Prof. Dr. Jürgen Moormann, Version 1.4
Topics for Master Theses 2019:
Artificial Intelligence: Knowing, Understanding, Implementing
Feel free to join our research group which works on implementation of AI for process automation, optimization, and innovation. In order to understand how AI is perceived by firms and their personnel, we propose three topics for master theses which have a different focus. For instance, on
Readiness to absorb new technology: Are the firms ready for AI and do they have appropriate organizational capabilities?
What is actually AI? A structured literature review 2008-2018.
How can AI help optimize processes? A queueing theory approach.
Prototyping: Development of an AI prototype for the (financial) service industry.
These topics cover very distinct areas of AI and require different skills from students. (YB)
Discrete Choice Experiment and Digitization
Discrete Choice Experiment 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 our students to find out:
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.
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.
Learning through Playing: Converging Price Mechanisms and a Firm’s Decision Making Processes (a dual-thesis topic)
At ProcessLab we try to find creative ways to educate managers. Gamification is the current trend which ProcessLab tries to support. 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 knowledge of micro- and macroeconomics: One student has to develop a multiproduct price mechanism which will react to supply and demand of the game market. At the moment, the game has static prices which do not react to moves by players. Learning mechanisms are, thus, impaired since in the real world managers have to respond to dynamic market and price developments and introduce dynamics into their strategies.
The second part of the topic requires programming knowledge: The other student should, first, develop a set of key performance Indicators (KPIs) which will cover quality of playing as well as quality of learning through playing. Second, he or she has to implement these KPIs as well as the pricing model in the game.
The evaluation will include theory (clear and convincing dynamic price model; management performance indicators, learning indicators) and practice (development of a working plug-in tested on a set of students).
Business process automation through machine learning, robotic process automation and blockchain technology: Why are adoption rates low?
New technologies affect how corporations execute and coordinate tasks in processes. Machine learning, robotic process automation and blockchain technology should be of special interest for corporations as they have the potential to fully automate tasks as well as processes and facilitate new ways of coordination. However, the acceptance rates of these technologies are still low. Scholars in the field of information systems research suppose that the reluctant adoption of these new technologies might be due to the level of perceived behavioral control.
Student(s) interested in this thesis should first investigate the potential of the interplay of these technologies for business process automation. Having a clear conceptual understanding on how automation and coordination is facilitated, student(s) should investigate the barriers to its adoption. The thesis requires conceptual thinking as well as qualitative research approaches. (NO)
The Role of Trust and Its Antecedents in the Implementation Strategies of Robo-Advisors (double-thesis)
Robo-advisors offer investment advice using an algorithm-based process without human intervention. Two benefits are involved in using this service: cost savings through a high degree of automation and transparency trough a consolidated user interface. However, the adoption decision of robo-advisors is strongly determined by trust. Investigating whether and how trust in robo-advisers evolves is challenging given the dynamic nature and complexity of trust as well as the emergence of new investment techniques.
Students interested in this thesis should investigate key antecedents of trust that are relevant for the adoption decision of robo-advisors and develop a predictive trust model. Furthermore, computational simulation approaches, e.g. agent-based modeling should be applied to demonstrate the model. (NO)
Applying task-technology fit (TTF) theory to assess blockchain use cases
Blockchain technology is currently a technology “in search of use cases”. Researchers as well as practitioners are reluctant to identify use cases where and how blockchain is effectively applicable and has meaningful societal effects. Task-technology fit (TTF) theory focusses on the match between a task needs and the available functionality of IT. Students interested in this thesis should investigate how we can apply TTF and related theories to assess use cases of blockchain technology. Subsequently, results should be exemplified by assessing actual use cases of the technology. (NO)
Transformation of existing value chains through FinTechs
FinTechs are internet companies that streamline financial systems and make funding the supply chain more efficient. Hitherto successful FinTech companies are likely to extend their business models and add additional services. In the future, FinTech companies are likely to extend their reach beyond financing into supply-chain services such as procurement and supplier management. Student(s) interested in this thesis should provide a comprehensive overview on the current FinTech market and point out to future business models. This thesis requires conceptual thinking as well as willingness to apply qualitative research methods to explore and/or evaluate future business models and their value proposition. (NO)
Optimizing KYC-Procedures using blockchain technology (double-thesis)
KYC-procedures generate costs up to USD 500 million per year per bank. Blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) provides a mean to automate the verification process and improve customer experience. Students interested in this thesis should apply a design science research approach to develop a prototype for optimized and automated KYC processes based on DLT. One student is responsible for optimizing the verification process from the viewpoint of the bank, whereas the other student is responsible for the customer’s experience. A trade-off must be found to develop a viable and efficient DLT-based KYC-process. (NO)
Cooperation behaviour of start-ups in the financial services area – Investigation of specifics of cooperation between fintechs and established firms
For fostering innovations many established companies use cooperation with start-ups. On the other hand, start-ups benefit from existing networks, know-how and resources of incumbents. Compared with other industries, in the financial services sphere it is more challenging for startups to bring products and services to the market (regulation, culture etc.). Therefore, it seems that fintechs stronger rely on cooperation with established partners and also gain more from cooperation. In addition, banks and insurers use fintechs in the context of digitalization.
This topic aims to identify factors and characteristics 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)
Development of a taxonomy of start-ups for empirical investigations
Comprehensive empirical studies which focus on start-ups are rare in current academic research (for various reasons). One reason is that “start-up” is defined as “a temporary organization aiming to develop a business model”. Per definitionem, these organizations have to cope with (very) fast change. This aspect however, appears to be interesting for research. The thesis aims to develop of taxonomy for start-ups based on circumstances, (success) factors and characteristics of start-ups to allow future empirical research. First steps might be to look how start-ups are defined in existing empirical studies and the to build upon this fundament. (JM)
Applying chatbots for company-internal processes
Up to now chatbots (e.g., Siri, Alexa, Cortana) are applied to consumer-oriented services such as selecting music, checking bank accounts etc. The aim of this thesis is to analyze which business processes could be supported by chatbots. Are there certain incentives to use chatbots within companies? What are the requirements? Are there limits? First ideas might be employee training, knowledge management, accounting process, innovation process and so on. Further questions might be whether chatbots can serve as enablers for process improvement. Different use cases should be demonstrated. Next to literature research, interviews and/or a questionnaire might be suitable tools for gathering data. (JM)
Various other suggestions:
Robotic Process Automation: Analysis of use cases in banks (or insurance companies)
Process management in the context of agile project management methods: How do new and more flexible project management approaches like Scrum affect the functional design phase and especially the combined process design/ reengineering?
Literature-based comparison of methodological approaches for process innovation
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 using Design Science Research