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Research Areas

Contemporary Research Topics of High Regional Relevance

Researchers at the Institute of Information Systems currently work in eight distinct areas: digital innovation, process management, sustainably digital, content management, big data analytics, enterprise resource planning, culture assessment, and digital nudging.

Digital innovation

This research stream focuses on the transformative power of digital technologies and their social, economic, and environmental impacts. While in the past, we have predominantly focused on the role of IT in increasing productivity, individuals, organisations, governments, and entire societies are now exploring how digital technologies can fundamentally transform social, economic, and ecological aspects of human life. On a day to day basis, we learn more and more about the virtually unlimited action possibilities that are created through digital technologies – just consider how mobile devices or the Internet of Things have been changing both our private and business lives.  

Process management

Most companies have understood how process management can be used to increase work efficiency and improve the quality of products and services. Accordingly, various studies have explored the design, implementation, and monitoring of business processes from a methodological viewpoint. This research area takes an innovation-driven and value-oriented perspective on process management. In particular, it identifies and evaluates the business potential of modern information and communication technology in process management, for example, big data analytics, social media, and cloud computing.  

Sustainably digital

This research stream investigates how information and communication technology can help reduce the human impact on the natural environment and increase social well-being. Understanding the action possibilities provided by existent and new digital technologies is imperative to designing and implementing more sustainable practices at individual, organisational, and societal levels. To harness the transformative power of information technology for sustainable development, we not only develop novel theory that explains how specifically information technologies impact on sustainability, but also prescriptions that can be directly applied in practice.

Content management

Today's companies create content at a higher rate than ever before. Not only is it increasingly difficult for them to efficiently store and retrieve documents at an enterprise-wide level; creating and reusing the content of documents can likewise be problematic. Given the high speed with which content is copied and distributed today, it is especially challenging to ensure its consistency and timeliness – content is translated into different languages and published in various information products. Research in this area designs and evaluates methods and models that can help companies to develop corporate content-management strategies.

Big data analytics

In today’s networked world, data is collected at an unprecedented scale and speed – from online social networks and e-commerce platforms to sensor networks, which is often referred to as "big data." The business potential of big data, for example, in marketing, is considerable, yet it has not been exploited to its full extent. This research area explores methods and models that can help to make this data useful for private and public organisations, and for society as such. At this, a special focus is put on the analysis of growing amounts of unstructured text data, from both the (social) web and company-internal data sources, using text-mining algorithms and sentiment analyses.

Enterprise resource planning

Enterprise systems consist of several applications that need to be integrated in the corporate IT landscape. However, as a function of their lifecycle, these applications are often not aligned very well. While enterprise systems play an increasingly important role in organisations for managing business processes, they do not follow a clearly identifiable lifecycle, as previous pre-packaged, homogeneous solutions did. This research area studies enterprise systems from a process and innovation perspective and explores the different roles that enterprise systems can play in organisations and the various lifecycle phases of contemporary business applications.

Culture assessment

The development of corporate culture is on top of most personnel managers’ agendas. While research has identified culture as a barrier towards successful business process management in practice, only few studies have investigated the specific cultural elements that support the implementation of process management to reduce cultural barriers and provide directions for cultural change. Accordingly, this research field is concerned with understanding the constituent elements of a cultural setting supportive of process-management objectives. This provides a foundation for companies to develop process-oriented strategies that help to develop their organisational culture.

Digital nudging

In an increasingly complex world, people make decision on a daily basis – not only offline but online also. Behavioral science, which has a long research tradition, helps to better understand and design decision-making processes. Research in this area investigates how people actually make decisions in digital environments, for example, in online-flight booking processes or on rating platforms. Using behavioral science as a theoretical lens, the impact of small design modifications to websites (i.e., nudges like setting defaults) on users’ behavior is analysed, a research area we refer to as “digital nudging.”

Research results are gained in close cooperation with the regional industry and communicated to a broader audience through publications in academic journals and presentations at international conferences.