Abschlussarbeiten

Informationen zu Abschlussarbeiten am Lehrstuhl Digital Communication and Transformation

We have summarized all the relevant information about registering and writing theses in a Moodle course. It is imperative that you study the information carefully before contacting us.

Click here for the Moodle course for theses

Among other things, we supervise theses in the fields mentioned below. In the following you will find advertised topics as well as open topics for theses . You can also make your own suggestions for topics. In principle, it is also possible to write theses in cooperation with companies.

It is expected that you think about a possible focus of your work in advance of your first meeting.

Ausgeschriebene Themen für Abschlussarbeiten

The Morality Game: Designing a Test for Identifying Ethical Principles in Machines

Target Group:

Master

Requirements:

Qualitative content analysis, conducting interviews

Contents:

While organizations and researchers have repeatedly shown the advantages of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based systems for humanity (such as self-driving cars, AI-based conversational agents, and process automation), serious AI-related abuses and incidents have raised pressing ethical concerns. While unethical behavior can be intended in some cases (Stieglitz et al., 2019) due to the company’s or some manager’s values (e.g. during the VW diesel scandal), many unintended ethical challenges and moral issues can occur when applying AI (Boddington, 2017). For instance, Amazon’s discriminatory human resources (HR) software and Microsoft’s racist chatbot provide a strong case for the dangerous and unethical sides of AI that were inadvertent (Dastin, 2018; Horton, 2016; Yampolskiy, 2016). One the one hand, this is due to biased man-made algorithms used, for instance, in hiring, which cannot be absolutely non-discriminatory (Mann & O’Neil, 2016). On the other hand, this is due to the predictive nature of AI, resulting in a non-transparent derivation of outputs (Boddington, 2017). We consider AI as a group of technologies that rely on techniques such as machine learning, natural language processing, and knowledge representation (Carvalho et al., 2019).

To prevent harm from AI-based systems, researchers identified a variety of principles such as fairness (Teodorescu et al., 2021), explicability or justice (Floridi et al., 2018) and guidelines for designing a trustworthy AI (EU HLEG, 2019; Shneiderman, 2020). One challenge for practitioners is to implement such principles in an AI-based system. However, another challenge is to verify those implemented principles.

This is where this master thesis aims to start. First, suitable ethical principles shall be selected and defined. Second, expert interviews with researchers should be conducted to find out how AI-based systems can be tested with respect to their compliance with moral principles. The focus can be either holistically on AI-based systems, or specifically on anthropomorphic machines.

Literature:

  • Boddington, P. (2017). Towards a Code of Ethics for Artificial Intelligence. Springer International Publishing.
  • Dastin, J. (2018). Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-jobs-automation-insight/amazon-scraps-secret-ai-recruiting-tool-that-showed-bias-against-women-idUSKCN1MK08G
  • EU HLEG. (2019). Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI. European Commission.
  • Floridi, L., Cowls, J., Beltrametti, M., Chatila, R., Chazerand, P., Dignum, V., Luetge, C., Madelin, R., Pagallo, U., Rossi, F., Schafer, B., Valcke, P., & Vayena, E. (2018). AI4People—An Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations. Minds and Machines, 28(4), 689–707.
  • Horton, H. (2016, March 24). Microsoft deletes “teen girl” AI after it became a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours. The Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/03/24/microsofts-teen-girl-ai-turns-into-a-hitler-loving-sex-robot-wit/
  • Mann, G., & O’Neil, C. (2016). Hiring Algorithms Are Not Neutral. Harward Business Review.
  • Shneiderman, B. (2020). Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence: Reliable, Safe & Trustworthy. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 36(6), 495–504. https://doi.org/10.1080/10447318.2020.1741118
  • Stieglitz, S., Mirbabaie, M., Kroll, T., & Marx, J. (2019). “Silence” as a strategy during a corporate crisis – the case of Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate.” Internet Research, 29(4), 921–939. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-05-2018-0197
  • Teodorescu, M., Morse, L., West Virginia University, Awwad, Y., Center for Complex Systems, King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kane, G., & Boston College. (2021). Failures of Fairness in Automation Require a Deeper Understanding of Human-ML Augmentation. MIS Quarterly, 45(3), 1483–1500. https://doi.org/10.25300/MISQ/2021/16535
  • Yampolskiy, R. V. (2016). Taxonomy of pathways to dangerous artificial intelligence. Workshops at the Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Contact:

Lennart Hofeditz

Mandatory Labeling for Virtual Influencers? How Self-Disclosure Affects Behavior and Initial Trust Towards Computer-Generated Influencers

Target Group:

Master

Requirements:

Quantitative statistical analyses, experiments

Contents:

Influencers are mostly defined as individuals with a significant number of social media followers (Kadekova & Holienciova, 2018). For influencers, trust and authenticity are important elements to generate and retain followers in order to be visible to a certain target group (Batista & Chimenti, 2021). Virtual influencers are most often described as computer-generated, animated characters controlled by a startup or an agency with their own social media accounts and a large number of followers. They are used to promote products and to substitute human influencers in social commerce. Virtual influencers inspire millions of users in social networks and are engaged by companies to market their products (Moustakas et al., 2020).

