Example Topics Bachelor Thesis 2014


Topic Contemporary Issues in IS Research
Lecturer Prof. Dr. Armin Heinzl and research assistants
Contact hours per week 2 SWS, conducted as a block seminar
Registration completed
Language English
Prerequisite Wifo I - III
Date and Location tba
Contact tba


Topic Contents Advisor
Team Composition in IS Development: A Review of the Current Literature Information Systems Development (ISD) teams are affected by a variety of impacts coming from different levels of their surrounding organization. High-level changes in the product portfolio, a strategic shift towards the agile software development approach or organizational restructuring activities all imply changes for ISD teams. To cope with these changes, one essential aspect is the team composition, i.e. the configuration of teams in terms of characteristics, skills, knowledge. Based on a structured literature review, a thesis covering this topic should provide an overview of the current state of research on team composition in IS and discuss the impact of team composition on team performance. Saskia Bick
The Interrelation between Organiza- tional Structure and Product Archi- tecture in Information Systems: A Literature Review A second topic in this research area considers the interrelation between the product architecture and the organizational structure in ISD organizations. A shift towards a more service-oriented product portfolio implies drastic changes in the product architecture. Based on a qualitative litera- ture review, a thesis covering this topic should provide an overview of the current state of research in the IS as well as in the organizational science research area. Saskia Bick
Exploring generative mechanisms of software and cloud platforms Increasingly, established software vendors (e.g. SAP, IBM) introduce platforms and ecosystems around their existing products to leverage the experience and ingenuity of independent partner firms on an unprecedented scale. In particular, partners build on the platform and extend it by developing functionality-adding modules. This so called generativity represents a platform's key source of value. Nevertheless, the coordination and strategic management of platforms is highly complex (e.g. more than 10 000 part- ners in the global SAP ecosystem) as it requires a careful balance between catalyzing innovations of partners and exerting control over the platform. In this thesis, the student(s) is (are) expected to: Topic I: a) conduct a profound analysis of literature on platforms, b) discuss prior literature on set-theoretic approaches, c) and systematically derive contextual conditions and mechanisms of generativity. Topic II: a) conduct a profound analysis of literature on platforms, b) discuss prior literature on set-theoretic approaches, c) and systematically derive and classify potential outcomes of generativity. Further details will be provided in the kick-off appointment with the advior. Jens Förderer
Organizational Change, Lean Management or Supply Chain Management in Healthcare The German hospital sector is shaped by extreme cost pressure, competition and the struggle of many hospitals to survive. 51% of the approximately 2,000 German hospitals are facing fiscal emergency. Organizational improvements need to be identified and plans need to be derived to implement change successfully. Thereby, paradigms like change management, lean management and supply chain management can be of significance for enhancements. Change management focuses on the current state, transition and the desired future state of a hospital to improve the organization by altering the way work is performed. Lean management at its core re- moves the waste (transport, waiting times, overcapacity, motion, over treatment, treatment errors, etc.) in the system and improves the clinical measure of safety and reduces the costs. Supply Chain Management includes all processes involved in getting supplies and equipment from the manufacturer to use it in the patient care areas. SCM is aimed at reducing costs and increasing efficiency with regards to the value chain, upstream to vendors and downstream to patients. It is assumed that supplies and equipment are about 20-25% of the total operating budget of a hospital. Topics covered are at the heart of the problems of the healthcare sector. Simon Hubert
The facilitating role of information systems in startups. How do information systems support innovative business ideas and influence the success of a startup company? - A good idea, a scalable business model and a business plan are the basic ingredients for a startup. However, information systems play a major role in starting a business like that. They could support the implementation of the business idea or even represent a new technology themselves. Furthermore, these systems also could con- tribute to the scalability of the various business models. This thesis is about identifying these phases and areas of a startup in which information systems play a significant role and contribute to the success of the company. Tommi Kramer
Experiments in E-Commerce and Online User Behavior The experimental method is prominent in studies of online user behavior. This bachelor thesis reviews the literature and identifies differences in methodological approaches for conducting experiments. The relevant literature has its roots in business, psychology, and marketing. Tillmann Neben
