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Area Information Systems

Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Information Systems

Summary

Information Systems (IS) support individuals in organizations with information for better or faster decisions. They enable new business processes and business models, altering the competitive arena in which a company is embedded. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are utilized for corporate activities from the perspective of distinct user roles. The nature of the IS discipline is both, theoretical and technological. While theoretic-empirical contributions focus on the management and use of Information Systems and Information Infrastructures in organizations, technological-constructivist contributions aim at the design of IS for facilitating new business processes and models.

 

Fields of Research

The area is followig a complementary research approach, combining a thoretic-empirical and technological-constructivist perspective. Our fields of research can be grouped into the following major areas:

  1. Development of Information Systems and Infrastructures,
  2. Innovative Information Systems,
  3. Management of Information Systems and Infrastructures, as well as
  4. Electronic Business and Government.

In the context of Information Systems and Instrastructure Design, a variety of interconnected themes is covered. Software Product Management and Usability Engineering investigate development processes with specific focus on customer and end-user integration. Component-based Software Development and Object Data Management offer the instruments to design and to develop specific business functions on the application layer as well as to manage the underlying data. The productivity and impact of Information Systems and Infrastructure Development Processes is investigated in order to improve the respective collaboration activities.

In the realm of Innovative Information Systems and Infrastructures, we design and evaluate new systems concepts and solutions. Distributed Systems and Context-Aware Computing lay the foundation of inter-organizational Information Systems and Infrastructures that facilitate new forms of the value chain. The middleware layer allows for a modular and flexible design of contemporary application functions. Enterprise Information Systems, relying on enterprise software packages such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management or Business Intelligence, are the backbone and - in some instances - a differentiator of corporations outperforming their competitors. We take an end-user perspective on Enterprise Information Systems and conduct research in the areas of social augmentation, information security, and flexibility.

In the domain of Information Systems and Infrastructure management, we explore the full potential of these research objects. We pursue investigations in the areas of Information Management and Business Process Management. On an information systems level, the "fit" between tasks, processes, technologies, and people is investigated. On an infrastructure level, complex arrangements of IS Governance and IS Sourcing are scrutinized. Complementary to these issues, we are investigating the Business Value of Information Systems to gain a better understanding of how Information Systems can be deployed effectively to support a corporation’s value creation.

Information Systems and infrastructures facilitate new forms of Electronic Business and Electronic Government. Within behavioristic empirical research, the key drivers for leveraging efficient utilization of such systems are investigated. Specific research areas are the adoption of system standards, electronic business models, cloud computing, process virtualization, online pricing and smart metering solutions.

Bachelor Programs

Master Programs

The Mannheim Master in Management (MMM) is a consecutive Master’s program, culminating in the academic degree Master of Science (M.Sc.). The MMM differs from other Master’s programs since it allows students to structure the course according to their interests. With various specializations and the opportunity to study a diverse set of subjects, the MMM offers flexibility with academic rigor.

The chairs of the Business School of the University of Mannheim cover a broad spectrum of managerial subjects. Students are able to shape their curriculum and schedule according to their preference and academic interests. Broadly, the specializations on offer at the University are in the areas of:

  • Accounting and Taxation
  • Banking, Finance and Insurance
  • Information Systems
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management

PhD Programs

The Center for Doctoral Studies in Business offers seven fields of specialization: Accounting, Finance, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, Operations Managment, and Taxation.

Courses

Business

Course

This course is designed for doctoral students in information systems and operations/logistics. It provides a basic understanding of philosophy of science and its epistemological foundations. On the one hand, the course will focus on those concepts which derive knowledge from observation, induction, and refutation of facts. Furthermore, it also takes experiments as well as the new experimentalism into account in order to refer to those disciplines that focus on the evaluation of artifacts like prototypes and algorithms for example. Thus, the underlying epistemological foundations are of central interest to every doctoral students who studies the structure and behavior of information systems and operations/logistics phenomena. The course will be offered in an interactive style. All doctoral students have to offer at least one presentation and a documentation regarding a specific epistemological stance. Furthermore, participants have to discuss an article from literature in order to apply and reinforce the epistemological stance presented. Assignment of topics will be conducted by the lecturer.

