Department of Information Systems

Information Systems


The digitization of society offers a variety of opportunities and challenges. In this context, the Department of Information Systems of the Freie Universität Berlin (School of Business and Economics) analyzes requirements, possibilities and consequences of using information and communication systems.

We engage in both basic and applied research. More specifically, while leveraging theories to explain IS-related phenomena we are evenly devoted to developing models and systems that help firms to respond to the many opportunities and challenges related to digitization. Our main empirical interests revolve around mobility, health, education, media and various service fields.

The Department is currently based on numerous pillars: two full professors and several junior professor pursue complementary interests in that they integrate interdisciplinary elements of business administration, computer science, engineering sciences, operations research and behavioral sciences into a cohesive research and teaching agenda.

Master Programs

The Master of Science in Information Systems degree program is designed to meet the needs of students who want to combine technical capabilities in computer science and the application of information and apply this knowledge in a business environment. It completes the curriculum of Freie Universität Berlin in the field of economics through adding a sociotechnical component.

This program combines the technical underpinnings of computer science with the key concepts of business and economics. In that way it is an important addition to master´s programs in business administration such as the Marketing & Management Master or FACTS and the more technical master´s program in computer science.

The Master’s program at the FU Berlin is characterized by a scientific view on information systems, their methodological requirements and economic implications. The focus lies on business analytics, e-business, IT-entrepreneurship, operations research and decision support systems. During the 'Individual Study or Research' phase, students can specialize according to their interests. They are also supported throughout the course of their studies by counseling services. Knowledge transfer takes place in particular through blended and e-learning in small seminars.


Information Systems

Project seminar

Basic terms and concepts of E-Business and E-Commerce - Economical characteristics of E-Business (amongst others First Copy Costs, Critical Mass Systems, Network effects); Interorganizational Information Systems (IOS) - Web 2.0/3.0 - Konvergenzstufen, "Internet der Dinge" und Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) - Technology-driven change and transformation processes - Industry architectures - Standardization processes - Analysis of Business Models and Business Systems - Electronic marketplaces - CRM, collaborative filters and data mining - Practical examples and case studies from different branches, such as E-Procurement, supply chain management; Efficient Consumer Response; E-Health; Customer Relationship Management; mass customization and application of collaborative filters. - In addition, several speeches will be given by professionals and scientists which will provide the opportunity to discuss the prepared contents.

Project seminar

In the course "Entrepreneurship Education", our students get a hands on experience of what it means to implement a business idea. Different industrial partners provide ideas for a new product, service or a new business model and our students formulate a business model and a business plan for the commercialization of this idea. To cover different areas of interests from the students, the partners originate from different industries and include both start-ups and established firms. In preparation for the cooperation with industry partners and the development of a business model, amongst others, the following topics will be covered: - Development of business models - Basics of a business plan: - Products and services - Success factor team - Market analysis - Marketing - Revenue models - Finance - Organization and legal form - etc. - How to present a business plan?

Project seminar

In the course "Entrepreneurship Education – Start-Ups powered by companies" different industry partners introduce various business ideas that will be developed to a business model with a precise business plan by the students. To cover different areas of interest on the student’s side, the partners originate from different industries and can look back on diverse lengths of business activities. All industry partners will introduce potentially very successful business ideas into the course and will develop these even further in cooperation with the students. In preparation for the cooperation with industry partners and the development of a business model, amongst others, the following topics will be covered: - Development of business models - Basics of a business plan: - Products and services - Success factor team - Market analysis - Marketing - Revenue models - Finance - Organization and legal form - etc. - How to present a business plan?

Project seminar

The aim of the course "IT Entrepreneurship" is to transfer skills and competencies to develop a business model for a promising business idea, to validate and to present the idea appropriately to an expert audience. Students also learn how to create a customary bank business plan and receive in this context valuable tips from experienced industry partners. The following topics will be covered: - Development of business models - Basics of a business plan: - Products and services - Success factor team - Market analysis - Marketing - Revenue models - Finance - Organization and legal form - etc. - How to present a business plan? - Lean Start-up approach

Project seminar

Das Ziel der Veranstaltung "IT-Entrepreneurship" ist die Vermittlung von Fähigkeiten und Kompetenzen, ein Geschäftsmodell für eine erfolgsversprechende Geschäftsidee zu entwicklen, diese zu validieren und vor einem fachkundigen Publikum angemessen zu präsentieren. Außerdem erlernen die Studierenden die Erstellung eines bankenüblichen Businessplans und erhalten in diesem Zusammenhang wertvolle Tipps von erfahrenen Praxispartnern.