The Disruptive Nature of On-demand Software In the face of increasing competition, rising customer sophistication, and intensified financial pressures, the role of information technology (IT) is growing. Despite a huge body of research on the value of IT, the debate on how IT contributes to performance of firms still persists. In recent years, the corporate software landscape has been subject to tremendous changes. Vendors such as salesforce are increasingly offering enterprise systems in a “Software-as-a-Service” (on-demand) setting. Instead of an internal deployment, such applications are accessed via the Internet. An on-demand application is more vital than traditional on-premises software due to the fact that control on timing, magnitude, and direction of software change resides outside a firm’s hierarchy. As a result, on-demand software is frequently changed and updated as part of the value proposition of a vendor. This results in a constantly disruptive nature for client firms. Recent studies showed that this disruption could be beneficial as well as harmful for client firms. Thus, papers within this topic address the following re- search question: What are the antecedences of a positive or negative disruption of on-demand applications from a client’s perspective? Marko Nöhren
Effective Coordination of Software Development Teams Due to an ever growing demand for faster cycle times in software development, new paradigms such as agile and lean development have become prominent in industry. In the past, large-scale projects have focused on long and rigorous planning activities to reduce risk and manage dependencies. With lean and agile methods the focus has shifted to shorter iterative planning and development cycles with continuous delivery of value to the customer. In this context, the coordination of several development teams is the essential topic for large-scale software development in order to improve the efficiency of the system. In this context possible research questions are: • What are environmental contingencies for effective coordination and how do they influence coordination? • How do these contingencies influence coordination? or • What is coordination effectiveness/efficiency? • How can coordination effectiveness/efficiency be measured? Alexander Scheerer
Contemporary Issues and Trends in Information Systems Development Team Research Information Systems Development (ISD) is at the heart of the Information Systems research field since its first days. During the last years many companies have tremendously changed the way how they develop software. This led to a wide variety of empirical studies on ISD teams. Based on a structured literature review, the thesis should give an overview of the central findings in the top journals and top tier conference outlets in the last 15 years. Finally, the thesis should discuss the impact of faster development cycles on ISD teams based on the gained knowledge. The work is part of a research project with SAP AG. Christoph Schmidt
Managing Developer Contributions through Software Code Review Open-source software communities benefit from pieces of source code developed by many heterogeneous, globally distributed and loosely connected software developers. Often, these developers volunteer to develop functionality for an open-source software in which they have a special interest (e.g., a developer wants to use a feature of the software that has not been developed, so she develops it). To assure the quality of such contributions, open source projects have traditionally relied on code reviews conducted by peer developers in public code review systems. In recent years, also for-profit software development companies have started to adopt code review systems for their internal development practices within single software development teams. Typically, a software team would be responsible for a component or certain portions of source code. Single team members would then develop code for the component and other members of the same team would review it to ensure its quality. The question arises whether and how for-profit companies can use code review platforms to also foster innovative contributions from their software developers across different teams. This thesis aims to review the literature on code review in open source and for-profit settings. It demonstrates in which ways open source communities have created different strategies to manage contributions of single developers and discusses whether and how these strategies can be transferred to for-profit settings. Kai Spohrer
Exploring the reasons for not sharing information A proper management of information plays a tremendous role for enterprises. A huge amount of literature attempts to understand the factors increasing intentions or a probability of sharing information. Although many factors have been discovered, human reluctance to pass information to their peers still exists and can lead to issues in organizations. The purpose of this bachelor thesis is a literature analysis of existing literature on information sharing in the IS, management and knowledge management literature. However, the focus of the thesis is not on the factors, leading to the information sharing, but those serving as a barrier to the sharing behavior. The purpose of the thesis it to provide an overview about information withdrawal and information hiding behavior. To achieve an overview about conceptualization of these behaviors, according literature should also be included. In this context possible research questions are: What factors are usually included into an information sharing framework and are negatively related to the sharing behavior? What types of determinants (environmental, personal, etc.) usually moderate the sharing intentions or sharing behavior? Aliona v.d. Trenck


  • 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 http://wifo1.bwl.uni-mannheim.de/fileadmin/files/heinzl/files/downloads/Diplom-Vorlage/Richtlinien_20101211.pdf _blank>Mandatory Guidelines</LINK>
  • <link http://wifo1.bwl.uni-mannheim.de/fileadmin/files/heinzl/files/lehre/hws10/Seminars/WissenschaftlichesArbeiten.pdf - download>Short Introduction: Academic writing (German)</LINK>
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  • <LINK http://heinzl.bwl.uni-mannheim.de/fileadmin/files/heinzl/files/downloads/Diplom-Vorlage/DAVorlageWord.doc _blank>Word Template</LINK>
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