 131
Course

Since the 90's information and communication technology (ICT) has fundamentally changed the way organizations are conducting business. Organizations and the entire society are challenged with the effective design, delivery, use, and impact of ICT. The IS discipline addresses this challenge and investigates the phenomena that emerge when the technological and the social system interact (Lee, 2001). A decade ago an intensive discussion on the relevancy and impact of IS research has started (Benbasat and Zmud, 1999; Davenport and Markus 1999; Applegate and King, 1999; Gill and Bhattacherjee, 2009). In this context, several scholars (e.g., Orlikowski and Iacono, 2001) have suggested that the IS community returns to an exploration of the "IT" that underlies the discipline. Design research has potentials to address the above mentioned challenge (Gregor, 2009, Purao et al., 2008). Design research as such is nothing new; it can be found in many disciplines and fields, notably Engineering and Computer Science, using a variety of approaches, methods, and techniques.

This course intends to provide a comprehensive overview on design science in IS research from different perspectives: basic definitions, principles and theoretical foundations, frameworks and methodologies, theory building, as well as design science research examples. PhD students are introduced to the exciting field of design science research and learn basics guidelines to carry out design-oriented research projects. 

 159
Course

This course is designed to provide doctoral students an understanding of the foundation of theory development and contribution. Much of the research in IS draws upon theories from other disciplines, including industrial psychology, sociology, management, and marketing, in developing models to apply to an IS research problem.

However, there is a small body of IS-specific theories which are relevant not only to IS research but to research in other disciplines. The course will include readings from outside the IS discipline as well as within it. The course is designed for both information systems (IS) and non-IS Ph.D. students.

The readings in the course will deepen the students’ understanding of the role of theory in understanding IT related organizational phenomenon and enhance their ability to theorize about IT related to their own various research themes. The objective is to provide students with exposure to theories, the use of theories in research, and the development of new theories to help them better create new or apply existing theories to their own research. The first few sessions of the course will emphasize the nature of theory, theory contribution, and theory development whereas the remaining sessions will examine particular theories related to IT and organizational phenomenon. These latter theories. 

 154
Course

This course provides an overview of qualitative research methods and their application in the field of Information Systems (IS). The course begins with an introduction to the basic principles, epistemological classification and alternatives of conducting qualitative research. It then provides deeper insights into three types of qualitative research, i.e. positivist variance-theoretic, interpretive, and process theoretic. For the interpretive approach, the students are required to summarize and discuss particular research papers and to reflect on how the principles of conducting interpretive research were applied in the respective papers. For this purpose the students are grouped into teams. Overall, the course is designed to be interactive.

 145

Business Informatics

Course

The goal of this term project is to collaboratively develop a concept, design or software to solve a real world problem in a student development team environment. We offer a projectbased lecture with hands-on experience for lean principles and design thinking. Students will learn innovative product and process design for software development which then can be
directly applied in exercise sessions. The used technology will depend on students’ skills and experience. Prototypes might be
developed with technology for mobile devices or paper-based for non-developers.

 143
Course

E-Commerce, Social Media, M-Commerce – Business models that are carried out via electronic and mobile channels all have one in common: They need to be used. If they are not used, they disappear into nirvana and all the investments with them. Thus, usage is a necessary precondition for all e-Business activities. Under consideration of IT adoption theories, social psychological basements and statistical methods that are commonly applied within this context, it is elaborated which factors explicitly enable usage and which inhibit it. Basing on this methodological and theoretical basement behavioral phenomena such as technostress, Social Media addiction, social inclusion though information and communication technologies (ICT), or reactions on privacy threats are discussed, analyzed and evaluated.

 184
Course

Business agility is one of the key determinants of business success. It describes the ability of an organization's executives to make successful business decisions in a both effective and efficient manner. In most modern enterprises, Business Intelligence and Management Support Systems represent a core enabler of managerial decision making in that they are
supplying up-to-date and accurate information about all relevant aspects of a company’s planning and operations: from stock levels to sales volumes, from process cycle times to key indicators of corporate performance.
As an important category of Enterprise Systems, these applications target improving business decision making and enhancing enterprise-wide transparency. The aim of this module is to introduce theoretical foundations, concepts, tools, and current practice of Business Intelligence and Management Support Systems. Moreover, students are being introduced to
decision making at various levels and how various forms of Business Intelligence and Management Support Systems can support them in their work. The module is complemented with a case study. It challenges the students to analyze and propose solutions for a specific enterprise challenge with regards to system-based decision making and enterprise-wide
transparency.

