ISHANDS-Change-M: Digital Change Management


The Digital Change Management module focuses on providing students with an in-depth understanding of the dynamics and challenges associated with the digital transformation of organizations. Research on work system theory and strategies for IT-business alignment forms the foundation for understanding the synchronization between technological innovations and business goals. This ensures the long-term competitiveness of companies.

However, many digital transformation projects fail due to resistance from the workforce. The module addresses this challenge by taking an in-depth exploration at literature and theories on user acceptance and resistance. By taking a differentiated look at these user behaviors, students learn to recognize the reasons for resistance and to develop targeted measures to overcome them. Specific attention is paid to employees’ perceptions of digital change, which are shaped by their personal experiences, personality traits and professional roles. This content helps students to successfully implement digital transformation projects.

To combine theory with practice, the course is enhanced by an innovative business game simulation. In this simulation, students take on the role of change managers who actively manage digital transformation processes. This interactive component makes it possible to make decisions in a risk-free environment, observe their effects and develop strategic thinking in real time. In addition, the course offers insights into real-world digital transformation projects through the integration of a case study. This case study serves as a foundation for discussions, reflections and the development of best practices.

The goal of the course is to prepare students for the key challenges of digital transformation and to familiarize them with the following key issues:

  • How does work systems theory support organizations in achieving a successful digital transformation?
  • What relevance does IT-business alignment have for digital transformation and who is responsible for it?
  • Which methods and tools are most effective in planning and implementing digital transformation projects?
  • Why and in what form does user resistance occur and how can it be overcome?
  • What measures can be used to achieve greater user acceptance?

Registration for the course

Please enroll for the course via the form on the German website

Content information

Learning objectives

As part of this module, students acquire a sound understanding of the complex challenges that accompany digital transformation processes in organizations. The goal is to provide a scientifically sound and at the same time practical perspective that enables students to take on leading roles in the design and management of digital transformation projects. The learning objectives are formulated as follows:

  1. In-depth insights into the dynamics of digital transformations: Students gain a differentiated understanding of the driving forces, conditions, and effects of digital transformations at an organizational level. The content is illustrated using various contexts and examples (e.g., human resources, automotive).
  2. Acquisition of knowledge about implementation strategies for digital technologies: students learn about different approaches to introducing new technologies, including IT and TechnoChange projects.
  3. Awareness of resistance from employees: Students gain an overview of typical resistance behaviors to digital transformation projects and recognize their underlying causes. They acquire knowledge of psychological, organizational, and cultural factors that influence the acceptance of digital technologies.
  4. Knowledge of intervention techniques: Students learn specific approaches and methods to overcome resistance among employees and win them over to their transformation projects. These include, for example, change management approaches, measures for user involvement and the introduction of incentive systems.
  5. Practical skills: Through the business game simulation and case studies, students receive feedback on their ability to manage digital transformation processes. They are familiarized with relevant management tools and methods to effectively plan, design, and successfully implement transformations.
  6. Strategic and operational leadership skills: Students acquire the skills required for the strategic planning and operational implementation of digital transformation projects.


  • Alter, S. (2013). Work System Theory: Overview of Core Concepts, Extensions, and Challenges for the Future. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 14 (2), 72-121.
  • Bhattacherjee, A., Davis, C. J., Connolly, A. J., & Hikmet, N. (2018). User response to mandatory IT use: a coping theory perspective. European Journal of Information Systems, 27(4), 395–414.
  • Kotter, J.P. (2010). Leading Change, Harvard Business Press.
  • Laumer, S., Maier, C., Eckhardt, A. & Weitzel, T (2016). Work Routines as an Object of Resistance During Information Systems Implementations: Theoretical Foundation and Empirical Evidence. European Journal of Information Systems, 25, 317–343.
  • Maier, C., Laumer, S., Sun, H., Thatcher, J., & Weitzel, T. (2024). Proposing Shocks and Dissatisfaction to Explain Quitting and Switching a Service: An Image Theory Perspective. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 25, 362–406.
  • Negoita, B., Rahrovani, Y., Lapointe, L., & Pinsonneault, A. (2022). Distributed IT championing: A process theory. Journal of Information Technology, 37(1), 2–30.
  • Sykes, T. A. (2020). Enterprise System Implementation and Employee Job Outcomes: Understanding the Role of Formal and Informal Support Structures Using the Job Strain Model. MIS Quarterly, 44(4), 2055–2086.
  • Wessel, L., Baiyere, A., Ologeanu-Taddei, R., Cha, J., & Blegind-Jensen, T. (2021). Unpacking the Difference Between Digital Transformation and IT-Enabled Organizational Transformation. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 22(1), 102–129.

Organizational information

Teaching form

Lecture (2 SWS) with exercise (2 SWS) in person.

The contents of the lecture are partly supported by podcasts.


Written exam:

  • Duration: 90 minutes (reflects 90 points)
  • Language: German or English
  • Tasks: Mandatory and optional parts

Students have the option of gaining up to 10 additional points by voluntarily completing a semester assignment during the semester.

Creditable study programs

Creditable in most WIAI and business-related degree programs, incl. M.Sc. International Information Systems Management, M.Sc. Information Systems.

If you have any questions, please ask your contact person on the examination board directly.