Theses

If you are interested in writing a Bachelor's or Master's thesis with the Enterprise Information Management Research Group (FGEIM) please read and follow the instructions and application process outlined below.

Current Thesis Topics

The FGEIM is open to suggestions for theses that fit into our areas of research interest (see below).  

We offer Bachelor's and Master's theses in the following general subject areas.

    • Design of the Digital Workplace
    • Hybrid Workgroups
    • Enterprise Collaboration
    • Enterprise Content Management Systems and Content Services Platforms
    • Work Practices and Routines
    • Information Design & Information Visualisation
    • Foresight studies, Sustainability and IT

Open topics

We currently have the following open project topics:

Master's thesis: Coordination mechanisms and user-designed ECS communities

In recent years, enterprise collaboration systems (ECS) have emerged that combine groupware functionality with enterprise social software (ESS) functionality. ECS platforms typically contain many collaboration communities that are being set up and shaped by various ECS users. ECS platforms come with a set of components and functionality, such as wikis, blogs, forums or collaborative tagging but without content and pre-defined purposes for use. Once, set up, the communities are filled with content and shaped by the users.

This thesis examines UniConnect as an ECS platform. The focus is on different types of user-designed communities and the ways they are being designed and shaped to make them fit collaboration and coordination needs.

The aim is to identify different types of communities and create a catalogue of awareness and user-designed coordination mechanisms.

This thesis will include the following:

      • Conduct a literature review on the topic of coordination and awareness mechanisms
      • Analyse HCL Connections to identify key awareness and coordination mechanisms that are 1)  native to the system and 2) developed by users to help them coordinate their work
      • Conduct interviews with Uniconnect users to understand  their creation and tailoring of UniConnect communities
      • Catalogue the findings to identify different types of awareness and coordination mechanisms
      • Develop a framework/visualisation to display the findings and conclusions

 

Master's thesis: Information audit/user needs analysis/user needs assessment for ECS

Recent years have seen a massive increase in the use of collaboration technologies to support distributed collaborative work. A key focus of our work in CEIR is the design of digital workspaces to support hybrid workgroups, where some, or all of the group members are working from home or other external sites. A key component of the design of digital workplaces is to understand users' information needs. 

This thesis topic comprises two parts.

  1. you will conduct an in-depth analysis of information audit and information needs analysis methods and related methods for capturing and visualising information needs. You will synthesise your findings into a consolidated overview of the different approaches and methods
  2. using data gathered from our research groups and based on existing methods to develop a method for identifying and modelling information needs analysis/information audit of users of enterprise collaboration systems (ECS) you will develop a concept for a file plan and community information lifecycle management tool.

 

Masters' thesis: Comparison of Adoption for Enterprise Collaboration Software (e.g. ECS) with other Enterprise Software (e.g. ERP) (working title).

Although collaboration software like ECS has an increased diffusion in practice, their adoption is still relevant and an ongoing emerging topic. In general, adoption is essential for the success of software in organizations, especially when new types of software are introduced. Consequently, the understanding of adoption can help organizations to better plan and shape the implementation of software proactively. However, the adoption of classical enterprise software like ERP and CRM systems is different than for ECS. Therefore, an investigation on the comparison of adoption for these types of systems is required. 

The student will do a literature review with a focus on the analysis and comparison of identified approaches. Moreover, the student will canalize the analysis in a concept matrix. What are the key characteristics of adoption mechanisms for collaboration/social software? How do these characteristics differ from other types of systems, for example, ERP and CRM systems?

Literature: Greeven, C. S., & Williams, S. P. (2017). Enterprise collaboration systems: addressing adoption challenges and the shaping of sociotechnical systems. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management, 5(1), 5-23.

 

Master's thesis: Digital Workplace Accessibility

In recent years organisations are increasingly offering flexible work arrangements where employees can work from anywhere. This was originally seen as a way of providing flexibility for employees and as a way for organisations to retain valuable staff.