 191
Course

The lecture "Information Systems and Organizations" (ISO) aims at enabling students to better understand the impact of information systems (IS) on organizations. Many businesses rely extensively on IS to plan, execute, and manage what they do in order to generate value. Beyond such obvious examples of e-enabled business as ebay, Amazon, or Google, this is true for many traditional businesses as well. Examples here range from the coordination of supply processes in the manufacturing industry to companies that have implemented almost their entire value chain in IS. Banks and insurances provide good cases as IS are woven intimately into the very fabric of these organizations. While many organizations leverage the capabilities of these systems to increase their value proposition, the past has shown that such an intimate interplay between IS and organizations is not without risk.
Given this background, ISO is designed to introduce students to this exciting field of business studies and provide insights that help them manage how organizations leverage IS to transform themselves. Based on an introduction of foundational concepts of organization and IS, students gain insights into methods and theories for managing change and IS in organizations. These allow students from both a business and an IT background to build a better understanding of the adoption, adaptation, and appropriation of organizational and technological change in business. ISO provides students with the opportunity to apply and hone their skills by introducing industry cases and discussing examples. Moreover, the
course invites industry experts to provide a practical perspective and convey their experiences to the students. This allows students to build the necessary conceptual understanding and gain in-depth understanding of how business processes, information, and technology interact.

 164
Course

Enterprise Systems (ES) represent a specific category of information systems. They build on pre-packaged industry best practices embedded in standardized product software and target large‐scale integration of data and business processes across all company's functional areas and beyond company borderlines. Enterprise Systems strongly interplay with work practices of individual employees as well as organizational structures shaping and being shaped by individuals' behavior. The ES lifecycle involves various entities both external and internal to the company. As such, they impact multiple levels of a company, ranging from the individual employee to groups to the entire organization and even its associated network.
As critical as the ability to manage these ES is to most businesses, as challenging it is as well. This module is designed to provide a comprehensive insight into theoretical foundations, concepts, tools, and current practice of ES. The lecture is complemented with exercises and a case study. Students get the opportunity to collect hands-on experiences with
commercial software products and analyze and propose solutions for a specific ES challenge. Thus, allowing them to build up first-hand experience with this important aspect for managing businesses successfully.

 156
Course

The module "Methods and Theories in Information Systems" (ManTIS) is designed to provide students an opportunity to build up basic theoretical and methodological skills needed to conceptualize, conduct, and communicate their own research (e.g., seminar or master theses). To do so, ManTIS familiarizes students with the essential triad consisting of topic, methods, and theories. While selecting an exciting topic is a fundamental anchor for research’s relevance, the ability to provide rigorous results depends on a researcher’s sound command of theories and methods.
In this context, theories provide the students with a sound basis for their work by summarizing current knowledge and allowing for a precise definition and investigation of their topic. Complementary to this, methods afford the students with the ability to produce reliable results which allow them to derive both meaningful and trustworthy conclusion. This way they can make sure that their results are not only interesting but also true. To support students in the preparation of their seminar or master theses, ManTIS introduces the most common methods used in IS research. This includes how to carry out a literature review as well as qualitative (e.g., case study research) and quantitative (e.g, survey-based research) methods of empirical research. In doing so, ManTIS complements competencies students acquire in core courses (such as CC 503). Based on selected readings, the course will furthermore illustrate some of the basic theories used in IS research, how to use these appropriately, as well as how to contribute to them. Students will thus get to know best research practices as well as gain first-hand experience in applying these.

 288
Course

This module gives an overview on Pervasive Computing systems. These systems consist of dynamic collections of (possibly mobile and/or embedded) devices that collaborate with each other depending on the state of their current physical environment or context. The module introduces systems, concepts and algorithms for Pervasive Computing, e.g. adaptation frameworks, context management, sensors and actuator networks.