Research on virtual influencers in general is still rather in its infancy. In information systems (IS) research, only a hand full of studies exists that examined this new phenomenon of virtual influencers or related topics which all claim for more in-depth IS research on this phenomenon (Arsenyan & Mirowska, 2021; Batista & Chimenti, 2021; Breves, 2021; Robinson, 2020; Seymour, Riemer, et al., 2021; Seymour, Yuan, et al., 2021). Virtual Influencers raise ethical issues such as a decreased transparency about who is responsible for the content and whose and which moral values are being espoused (Robinson, 2020). As virtual influencers are increasingly used as a highly effective tool by brands and organizations to market products and influence the lives of adolescents’ and adults, it becomes necessary to question whether there should be a mandatory labeling requirement for them. However, labeling does not necessarily result in an increase of trust in computer-generated social media content (Hofeditz et al., 2021).

In this thesis, the effects of different forms of labeling of virtual influencers on the social media behavior and the initial trust of users should be investigated. For this purpose, virtual influencer content needs to be created via a platform such as Bubble.io and applied in an online experiment. Subsequently, the effects will be evaluated quantitatively.

Literature:

  • Arsenyan, J., & Mirowska, A. (2021). Almost human? A comparative case study on the social media presence of virtual influencers. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 155(June), 102694. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2021.102694
  • Batista, A., & Chimenti, P. (2021). “ Humanized Robots ”: A Proposition of Categories to Understand Virtual Influencers. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 25, 1–27.
  • Breves, P. (2021). Biased by being there: The persuasive impact of spatial presence on cognitive processing. Computers in Human Behavior, 119(August 2020), 106723. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.106723
  • Hofeditz, L., Mirbabaie, Mi., Stieglitz, S., & Holstein, J. (2021). Do You Trust An AI-Journalist? A Credibility Analysis Of News Content With AI-Authorship. European Conference on Information Systems.
  • Kadekova, Z., & Holienciova, M. (2018). Influencer Marketing As a Modern Phenomenon Creating a New Frontier of Virtual Opportunities. Communication Today, 9(2), 90–105. https://www.
  • Moustakas, E., Lamba, N., Mahmoud, D., & Ranganathan, C. (2020). Blurring lines between fiction and reality: Perspectives of experts on marketing effectiveness of virtual influencers. International Conference on Cyber Security and Protection of Digital Services, Cyber Security 2020.
  • Robinson, B. (2020). Towards an ontology and ethics of virtual influencers. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 24, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.3127/AJIS.V24I0.2807
  • Seymour, M., Riemer, K., Yuan, L., & Dennis, A. R. (2021). Beyond deep fakes: Conceptual framework and research agenda for neural rendering of realistic digital faces. Proceedings of the 54rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 4859–4868.
  • Seymour, M., Yuan, L., Dennis, A. R., & Riemer, K. (2021). Have we crossed the uncanny valley? Understanding affinity, trustworthiness, and preference for realistic digital humans in immersive environments. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 22(3), 591–617. https://doi.org/10.17705/1jais.00674

Contact:

Lennart Hofeditz

Multilingual Fake News Detection

Target Group:

Bachelor/Master

Requirements:

Social Media Analytics, Data Mining, Machine Learning

Contents:

Misinformation is a vital societal problem, and it appears in many different forms e.g. Text, image. Often, a part of true information is left out or repurposed to produce misleading articles. Misinformation opens much demand for future research. Technology for identification and evaluation is necessary to support the effort to eliminate wrong and misleading information. In the long term, misinformation may damage the trust in media and create harm for the discourse within society. Analysis of misinformation is limited to English but equally spread in another language, so in the thesis, the goal is to analyse multilingual fake news detection on social media. The analysis could be on Text on multi-modal like text/image both.
The thesis can be supervised and written in English only.