The requirement for working from home during the coronavirus pandemic also focused attention on mobile/working outside the traditional office/workplace and on the design of the digital workplace. However, working from anywhere brings a requirement to re-examine the context of work (e.g. is the worksite noisy, lacking connectivity etc.) and the suitability of different types of tools and technologies to users with disabilities (e.g. those with visual, hearing, physical disabilities etc.).

Ensuring digital workplace accessibility is essential for making sure all employees can work effectively in the organisations' digital workplace but is also good business practice as it provides a healthy, functioning digital workplace that encourages effective participation and the most useable tools and technologies.

In this thesis, we focus on the topic of digital workplace accessibility and the functionality of typical tools and technologies used in mobile working. 

Accessibility to web-based information, applications and tools has been a key focus of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and this work will provide a starting point for this thesis. (https://www.w3.org/WAI/fundamentals/accessibility-intro/).

In this Master's thesis you will:

  • Review the different standards and requirements for workplace accessibility in regards to information and technologies
  • Review the latest thinking about accessibility and work from anywhere
  • Develop an evaluation framework and conduct an evaluation of key tools and technologies used in mobile working/WFA
  • Summarise your findings and develop guidelines for best practices that could be used by organisations to improve digital workplace accessibility

 

Master's thesis: Future scenario methods in foresight studies

New technologies are often described as "disruptive" or "transforming" however, in an increasingly changing world there is great uncertainty about the future potential and implications of these new technologies. For example, what positive benefits and opportunities will they bring and what unintended, unexpected or negative consequences might arise?

The field of foresight studies examines the future potential/limitations of new technologies through the development of future scenarios, which can be used to assist businesses and governments make appropriate decisions about the adoption and development of new technologies.

This thesis is in the broader area of foresight studies and will focus specifically on methods for the development of future scenarios. Specifically, you will:

    • Conduct an extensive literature review and analysis to identify different approaches and methodologies for foresight studies
    • Identify and analyse methods for conducting future scenarios and identify the different elements and components of a future scenario
    • Compile a catalogue of real-world examples (identified in the literature)
    • Propose a method for creating visual scenarios. Most future scenarios are text-based. Drawing on your analysis you will create prototypes of visual future scenarios and apply them to real-world examples

 

Bachelor's thesis: Structured Analysis of Vendors and Software Solutions in the Context of ECM/CSP (working title)

Content services platforms (CSP) have been defined as the next generation of content management systems (ECM). Traditional content and document management vendors are starting to offer content services, and the market sees several new entrants. Consequently, there is a need to understand the focus and purpose of these systems. Also, what is the value offered to organizations?

The research objective is to investigate the structure and functionality of the different software solutions and compare them to identify different types/focus areas, Therefore, the student will do an analysis of ECM/CSP vendors and software solutions from a market perspective. Moreover, the student will identify emerging market solutions and matches them with definitions of these systems provided by academia. Also, characteristics, trends and patterns will be analysed. The comparison will be done in a structured manner with a concept matrix.

 

 Examples of past supervised topics

Type of Thesis Title Year
Master Visual collaboration tools supporting creativity- intensive activities in online workshops 2022
Master Timelines and Narrative Visualisations according to Segel and Heer (2010) 2019
Bachelor

Improving document-based business processes through digitalisation

2017

Master

Classification of Coordination and Awareness Mechanisms in Collaboration Systems 2017

General Procedure for Theses

The following steps provide an orientation for the successful process of Bachelor's or Master's Theses with the Research Group Enterprise Information Management.

Step 1: Contacting/identifying a supervisor

Approx. 10-12 months before the planned submission:

  • Do I have a desired topic area? Check: Have I attended the corresponding elective course (EIM, CSCW) in which my desired topic is located?
  • Identify possible supervisors (research assistants) for desired topic areas using the information on university websites. Recommended sources: Exercise supervision, research projects, publications, dissertation topics.
  • If applicable, can I find a topic in the list of advertised topics?
  • Contact the possible supervisor, for example, after an event or by e-mail (include a current transcript of records). If you plan to send an e-mail, please see the additional information below.

