digital Transformation and Business Process Management. Our main focus is on the question of how IT and business can work together effectively and how organizations can use this cooperation to create digital innovations for their business. Specifically, we are working on the following research projects:

Design and value contribution of Digital Innovation Labs

 

In recent years, many companies have set up Digital Innovation Labs to help them develop digital innovations for their businesses faster and more successfully. There are various objectives and different orientations. In this project we look at which organizational designs best support the different objectives and how Digital Innovation Labs must be integrated into the company as a whole in order to effectively support resource, knowledge and cultural exchange and contribute to the ambiguity of the company. We methodically conduct case studies and interview managers and employees of these labs on various success factors. The participants in the study receive a comparative final report as the result, from which recommendations for action for an effective design of the lab can be derived. If you are interested in participating, please contact us. The study takes place in cooperation with the ProcessLab of the Frankfurt School and the German Graduate School.

The Role of Organizational Recombination and Information Systems for a Firm's Digital Innovation Capability

 

How can companies effectively support their innovation processes through organizational recombination and information systems? We investigate how companies need to adapt or even reinvent their organizational structures and innovation management processes in order to achieve a sufficient level of agility, to involve all relevant areas of the company (business units, IT, Marketing & Sales, Analytics, Legal, HR) and thus to innovate faster and more successfully. We rely on preliminary work on "Digital Business Strategy" and "Organizational Recombination" to investigate the role of new organisational structures both theoretically and empirically and to identify suitable types of IT support. Based on the theories or theoretical concepts of Ambidexterity, Organizational Learning, Absorptive Capacity and Organizational Control, we develop an understanding of how organizational recombination of IT and non-IT units contributes to innovation success. Concrete research questions in this project are: Which restructuring measures are more successful vs. more efficient vs. more sustainable to achieve higher agility and higher innovation success? Will Squad&Tribe and other Scaled Agile concepts be effective or will they be separate Digital Units? How complementary or substitutive are such approaches? How can IT systems be used to best support both internal processes and collaborations with start-ups and other external partners? How must IT operations be restructured to enable ambiguity on the IT side (e.g. different forms of multi-speed architectures and bimodal IT)? This research project is carried out in cooperation with the German Graduate School of Management & Law (GGS) in Heilbronn.

Creating and Maintaining Shared Business/IT Understanding

 

The common understanding between IT and business units (Shared Business/IT Understanding) within organizations is a key success factor for the cooperation and management of IT projects. Nevertheless, many companies have problems at this point - often there is not only a lack of understanding but even misunderstandings about the other side, which often lead to substantial conflicts. Our research aims to understand exactly what must be understood together for a successful collaboration between IT and business (the relevant dimensions of shared understanding) and which management measures can be used to reach a sufficient level and maintain it over time (influencing factors of shared understanding). Methodically, we conduct case studies, surveys and, in particular, long-term observations of IT projects and interfaces between departments and IT departments as well as IT service providers. Here we are particularly dependent on cooperation with companies - please contact us if you are interested.

Success factors for business process standardization

 

In order to gain efficiency advantages, companies focus on the implementation of process-oriented organizational structures and the standardization of business processes. In the past, we have dealt with process models for process standardization. A common problem, however, is to ensure that once standardized processes remain standardized - this requires appropriate governance as well as the creation of understanding and acceptance among the employees involved in the processes. In this project, we therefore deal with the "Human Side of Process Management" and examine factors that influence the process orientation and acceptance of standardization measures by employees. For example, we were able to contribute to the implementation of a new governance structure at a DAX company.
In the future, the focus will increasingly be on the topic of "innovation": How do we get from employees who accept procedural changes to co-innovators, i.e. employees who proactively participate in process innovations with their own suggestions? Cooperation in this area takes place with the ProcessLab of the Frankfurt Schoolhttp://www.processlab.info/, the University of Rostock and Lufthansa Technik, among others.

Managing Outsourcing Relationships & Innovation Quality

 

In the past, the holder of this professorship has been involved in researching success factors for effective IT service management, especially the management of IT outsourcing relationships. We have developed tools to measure the quality of outsourcing relationships, especially the "soft factors" (such as openness of communication, effectiveness of conflict resolution and the level of common understanding) and are now developing this into an analytics-based monitoring tool. In terms of methodology, we are initially working classically with case studies and survey-based instruments, but in the future also with approaches of social network analysis and sentiment analysis. In the next stage of this project, we also want to focus on how relationships with outsourcing and cloud service providers have to be managed so that not only the operative service is right, but the service provider also behaves in an innovation-oriented manner and delivers innovation services for its client with its IT competencies. This research project is partly carried out in cooperation with the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), whose Strategic Alliance Partners include the University of Bamberg.