 143
Course

This lecture offers theoretical and practical concepts for modeling, analyzing, and implementing business processes with information and communication technology. Participants will be offered related business knowledge as well as the required
methodological foundations from an information systems perspective in order to apply contemporary business process modeling and analysis tools.

 146
Course

More and more products, from consumer to business markets, show an ever increasing amount of software at their very heart. The ability to understand, design, and manage software-intense products has become of great importance to ensure sustainable success across all industries.
This module introduces key aspects of the entire software product lifecycle, ranging from product strategy and planning, to the actual product development and finally the postdevelopment phase covering aspects such das the product launch and product support. Furthermore, the interplay between processes, people, and practices will be discussed and contemporary software development paradigms will be framed into this interplay. This course puts specific emphasize on the two roles of the product manager and the product designer (also: Usability / User Experience Professional) within software development.
Following an interdisciplinary perspective, this course will introduce key concepts from the field of management, marketing and human computer interaction. The course contents will be put into a practical perspective by selected industry talks. Furthermore, as part of a case study, the students will be asked to analyze and propose solutions for a given software
product development challenge leveraging the knowledge acquired within the lecture and industry talks.

 202

Business Informatics

Course

Für einmodernes IT-Management ist ein fundiertes IT-Know-how über den Einsatz von IT-Systemen und die Gestaltung von ITArchitekturen unerlässlich. Ferner wird als selbstverständlich erachtet, dass die IT über hinreichendes Verständnis des Kerngeschäfts einer Unternehmung verfügen muss (Business-IT-Alignment). Da IT-Dienstleistungen vermehrt in eng vermaschten Partnernetzwerken erstellt werden, wachsen darüber hinaus die Anforderungen an interdisziplinäres Management-Know-how: Der IT-Manager muss seine Budgets steuern und ist verantwortlich für komplexe Vertragswerke
mit IT-Dienstleistern.

 116
Course

Die Vorlesung Wirtschaftsinformatik I vermittelt die Fundamente der Wirtschaftsinformatik als wissenschaftliche Disziplin. ImRahmen einer Einführung werden unter anderem der Gegenstand, der Wissenschaftscharakter, die Forschungsziele, -theorien, und -methoden sowie Nachbardisziplinen und ein Ländervergleichbehandelt. Im Rahmen der Grundlegung werden zentrale Inhalte wie Informationsbedarf, Informationsverhalten, Informationssystem, Informationsinfrastruktur,Benutzerverhalten, Aspekte einer Entwurfslehre und Inhalte der Evaluationsforschung vermittelt.

 144
Course

During the last decades we witnessed a growing importanceof Information Systems (IS) in the businessworld alongwith faster and faster innovation cycles. A case in point is the growing IS-related expenditure of corporations, forecasted to totalEUR2.63 trillion in 2012 – a 4.7%growth over 2011 (Gartner2013). Ranging from the enrichment of routine working tasks (i.e., employee portals to integrate disparate applications, data, and processes (Daniel andWhite 2005)) to the e-enabled integration of entire business eco-systems (e.g., platform-based integration of supply chains (e.g., Kroenke 2010)), IS havebecome a vital backbone of businesses.
Consequently, the ability touse IS in away supporting the overall value proposition of a corporation has become a centralsuccess determinant for many firms. Accordingly, the "Development and Management of Information Systems" course is designed to introduce students to the nature, role, and potentials of IS incorporations and enable them to serve as a meaningful interface between technology and business.
Once filling this role in a business context, the future IS professionals are likely to be facing two major trends: the increasing industrialization of IS (Brenner et al. 2007; Daberkow and Radtke 2008;Walter et al. 2007) and a shift towards service-orientation in IT organizations and processes (Hochstein et al. 2005; Roewekamp 2007). This brings about challenges such as, among others, managing the tradeoff between efficient execution and effective offering or recognizing
and mitigating conflicting expectations and goals among the many entities (i.e., software producers, consultants, corporate users, customers) and roles (i.e., business professionals, technical staff, corporate management) involved in an IS.

 164
Course

This lecture covers basic principles of modern information systems. Such systems are characterized by their distributednature. Thus we will discuss architectures of information systems as well as underlying concepts of computer communicationand distributed systems.