Literature:

  • Shahi, G. K., Dirkson, A., & Majchrzak, T. A. (2021). An exploratory study of covid-19 misinformation on twitter. Online social networks and media, 22, 100104.
  • Shahi, G. K., & Nandini, D. (2020). FakeCovid--A multilingual cross-domain fact check news dataset for COVID-19. arXiv preprint arXiv:2006.11343.
  • Shahi, G. K. (2020). Amused: an annotation framework of multi-modal social media data. arXiv preprint arXiv:2010.00502.
  • Nakov, P., Da San Martino, G., Elsayed, T., Barrón-Cedeno, A., Míguez, R., Shaar, S., ... & Mandl, T. (2021, March). The CLEF-2021 CheckThat! lab on detecting check-worthy claims, previously fact-checked claims, and fake news. In European Conference on Information Retrieval (pp. 639-649). Springer, Cham..

Contact:

Gautam Kishore Shahi

AI and the Future of Knowledge Work

Zielgruppe:

Master

Anforderungen:

Expert Interviews/Qualitative Methods

Inhalte:

The digitization of the world of work affects individuals and organizations alike. Across industries, technological and structural progress offers new potential for individuals to re-organize their work independently of time and place. In this context, phenomena such as ‘digital nomadism’ or even 'corporate nomadism' have emerged. At the same time, the technological frontier of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping many industries. This thesis aims to explore the role of AI in current work practices of independent knowledge workers and how it alters their work identity.

Literatur:

  • Prester, J., D. Cecez-Kecmanovic, and D. Schlagwein, “Becoming a digital nomad: Identity emergence in the flow of practice”, 40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019, (2019)
  • Leonardi, P.M. COVID-19 and the New Technologies of Organizing: Digital Exhaust, Digital Footprints, and Artificial Intelligence in the Wake of Remote Work. J. Manag. Stud. 2020.
  • Schlagwein, D., and M.H. Jarrahi, “The Mobilities of Digital Work: The Case of Digital Nomadism”, ECIS 2020 Research-in-Progress Papers, 89, 2020.
  • Wang, B., D. Schlagwein, D. Cecez-Kecmanovic, and M.C. Cahalane, “Beyond the Factory Paradigm: Digital Nomadism and the Digital Future(s) of Knowledge Work Post-COVID-19 Dialectical Reasoning for Envisioning the Future” Journal of the Association for Information Systems 21(6), 2020, pp. 1379-1401.

Kontakt:

Julian Marx

IT-assisted Digital Detox

Zielgruppe:

Bachelor/Master

Anforderungen:

Qualitative Methods / Quantitative Methods

Inhalte:

In a more and more digitized world, information technologies (IT) have revolutionized working models in organizations and individual professionals are increasingly exposed to digital devices during their working day. Besides IT-enabled benefits for knowledge workers, IT can have several drawbacks such as frequent interruptions of work processes or blurring lines between private and professional life. Research clearly suggests that this extent of IT usage can entail severe consequences on individuals (e.g. information overload, technostress), leading to impaired well-being, lower job satisfaction and performance.

Such negative outcomes of IT use and the adverse impacts on individuals privately and professionally stress the need to regulate and control IT exposure to find a healthy balance of IT use. One way to regulate IT exposure among knowledge workers is to introduce digital detox which can be defined as a periodic disconnection from all IT as well as strategies to deal with IT engagement. Research has started to investigate the effectiveness of digital detox on a private and professional level. It has been unraveled that even when suffering from IT exposure, workers find it increasingly challenging to refrain from it.

Thus, the aim of this thesis is to examine ways to support knowledge workers in conducting a digital detox with the help of IT. Different levels of IT-assistance, e.g. through mindfulness applications, disabled-email servers after working hours, or calendar reminders might be a solution to help knowledge workers to digitally detox. Several methods could be applied in order to examine IT-assisted digital detox. Qualitative (e.g. expert interviews) and quantitative methods (e.g. online experiment with knowledge workers) could be conducted distinct from each other or be combined to shed light on the thesis’ research topic.

Literatur:

  • Anrijs, S., Bombeke, K., Durnez, W., Van Damme, K., Vanhaelewyn, B., Conradie, P., Smets, E., Cornelis, J., De Raedt, W., Ponnet, K., & De Marez, L. (2018). MobileDNA: Relating physiological stress measurements to smartphone usage to assess the effect of a digital detox. Proceedings of the International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), 356–363. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92279-9_48
  • Basu, R. (2019). Impact of Digital Detox on Individual Performance of the Employees. International Journal of Research and Analytical Review, 6(2), 378–381.
  • Mirbabaie, M., Marx, J., Braun, L.-M., & Stieglitz, S. (2020). Digital Detox – Mitigating Digital Overuse in Times of Remote Work and Social Isolation. Proceedings of the 31st Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS), 1–8.
  • Pflügner, K., Reis, L., Maier, C., & Weitzel, T. (2020). Communication Measures to Reduce Techno-Invasion and Techno-Overload: A Qualitative Study Uncovering Positive and Adverse Effects. SIGMIS-CPR 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 Computers and People Research Conference, 114–122. https://doi.org/10.1145/3378539.3393855
  • Syvertsen, T., & Enli, G. (2019). Digital detox: Media resistance and the promise of authenticity. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856519847325

