Prof. Dr. Jürgen Moormann Version 1.3
Topics for Master Theses 2020:
Circular economy and its implications for financial services
New business models may come up in the context of a Circular Economy (CE). Which opportunities/threats might evolve from a bank’s (insurer’s) perspective? Start with a systematic literature review. (JM)
The future of outsourcing: perspectives of loan processing
This topic comprises a status quo analysis, analysis of primary data, discussion, and further perspectives. Work on this topic can be undertaken in cooperation with a large back office service provider located in Frankfurt. The contact will be provided. (JM)
Everybody gets older: inclusion of seniors in banking services
Inclusion is a big topic in many industries. The focus of this thesis should be seniors in acquiring and using banking (insurance) services. Thus, what are the criteria for seniors’ inclusion? Are there standards/rules available? The student is asked to do a (customer-centric) process analysis. Case study, interviews, comparisons to other industries might be suitable methodolo-gical approaches to cope with this topic. (JM)
Decentralized Governance – an impossible or inevitable development in the platform economy?
Decentralized platforms are increasingly attracting attention in the platform economy. Based on technological innovations like blockchain, decentralized platform-based business models try to (r)evolutionize established platform-based ones. The key question is: how can decentralized governance be ensured within the platform economy? Although there are different approaches towards an increasingly decentralized governance, so far none has been able to assert itself definitively. This research aims to conduct a literature study on decentralized governance in the platform economy and to work out a case-study-based analysis comparing the different approaches. (GP)
Use of ICT in health care: how can mHealth be used to improve health care in developing countries?
Information and communication technologies are increasingly being used in development cooperation, particularly in the area of medical care. This research aims to provide an overview of current ICT applications and their critical success factors in the mHealth sector. Building on this, the student/s should develop an idea for a mHeath app and work out a strategy for its successful implementation. (GP)
Cooperation behaviour of start-ups in the financial services area
On the one hand, for fostering innovations many established companies use cooperation with start-up companies. On the other hand, start-ups benefit from existing networks, know-how, and resources of incumbents. This thesis aims to identify characteristics and (un)success factors of cooperation between fintechs and traditional firms in the financial services sector. Moreover, a comparison with the cooperation behavior of start-ups in other industries would be appreciated. (JM)
Blockchain meets gamification: organizational learning perspective
In this topic, we would like you to develop an interactive way to learn about blockchain technology. The student is required to select necessary basic information, develop a structure for learning and thus acquiring the knowledge, and introduce a set of gaming features into learning. The final interactive text game shall show the efficiency and effectiveness of gamification for understanding blockchain. (YB)
Gamification of organizational learning processes (1 or 2 students)
With this topic, we offer one or two students an opportunity to transform their know-ledge of academic theories into an interactive fiction game, which should enhance the learning process of employees and managers. Students are free to select a theory they like but we prefer theories on inter-firm inter-actions, conflicts, or communication. Theories of process management are also welcome. Finally, students have to develop and test their “game” with practitioners. (YB)
Consulting using projective tools: How to better understand organizations?
When a consultant comes into a company to analyze processes, s/he encounters several issues, such as broken processes, different interpretations of the same process or event, and complex relationships between employees. We propose to use projective methods (e.g., Rorschach test or Treatment Apperception Test) to help employees form their thoughts, better understand the situation, and discover new threats and opportunities. This topic would be great for those students who plan to join a consulting firm. Abilities to draw (!) would be advantageous but are not the primary requirement. (YB)
Digitization at any cost? Conjoint analysis
Conjoint analysis is a methodology which helps understand, for example, what firms are ready to pay money for. It is absolutely necessary for good consultants and marketers. With this topic we offer a learning-by-doing option to learn this instrument and increase your future labor market value. We would like two students to find out:
a) What are firms willing to pay for, when they digitalize? Consulting firms offer a bundle of opportunities but we still don’t know what is exactly the price clients are willing to pay for each part of the bundle.
b) What costs are firms willing to go for, when they digitalize? There are direct technology costs, indirect social costs, and relational costs but which of them are of more value for firms?
These topics are very close to each other and a communication among students would be good but is not required. (YB)
Learning through Playing: Converging Price Mechanisms and a Firm’s Decision Making Processes (2 students)
At ProcessLab we look for creative ways to educate managers. Gamification is a trend which ProcessLab tries to support in this regard. In this project, we ask two students to develop a game in order to introduce playing into process learning. We propose to use the open source game “Open TTD” for this purpose. The first part of the thesis requires basic knowledge of micro- and macroeconomics: One student has to develop a multiproduct price mechanism. The second part of the topic requires programming knowledge (C++): a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) for learning has to be developed and implemented together with the pricing model in the game. (YB/NO)
Characterizing the affordances of blockchain technology in the financial services industry
Affordances are opportunities for actions that largely depend on the individual perception of its user. For instance, a single chair can afford sitting on it, standing on it, throwing, etc. The same holds for blockchain technology that can afford different action opportunities for different industries, firms or even single users. Therefore, it is hard to predict what the potential of blockchain actually is. Students that are interested in investigating the opportunities opened up by blockchain technology should first identify affordances of blockchain technology in the financial service industry, and second, investigate how they are or can be realized. Case studies and interviews are suited methodological approaches to address this research topic. (JM/NO)
Identifying appropriate blockchain applications: Toward an assessment-framework (1 or 2 students)
Blockchain is often used but rarely its application is really necessary or well justified. The application of the technology is often based on external compulsion to try out new things and be innovative as well as for marketing purposes. Thus, how can we evaluate which applications of blockchain technology actually create value? The aim of this thesis is to create a framework for the evaluation of blockchain applications. Ideally, students interested in this topic should already have experience in scientific research and a high degree of creativity and independent thinking. We recommend working on this thesis as a team of 2 students. However, this is not mandatory. (NO)
Design of trust-aware business processes
Particularly in the financial services industry, trust is a big topic. One focus on this topic are Trust Concerns (TCs) (see paper of M Rosemann, section 2.2). in this thesis the development and application of TCs should be shown at the example of a case (a process, a technology). What are typical TCs in the process? How can a technology such as blockchain be used to reduce TCs? Can we develop trust profiles? An example could be M2M (Commerzbank/Daimler). (JM/NO)
Digital labs in banking and/or insurance: content analysis
Innovative tasks are often delegated to separated units, so-called digital/innovation labs/hubs etc. How are these units structured? How do they work? How do they develop and change over time? Do they differ from labs in other industries? In dependence from the concrete topic, transcripts of performed interviews can be used and/or new interviews can be added. It is favorable if the student works in a digital lab at time of thesis writing (or has gathered some experience already). (JM)
Various other suggestions:
- Artificial Intelligence: Analysis of use cases in banks (or insurance companies)
- How to set up a Process Laboratory – Concept, Prototype, and Show Case (based on simulation software)
- Further development of Lean Six Sigma (e.g., towards process innovation, towards customer centricity, integration of agile/design thinking)
- Internet of Things – Use Cases for banking/insurance Analysis of case study/studies, identification of preconditions, analysis, development of an artefact using Design Science Research