Towards a Context-sensitive Conceptual Framework and Design Principles for Internet of Things Solution

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Type and Duration

FFF-Förderprojekt, July 2018 until March 2020 (finished)


Chair of Information Systems and Innovation

Main Research

Business Process Management

Field of Research

Digital Innovation


Internet of Things (IoT) technologies allow for connectivity among various physical objects and play a key role for the development of "smart" solutions such as smart homes, smart factories, smart cities, smart mobility, and many more. These "smart" systems involve physical objects equipped with sensors, actuators, and processors, which can be interconnected to build intelligent and flexible systems-that is, cyber-physical systems.

It is important to understand the material features and associated capabilities of IoT technologies because it cannot be expected that there will be a one-fits-all solution for the Internet of Things. While, at a general level, there are certain constituting elements such as smart products, connectivity, and cloud solutions, it is also clear that different application scenarios are calling for different technologies and capabilities. For instance, there might be situations where energy supply is stable and abundant and where connected devices are in geographical proximity (such as in smart manufacturing environments), while there are other situations where this is not the case (e.g., in rural areas that intend to become "smart"). It can thus be expected that different categories of IoT technologies allow for the creation of different IoT networks and for the implementation of different types of systems.

Against this background, this research project aims to develop a conceptual framework and design principles for IoT solutions that consider (1) the contextual factors that define situations where IoT solutions are implemented, (2) the material features of key IoT components, and (3) the affordances that emerge as these IoT components are deployed in different contexts.


  • Seidel, S., & Berente, N. (2020). Automate, informate, and generate: affordance primitives of smart devices and the internet of things. In S. Nambisan, K. Lyytinen & Y. Yoo (Eds.), Handbook of Digital Innovation : Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Kamm, M., Gau, M., Schneider, J., & Vom Brocke, J. (2020). Smart Waste Collection Processes-A Case Study about Smart Device Implementation. Paper presented at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii. (VHB_3: C)