Bachelor Seminar Fall 2012


Topic Cooperation and Coordination in Software Ecosystems
Lecturer Prof. Dr. Armin Heinzl, Dr. Thomas Kude, and research assistants
Contact hours per week 2 SWS, conducted as a block seminar
Registration open until July 31 (with two topic preferences), late registration until September 9
Introduction Session September 6, 17:15, L15, 1-6, A001
Prerequisite Wifo I - III
Date and Location November 22 (Location tba)
Contact Dr. Thomas Kude




Introduction session on September 6 will take place at 17:15 in L15, 1-6, A001


Software giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or SAP are important drivers of today’s economy and society. Similarly, software start-up firms dynamically innovate and create new jobs, particularly in the Baden-Württemberg area. The seminar looks at relevant research questions on different facets of the software industry on an industry, organizational, and team level.

In addition to gaining in-depth insights into current developments and recent research on different topics on the software industry, the goal of the seminar is to enable students to improve their research skills. Important aspects are the evaluation, structuring, and classification of existing research 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 topics of the seminar are subdivided into the five tracks listed below. The research questions of the seminar theses will be developed together with the supervisors and may or may not address one of the questions mentioned below.

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.


Registration will be open on Monday, July 2.

Please register here and name your two preferred topics.

After having registered, please send a copy of your current transcript of records to

Important dates

  • <b>Registration:</b> open until July 31(with two topic preferences), late registration until September 9
  • <b>Introduction to Literature Management:</b> September 6
  • <b>Paper submission:</b> November (tba)
  • <b>Seminar session:</b> November (tba)


Topic Contents Advisor
1. Inter-firm partnerships in the enterprise software industry In the enterprise software industry, large and incumbent vendors such as SAP, Microsoft, IBM, and others increasingly develop and market their systems as software platforms. A large number of small and medium-sized software firms offer complementary solutions that are based on these platforms. Seminar theses within this track may address questions such as: How are the partnerships between platform vendor and complementor managed and coordinated? What are the benefits resulting from these partnerships for both types of firms? How do these partnerships change over time? Dr. Thomas Kude
2. Software development teams Software is increasingly developed within agile teams that increasingly rely on modern techniques of collaboratively developing software, such as pair programming, peer code review, test-driven development, and others. These techniques are supposed to improve team performance directly via improved code quality, but also indirectly through enhancing the team’s learning and knowledge coordination capabilities. Possible research questions within this track are: What is the effect of modern software development techniques on team learning, team self-efficacy, and knowledge coordination? How do team learning, team self-efficacy, and knowledge coordination improve team performance? Kai Spohrer & Christoph Schmidt
3. Digital public goods The growth of social and professional networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn and the emergence of exponentially growing, intensively connected user bases has motivated companies from various industries to explore the potential of digital networks for their service and process innovation initiatives. A seminar thesis within this track may address one of the following research questions: How can third-party companies benefit from the connectedness of users within professional and social networks? How do users and companies value user privacy in digital networks? What are the cultural differences among users of digital networks? What is their impact on service innovation within third-party organizations? Marko Nöhren
4. Software as a service Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions are operated and maintained by the software vendor and offered to the customers as a continuous service over the internet. The changed deployment and payment model is expected to affect business models, processes and organizational structures of software vendors. For clients, the question is raised how on-demand software services may influence productivity. Possible research questions within this track may address SaaS vendors as well as clients: How are internal processes and structures of software vendors influenced by SaaS? What potentially new or adapted methods are required to address and integrate the customer? What communication and coordination structures are necessary between development and operation activities of software vendors? What is the impact of on-demand software services in comparison to on-premises software products on client productivity? How does the relationship between service provider and client influence client productivity? What is the role of system Integrators in on-demand software provisioning? Sebastian Stuckenberg & Marko Nöhren
5. IT for healthcare: The case of molecular intevention Process management and IT support play an important role within the field of healthcare. This is particularly the case for new and integrated healthcare approaches. This track looks at the case of molecular intervention, where several different areas such as medicine, biology, and engineering work together in order to provide better treatments. Seminar theses within this track may adress one of the following research questions: How can software solutions support novel and dynamic processes in a highly innovative setting such as molecular interventions? What is the role of software vendors within healthcare ecosystems? Prof. Dr. Armin Heinzl


  • 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.
  • Overviews of literature sources are available at the library and here.


  • <LINK _blank>Mandatory Guidelines</LINK>
  • <link - download>Short Introduction: Academic writing (German)</LINK>
  • <a href="" target="_blank">Conference and Journal Ranking (WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK)</a>
  • <a href="" target="_blank">Journal Ranking (AIS)</a>
  • <LINK _blank>Word Template</LINK>
  • <LINK _blank>LaTeX template with instructions and sample document</LINK>