The following topics will be covered in the lecture:

  • IntroductiontoDistributedSystems,andComputerNetworks
  • Middleware
  • Application Protocols
  • PresentationLayer
  • Synchronization
  • TimeandGlobalStates
  • Replication
  • PeertoPeerArchitectures
  • NetworkSecurityBasics
 207
Course

In the last years, the internet has rapidly become an important and fast growing aspect of business life. It is a channel to the customer, a medium to link up with the suppliers, a marketing tool, and an interactive medium for communication. Consequently, today's manager needs a profound knowledge of the strategic implications of using the internet for the goals of the firm. Based on the content of the introductory courses on information systems and marketing, it is the aim of this elective module to equip the participants with strategic insights into the following aspects of e-business impact:

  • Fundamental terms and issues of e-business
  • Technological and process-oriented view on e-business
  • Social and behavioral issues of e-business
  • Ethical and regulatory aspects
  • Strategies to employ the digital channel
  • Digital marketing
  • Product and service innovation
  • Reshaping business processes through e-business
 174
Course

This course first outlines the basics of data and business process modelling based on wide-spread approaches such as entityrelationship diagrams, event-driven process chains (EPC), and business process model and notation (BPMN). The remainderof the course then focuses on the use and purpose of integrated information systems across different functional areas inindustrial companies. Finally, basics of management support systems such as business intelligence
systems are addressed.


  • Business Process Modelling
  • Application Systems in
    • Research and Development
    • Marketing and Sales
    • Procurement and Warehousing
    • Production
    • Shipping and Customer Service
    • Finance, Accounting, HR
  • Planning and Control Systems
 143

Mannheim Master in Management

Course

The goal of this term project is to collaboratively develop a concept, design or software to solve a real world problem in a student development team environment. We offer a projectbased lecture with hands-on experience for lean principles and design thinking. Students will learn innovative product and process design for software development which then can be
directly applied in exercise sessions. The used technology will depend on students’ skills and experience. Prototypes might be
developed with technology for mobile devices or paper-based for non-developers.

 143
Course

E-Commerce, Social Media, M-Commerce – Business models that are carried out via electronic and mobile channels all have one in common: They need to be used. If they are not used, they disappear into nirvana and all the investments with them. Thus, usage is a necessary precondition for all e-Business activities. Under consideration of IT adoption theories, social psychological basements and statistical methods that are commonly applied within this context, it is elaborated which factors explicitly enable usage and which inhibit it. Basing on this methodological and theoretical basement behavioral phenomena such as technostress, Social Media addiction, social inclusion though information and communication technologies (ICT), or reactions on privacy threats are discussed, analyzed and evaluated.

 184
Course

Business agility is one of the key determinants of business success. It describes the ability of an organization's executives to make successful business decisions in a both effective and efficient manner. In most modern enterprises, Business Intelligence and Management Support Systems represent a core enabler of managerial decision making in that they are
supplying up-to-date and accurate information about all relevant aspects of a company’s planning and operations: from stock levels to sales volumes, from process cycle times to key indicators of corporate performance.
As an important category of Enterprise Systems, these applications target improving business decision making and enhancing enterprise-wide transparency. The aim of this module is to introduce theoretical foundations, concepts, tools, and current practice of Business Intelligence and Management Support Systems. Moreover, students are being introduced to
decision making at various levels and how various forms of Business Intelligence and Management Support Systems can support them in their work. The module is complemented with a case study. It challenges the students to analyze and propose solutions for a specific enterprise challenge with regards to system-based decision making and enterprise-wide
transparency.

 191
Course

The lecture "Information Systems and Organizations" (ISO) aims at enabling students to better understand the impact of information systems (IS) on organizations. Many businesses rely extensively on IS to plan, execute, and manage what they do in order to generate value. Beyond such obvious examples of e-enabled business as ebay, Amazon, or Google, this is true for many traditional businesses as well. Examples here range from the coordination of supply processes in the manufacturing industry to companies that have implemented almost their entire value chain in IS. Banks and insurances provide good cases as IS are woven intimately into the very fabric of these organizations. While many organizations leverage the capabilities of these systems to increase their value proposition, the past has shown that such an intimate interplay between IS and organizations is not without risk.
Given this background, ISO is designed to introduce students to this exciting field of business studies and provide insights that help them manage how organizations leverage IS to transform themselves. Based on an introduction of foundational concepts of organization and IS, students gain insights into methods and theories for managing change and IS in organizations. These allow students from both a business and an IT background to build a better understanding of the adoption, adaptation, and appropriation of organizational and technological change in business. ISO provides students with the opportunity to apply and hone their skills by introducing industry cases and discussing examples. Moreover, the
course invites industry experts to provide a practical perspective and convey their experiences to the students. This allows students to build the necessary conceptual understanding and gain in-depth understanding of how business processes, information, and technology interact.

