Master and Diploma Seminar on Human Information Behavior


The primary objective of the seminar is to analyze information systems development and use from different perspectives. The secondary objective is to provide students with techniques of scientific writing in a practical setting.  Important aspects are the evaluation, structuring, and classification of existing research work and the presentation of a detailed and thorough overview of the current state of the art. In addition, scientific work also includes the creation of new knowledge. The participation in the seminar can be regarded as an important preliminary step towards a successful completion of the master or diploma thesis.

The seminar topics belong into the realm of Human Information Behavior, which looks at how, when, and why people use (or not use) information.


Topic Human Information Behavior
Lecturer Prof. Dr. Armin Heinzl and Research Assistants
Prerequisite Second year of master program; "Vordiplom" (or comparable degree) and at least 4 completed Wifo-modules or agreed otherwise
Date May 25th, 2012, 9:00am - 17:00pm at O-048-050
Registration Early-bird with 3 preferences till: 16.12.2011, first come-first served assignment of open topics till 17.02.2012
Contact Tillmann Neben

Available Topics

Title Description Advisor
Modeling and Measuring Information Flow In recent years Agile Software Development methods have had a profound impact on software companies. However, mostly small firms with few teams have been considered. Scaling these methodologies brings about problems of inter-team coordination, which hinder optimal system throughput. In order to achieve optimal performance a development organization first needs to be modeled and evaluated with meaningful indicators. Alexander Scheerer
Objective and Subjective Information Needs for Detecting Defective Source Code It is still rarely possible to entirely prevent software bugs during a software development process, despite the adoption of various software development methodologies and practices. Consequently, software developers receive bug tickets from their customers, which need to be handled as fast as possible.
Searching for bug root causes as well as their location in the software source code can take quite a major part of the solution process. Which search strategies exist to localize error causes in the source code?
Christoph Schmidt
Time Pressure and Affective Information Seeking Stopping Behavior Human beings who are solving problems under conditions of intense time pressure are said to rely on affect heuristics when seeking for information, i.e. they process information intuitively without scrutinizing issue-relevant information. The goal of this seminar thesis is to create an overview of existing research in the realm of dual process theories and affect heuristics. Based on this overview, a theoretical framework should be deduced, conceptualizing the impact of time pressure on information seeking stopping behavior. Erik Hemmer
The Relationship of Information Behavior and Team Learning in Agile Software Development Current agile development and project management methods assume that early and fast feedback is essential for successful software development. For example, development projects based on scrum require a retrospective phase after every development sprint. In order to allow the team to learn from the experiences during the sprint, which information should be provided during such feedback occasions and how should they be structured? Kai Spohrer
Information Behavior and Social Media A Digital Public Good (DPG) is a digital service, which is accessible via the Internet and typically free of charge. Well-known examples include social and professional networks like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn as well as services like Google, YouTube and Wikipedia. In recent years, DPGs are increasingly used by companies for employer branding and recruiting, product development, and customer relationship management. The primary objective of your seminar paper is to investigate why and how companies engage with a specific DPG provider and the impact of this engagement on corporate activities. Marko Nöhren
Information Needs for Analytical Usage-Based Requirements Engineering Software-as-a-Service Solutions are operated and maintained by the software vendor and offered to the customers as a continuous service over the internet. This distribution model results in a direct relationship of software vendors with the end-users of their solutions, allowing to gather detailed information regarding the usage of their solutions. This end-user behavior related information may be facilitated in different activities of the development and operations processes and enrich the associated methods and tools. Sebastian Stuckenberg
Business Information Sharing in Online Environments Sometimes employees willingly share important business information with colleagues using social systems, but sometimes they hesitate to do so. This topic explores the psychological drivers behind online business information sharing behavior. Tillmann Neben
Objective versus subjective information needs in offshoring decisions Is there a difference in what managers subjectively perceive as necessary information when making outsourcing decisions and what objectively would be important? A literature analysis and a study of prior outsourcing projects is done. Tommi Kramer


Please register here and name your three preferred topics.

Important dates

  • <b>Registration period:</b> Early Bird until December 16, 2011, late-registration until February 17, 2012
  • <b>Topic and tutor assignment:</b> December 19, 2010
  • <b>Paper submission:</b> May 4th, 2012, 12:00pm (noon)
  • <b>Seminar session:</b> May 25th, 2012, 9:00am - 17:00pm at O-048-050


  • <a href="">Mandatory Guidelines</a> (Richtlinien_Stand_11.12.2010.pdf)

Process Milestones to be Validated With Tutor

 All milestones need to be validated with the corresponding tutor of the chair:

  • Literature Review
  • Kick-off meeting with advisor*
  • Rough Concept in coordination with advisor of the chair
  • Detailed Concept of Content and Structure
  • Final Paper
  • Slides for Final Presentation
  • Presentation
  • Comprehensive Feedback / Lessons Learned for Thesis

*it is required to already have profound knowledge about the topic prior to the kick-off meeting with the advisor to guarantee a serious discussion. 

1 Literature

  • The literature review should be done by students independently.
  • The review shall include electronic literature sources offered by the University of Mannheim (Rechercheportal) as well as sources available on the internet.
  • An overview of literature sources is available <a href="">here</a>.

2 Links

  • <a href="">Short Introduction: Academic writing (German)</a>
  • <a href="">Conference and Journal Ranking (WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK)</a>
  • <a href="">Journal Ranking (AIS)</a>
  • <a href="">Word Template</a>
  • <a href="">Basic LaTeX Template</a>
  • <a href="">LaTeX Template with more Features for Advanced Users</a>
  • <a href="">LaTeX Example</a>