Elementare Inhalte eines bankenüblichen Businessplans werden in Form von Videolektionen und anschließenden Lernerfolgskontrollen vermittelt. Besonders relevante Inhalte werden zusätzlich von ausgewählten Fachexperten in Form von Gastvorträgen vertieft. In regelmäßigen Gesprächen mit den Experten bekommen die Studierenden die Möglichkeit spezifische Fragen zu verschiedenen Entwicklungsstufen des eigenen Geschäftsmodells zur Diskussion zu stellen.

In Teams, bestehend aus jeweils 2-4 Masteranden (je nach Seminargröße), entwickeln die Studierenden einen Businessplan zu einer selbstgewählten Geschäftsidee. Darüber hinaus werden einzelne Teams mit geeigneten Businessplänen bei der Teilnahme am regionalen Businessplanwettbewerb Berlin Brandenburg unterstützt.

Themenschwerpunkte in der Veranstaltung sind u.a.:

    • Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten von Geschäftsmodellen
    • Grundlagen eines Businessplans:
      • Produkte und Dienstleistungen
      • Erfolgsfaktor Team
      • Marktanalyse
      • Marketing
      • Erlösmodelle
      • Finanzierung
      • Organisation und Rechtsform
      • etc.
    • Wie präsentiere ich einen Businessplan?
    • Lean Start-Up Ansatz


Project seminar

In the course "Metaheuristics" students learn about different heuristic and metaheuristic approaches. The basic concepts, current application areas and challenges for these metaheuristics are discussed. The students learn how to adapt diverse metaheuristic approaches to a variety of optimization problems and how to use methods for solving such problems. Furthermore, the students develop their own prototype for solving a specific optimization problem by using a metaheuristic approach, analyse the results of these heuristic and also present their work and findings.

Project seminar

In the course "Operations Research" students learn how to solve combinatorial complex problems by using different exact and heuristic optimization approaches. Therefore, students learn how to build proper optimization models, how to select methods and algorithms for different optimization problems, how to use them for solving and how to interpret the results. During the course, a variety of optimization tools are presented and the students get the chance to work with these tools on their own. In addition, a case study is used to demonstrate the course content on the basis of a practical examples.

Project seminar
  • Basic principles and characteristics of digitalized and networked services
  • Economic implications of recent developments (Web 2.0 and social networks, convergence and "Triple Play" et al.)
  • Process models and formal principles of Service Engineering
  • Planning, framing and controlling of integrative service and usage processes
  • Introduction into business process and success management

  • Case studies from the fields of health care systems, academic teaching and learning, media and entertainment (amongst others)


The aim of the course "Strategic Innovation and Technology Management" is to develop competences, skills and knowledge for strategic innovation and technology management in organizations. The following topics will be covered: Innovation Systems, Technology Diffusion and Adoption of Innovation, Innovation and Technology Strategies, Appropriability Strategies, Innovation Culture and Competences, Promoters and Barriers, Innovation and Technology Management, Financing and Acquisition of Innovation and Technology, Open Innovation, Collaboration, User Integration, Ideation and Idea Evaluation.


In this introductory course, we offer an overview of important theories in the field of Information Systems Research/Business Information Systems Engineering. We focus on leading theoretical approaches like Design Theory, strategic theories as well as sociological theories. Design Theory is taught given its prevalence and importance for design-oriented research. Strategic theories are taught due to their potency for analyzing and understanding managerial decisions targeted at reaping the economic benefits of IT. Sociological theories are taught because they explain how organizational members may react to the implementation of new artifacts. Students are especially supposed to learn how these theories will inform their business practice. Therefore, we rely on the case study method and guide our students towards using theories for solving challenges that are of imminent practical importance. We use about four cases per semester.



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Have you met...

Martin Gersch is full professor at the School of Business & Economics at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and there a founding member of the Department of Information Systems. He is also the head of the Entrepreneurship Education at FU Berlin & Charité, the head of the Competence Center E-Commerce and a responsible researcher at the DFG Pfadkolleg Research Center on “Organizational Paths” at the Dahlem Research School of Freie Universität Berlin, at the Focus Area "DynAge" (; Excellence Initiative of the German Research Foundation DFG) as well as at the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF: Martin received a PhD and his venia legendi in “Business Administration” as well as in “Information Systems Research” from the Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany. He published more than 140 papers and serves as a reviewer for, amongst others, the DFG, WI/BISE, OSS, BPMJ, ICIS, ECIS, AMCIS, EGOS, SMS, AoM, MF.

Specialties: Martin’s current research areas are digital transformation, information management, business process management, service engineering, e-business and e-commerce, business model analysis, entrepreneurship, e-health, management and economic theory, innovative teaching and learning concepts (e-/blended learning arrangements)