Master Lecture & Seminar Business Collaboration

Attention! Please, note the current information on restrictions of university operations! (English Version)

Attention! Please, note the current information on restrictions of university operations! (German Version)

The lecture and seminar “Business Collaboration” are also subject to the restrictions. Both will be conducted online! For further information concerning organization, timetable, deliverables etc., please note the course description further below.

First session: 03.11.2020

Course Information

The document "Course Information" serves as a reference for this course and its requirements. All the information in it is relevant, but some information is highlighted below:

General Information

This course starts on 03.11.2020 (14:00) and will initially be conducted digitally. Further information is available in the Community “Business Collaboration 20/21” on UniConnect.

If you have an account on UniConnect AND are registered in Klips for this course, you will be added to this community on 01.11.2020 (before the course starts). If you don't have an account yet, please create one. Registration is available through the UniConnect SelfService using your University e-mail address.

Please note the team formation (in Community “Business Collaboration 20/21”) is due by 09.11.2020, 23:59 (firm deadline). If you are not enrolled in a team by this deadline, you will not be able to complete the course in this semester.

Recommended Prerequisites

Module Business Software (04WI2019)


Assessment and Grading

Lecture Course (Vorlesung, 2 SWS): 3 credit points
Seminar (2 SWS): 3 credit points 
Total (4 SWS): 6 credit points

The grade for the complete module is a 50:50 composite of the Lecture Course (Vorlesung) examination grade and the Seminar grade. Both parts must be completed successfully in order to pass the module.

Note: Admission to the written examination is subject to the successful completion of the seminar. Information about the pass grade will be given in the first class of the semester.

Examination (Lecture course)

Written examination: date tbd, room tbd, further information will be provided soon

Written retry examination: date tbd, room tbd, further information will be provided soon

Attention: The retry exam will take place at the start of the next semester (you need to be still enrolled in your study programme). The next regular exam takes place at the end of the next course (and then possibly with new lecture material).

A paper dictionary is allowed to use in the exam.

Learning Objectives

On completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand and explain relevant areas of Business Collaboration
  • Describe and apply the concepts, theories, methods and models taught in the course
  • Follow a methodical approach to the evaluation of solutions for Business Collaboration
  • Critically discuss the pros and cons of collaboration solutions
  • Effectively manage the implementation of collaboration solutions

Course Description

In nowadays networked businesses only few companies can produce value for their customer without any kind of business collaboration. Depending on the specific business need there are many different forms of cooperations in place that implement interorganizational processes on institutional, organizational and technical levels. 

The course Business Collaboration aims to enable graduates to analyze forms of interorganizational integration scenarios.  In the course we discuss solutions for given integration problems (e.g. in a global supply chain or in industry wide collaborations). The course content provides means and directions for future IT professionals (e.g. CIOs) to make decisions about technical architectures, operational scenarios and the organization of integration projects.

Case Study Method

Participants adopt the role of an IT professional to solve concrete case scenarios of real-world organizations. The scenarios are presented in case studies. During the sessions the participants will discuss different courses of action to solve the given problem scenario. Subsequently, the solution will be introduced and explained. By that, the participants learn to analyse a given integration scenario, to identify potential problems and to develop possible solutions.

The lecture will mainly be held in the form of a dialogue. It is necessary to read the case study material before the session to be able to participate in the discussion.

Content of the lectures

  • Business software and its interorganizational use
  • Different types of business collaboration
  • Business documents: different types of standards
  • Interorganizational process integration
  • Interorganizational configurations
  • Electronic document exchange between companies
  • Intermediaries, service providers
  • Coordination of several business partners via electronic platforms
  • Evaluation of business collaboration solutions
  • Economical assessment of data exchange: cost and benefits
  • Case studies
  • Seminar Description

Seminar Description

The seminar is organized as a scientific conference. Students are required to (1) do research about their given topic, (2) write down their findings in a seminar paper, (3) give feedback to other teams' work and (4) present their results in front of the scientific community (fellow students). In the course of the semester each team of students will

  • produce an outline of the seminar paper which is discussed with the lecturer(s)
  • write the first (complete) version of the seminar paper
  • write reviews of some randomly assigned seminar papers of fellow students
  • complete the final version of the seminar paper
  • present the findings in front of the fellow students and the lecturer(s)
  • upload the referenced literature (if electronically available) in UniConnect to give access to fellow students

The specific dates for each deliverable will be announced during the introductory session.

Seminar Sessions, Enrolment and Attendance

Dates for the presentations as well as the exact times of the sessions are tbd due to the unknown number of participating students. We will inform you as soon as all seminar papers are assigned. Presentations will probably be held as a block course on selected dates: tbd, further information will be provided soon.

For planning purposes, please register for the seminar course in KLIPS. Binding registration for the seminar and team formation will be done using UniConnect (using the groups component by 09.11.2020). Further information will be available during the first session.

Information about the seminar will mainly be shared through UniConnect (see "Literature and Material" below).

Available Seminar Topics

General remark: Most of the following topics would benefit from an interview with a key informant (e.g. a specialist working in the portrayed company or industry) and cannot be written based on literature only. Important aspects that could be covered in the seminar paper are: specificity of the chosen industry or solution, technology description, future prospect, process-orientation.

Note: A concrete example of a document exchange (including the description of the exchanged document, the data transfer and the mapping process) in the chosen scenario will help the audience understand the solution/provider/industry.

The topics for the seminar papers will be assigned at the beginning of the course.

    Available topics are:

    • Electronic Invoices in Germany: Background and Best Practices of ZugFerd
    • Status Quo of Electronic Catalogue Exchange Formats in Germany

    • The Role of Standardization Initiatives in Interorganizational Integration: The GS1 Case

    • Supply Chain Operations Reference Model (SCOR): Background and Best Practices

    • From Sabre to SWIFT: Interorganizational Information Systems in Retrospect

    • Responsive Supply Chain: New Concept or Old Ways?

    • Carbon Footprint in Supply Chains: Implications for Supply Chain Management

    • IoT in Business Collaboration: Best Practices

    • Big Data and Predictive Analysis in SCM: Transformation of Supply Chains

    • Network Management in Business Collaboration: Methods and Implications

    • Blockchain in Supply Chains: Approach and Challenges

    • Electronic Bidding Platforms in Germany: The e-Vergabe Case

    • Secure Document Exchange in Business Networks: Methods and Implications

    • Challenges of Additive Manufacturing for Supply Chains

    • Electronic Markets Then and Now: Retrospective and Future Development

    • A topic of your choice

    Literature and Material

    All lecture and seminar documents (if electronically available) will be uploaded and made accessible on UniConnect in the course of the semester. Access is only given to students who are enrolled in the course. If you do not have an account on UniConnect yet, please register on the platform.

    Slides from the first session are available here to distribute the initial information without accessing UniConnect:

    • Slides of introductory lecture (to be uploaded)
    • Slides of introductory seminar session (to be uploaded)

    Please note: The course language will be English.