Step 2: Preparation of an exposé and confirmation of supervision

Approx. 7-10 months before submission:

  • Before the commitment for supervision is officially given, the student prepares an exposé in coordination with his/her supervisor.
  • The content and steps to a successful exposé can be found in the material in the so-called Oberseminar Community on UniConnect. There you will find templates for the structure as well as examples from other students.
  • Important: The exposé will be discussed and accepted (or initially rejected with feedback) in a joint session with the professor.
  • Sign copyright declaration. Only when the copyright declaration and the acceptance of the exposé have been received, the confirmation of supervision is given.
  • At the latest after receiving the acceptance, the student independently creates and maintains a community on UniConnect, to which the supervising person(s) are added as "owner(s)". All relevant (interim) results (e.g. the exposé) and meeting minutes are stored in the community by the student. Furthermore, between meetings, the supervisors are informed about the current status of the work in regular blog posts.

Step 3: Registration of the thesis at the examination office

6 months before submission:

  • Registration of the thesis with the examination office according to the rules of the examination regulations applicable to this thesis.

Step 4: Writing phase (writing of the thesis and participation in the Oberseminar)

0-6 months before submission:

  • Supervision: At least 2 days before a meeting, provide the documents to be discussed (with reference) and send the agenda as a calendar invitation.
  • After each meeting, the student writes a brief summary/list of resolutions and to-dos.
  • The Oberseminar is to be attended until the colloquium is completed.
  • Each candidate gives two presentations: Starter presentation: first presentation in the Oberseminar on the planned procedure/topic. Colloquium: Second presentation on the results of the work followed by a discussion (according to the examination rules).
  • In case of illness: Inform the supervisor about the reasons for absence (by e-mail).

Step 5: Submission of the thesis to the examination office

Before the deadline:

  • The candidate must ensure that the submission deadline is met.
  • The submission is carried out according to the rules of the examination rules applicable to this work.

Step 6: Colloquium

Shortly before or after submission of the thesis to the examination office:

  • The successful completion of the theses includes the presentation of the results in the colloquium. This usually takes place within the Oberseminar (must be arranged and scheduled accordingly). The colloquium can take place shortly before or after the submission of the thesis to the examination office (e.g. in the first course of the Oberseminar in the following semester).
  • The submission of the final reports to the examination office takes place no later than 4 weeks after the last examination performance (submission/colloquium)

Additional Information on an Expression of Interest for a Theses via E-Mail

If you plan to contact one of the responsible research assistants via e-mail, please include the following information:

Subject: The e-mail should have the subject "Expression of Interest Master Thesis/Bachelor Thesis"

Topic: Which topic or topic area are you interested in investigating (see list of topics above)

Motivation: What makes this topic interesting to you and why is it a suitable topic for academic research?

You as the researcher: Why do you consider yourself suitable to study the selected topic? For example, have you completed a course, Proseminar, Projektpraktikum (PP), or Forschungspraktikum (PP) in the topic area? Are you working in a company that is involved in the topic area?

Type of research: What are your research strengths? What type of research methods do you prefer? e.g. practical research (programming, designing, problem-solving), working with a company, analytical research, literature analysis etc.

Academic history: Attach the KLIPS transcript of your course history.

Start time: When do you plan to start your thesis?

General Requirements

To write a Bachelor's or Master's thesis at the FGEIM you need to meet the following FGEIM specific requirements.

Please note: we are open to all students however, we give preference to students who have successfully completed one or more of our Bachelor's and/or Master’s courses. For example, Proseminar, Enterprise Information Management (EIM), Information Design (ID), Information, Technology and Society (ITS), and Research Methods (RM) or have successfully completed our Projektpraktikum (PP) or Forschungspraktikum (FP).

 

 

 

 

 


Scientific work and plagiarism

Of course, you must adhere to the universally valid principles of scientific writing, especially regarding plagiarism.

In scientific work such as Bachelor's or Master's thesis, you must indicate all sources used by means of a recognized citation style (e.g., APA or Harvard). Any violations against the exam regulations regarding plagiarism will be strictly handled.

The employees and supervisors of the thesis generally check every submitted work for compliance with the principles of scientific work. This includes, in particular, the correct and complete use of sources. Please consider the respective regulations in the exam regulations.