 164
Course

Enterprise Systems (ES) represent a specific category of information systems. They build on pre-packaged industry best practices embedded in standardized product software and target large‐scale integration of data and business processes across all company's functional areas and beyond company borderlines. Enterprise Systems strongly interplay with work practices of individual employees as well as organizational structures shaping and being shaped by individuals' behavior. The ES lifecycle involves various entities both external and internal to the company. As such, they impact multiple levels of a company, ranging from the individual employee to groups to the entire organization and even its associated network.
As critical as the ability to manage these ES is to most businesses, as challenging it is as well. This module is designed to provide a comprehensive insight into theoretical foundations, concepts, tools, and current practice of ES. The lecture is complemented with exercises and a case study. Students get the opportunity to collect hands-on experiences with
commercial software products and analyze and propose solutions for a specific ES challenge. Thus, allowing them to build up first-hand experience with this important aspect for managing businesses successfully.

 156
Course

The module "Methods and Theories in Information Systems" (ManTIS) is designed to provide students an opportunity to build up basic theoretical and methodological skills needed to conceptualize, conduct, and communicate their own research (e.g., seminar or master theses). To do so, ManTIS familiarizes students with the essential triad consisting of topic, methods, and theories. While selecting an exciting topic is a fundamental anchor for research’s relevance, the ability to provide rigorous results depends on a researcher’s sound command of theories and methods.
In this context, theories provide the students with a sound basis for their work by summarizing current knowledge and allowing for a precise definition and investigation of their topic. Complementary to this, methods afford the students with the ability to produce reliable results which allow them to derive both meaningful and trustworthy conclusion. This way they can make sure that their results are not only interesting but also true. To support students in the preparation of their seminar or master theses, ManTIS introduces the most common methods used in IS research. This includes how to carry out a literature review as well as qualitative (e.g., case study research) and quantitative (e.g, survey-based research) methods of empirical research. In doing so, ManTIS complements competencies students acquire in core courses (such as CC 503). Based on selected readings, the course will furthermore illustrate some of the basic theories used in IS research, how to use these appropriately, as well as how to contribute to them. Students will thus get to know best research practices as well as gain first-hand experience in applying these.

 288
Course

This module gives an overview on Pervasive Computing systems. These systems consist of dynamic collections of (possibly mobile and/or embedded) devices that collaborate with each other depending on the state of their current physical environment or context. The module introduces systems, concepts and algorithms for Pervasive Computing, e.g. adaptation frameworks, context management, sensors and actuator networks.

 143
Course

This lecture offers theoretical and practical concepts for modeling, analyzing, and implementing business processes with information and communication technology. Participants will be offered related business knowledge as well as the required
methodological foundations from an information systems perspective in order to apply contemporary business process modeling and analysis tools.

 146
Course

More and more products, from consumer to business markets, show an ever increasing amount of software at their very heart. The ability to understand, design, and manage software-intense products has become of great importance to ensure sustainable success across all industries.
This module introduces key aspects of the entire software product lifecycle, ranging from product strategy and planning, to the actual product development and finally the postdevelopment phase covering aspects such das the product launch and product support. Furthermore, the interplay between processes, people, and practices will be discussed and contemporary software development paradigms will be framed into this interplay. This course puts specific emphasize on the two roles of the product manager and the product designer (also: Usability / User Experience Professional) within software development.
Following an interdisciplinary perspective, this course will introduce key concepts from the field of management, marketing and human computer interaction. The course contents will be put into a practical perspective by selected industry talks. Furthermore, as part of a case study, the students will be asked to analyze and propose solutions for a given software
product development challenge leveraging the knowledge acquired within the lecture and industry talks.

 202

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