Kontakt:

Lea-Marie Braun

One Cloud to Rule Them All - sciebo Research Data Services

Zielgruppe:

Bachelor/Master

Anforderungen:

Qualitative Forschung / Design Science Research

Inhalte:

Die campuscloud.nrw oder auch kurz sciebo (hergeleitet aus den beiden Wörtern „science“ und „box“) ist eine nicht-kommerzielle Cloud-Lösung, die speziell für Studium, Forschung und Lehre an Hochschulen entwickelt wurde (Vogl et al., 2015; Vogl et al., 2016). Sie stellt allen Studierenden und Mitarbeiter*innen aller Hochschulen in NRW mindestens 30 Gigabyte Speicherplatz zur Verfügung, um dort nicht nur die Archivierung von Daten zu ermöglichen, sondern auch die ortsunabhängige Zusammenarbeit in Forschungs- und Studierendenprojekten zu fördern (Vogl et al., 2016). sciebo wird von den Universitäten Duisburg-Essen und Münster stetig weiterentwickelt um den wachsenden Anforderungen der Nutzer*innen gerecht zu werden und mit kommerziellen Cloud-Lösungen mithalten zu können (Wilms et al., 2017). Vor dem Hintergrund der zunehmenden Digitalisierung der Forschung kann die Bedeutung eines strukturierten Forschungsdatenmanagements (FDM), wie es z.B. in den Leitlinien zum Umgang mit Forschungsdaten der DFG gefordert wird, kaum überschätzt werden. In der Praxis werden diese Vorgaben jedoch bisher nur unbefriedigend umgesetzt, wie verschiedene Studien zeigen (s. Sayogo & Pardo, 2013; Savage & Vickers, 2009). Auch eine Bestandsaufnahme des Status Quo des FDM in NRW zeigt, dass im Hinblick auf ein professionelles, den Empfehlungen der DFG entsprechendes FDM noch große Lücken existieren (DV-ISA, 2016). Dies liegt insbesondere am Fehlen von einfach zu nutzenden Tools (Hofeditz et al., 2020). Daher entwickelten wir in einem Projekt zusammen mit der Universität Münster eine umfangreiche Erweiterung für sciebo, die es Forschenden ermöglichen soll, weitere Services zum Managen und Teilen ihrer Forschungsdaten an sciebo anzubinden. Damit erhoffen wir uns nicht nur Forschenden ihre Arbeit mit Daten zu erleichtern, sondern auch die allgemeine Zugänglichkeit von Forschungsdaten gemäß der FAIR-Prinzipien der EU zu verbessern.

In dieser Abschlussarbeit soll angelehnt an Design Science Research (Peffers et al., 2018) der entwickelte Prototyp nun zusammen mit Forschenden evaluiert werden. Dazu sollen Workshops und/oder Interviews mit Forschenden durchgeführt werden, denen der entwickelte Prototyp präsentiert wird. Auf Grundlage der Workshops/Interviews und unter Einbeziehung neuester Kenntnisse aus der Literatur (z.B. Hofeditz et al., 2020; Kim et al., 2015; Stieglitz et al., 2020), sollen Gestaltungsprinzipien zur Verbesserung des Prototypen und somit zur Unterstützung einer offenen und vernetzten Wissenschaft abgeleitet werden.

Literatur:

  • DV-ISA NRW (2016). Umgang mit digitalen Daten in der Wissenschaft: Forschungsda-tenmanagement in NRW. Umgang mit digitalen Daten in der Wissenschaft: Forschungs-datenmanagement in NRW- Eine erste Bestandsaufnahme.https://www.dvisa-nrw.de/veroeffentlichungen/veroeffentlichungen-container-oeffentlich/dv-isa-vorstudie-bestandsaufnahme-forschungsdatenmanagement
  • Hofeditz, L., Ross, B., Wilms, K., Rother, M., Rehwald, S. et al. (2020). How to Design a Research Data Management Platform? Technical, Organizational and Individual Perspectives and Their Relations. In: Yamamoto S., Mori H. (eds) Human Interface and the Management of Information. Interacting with Information. HCII 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12185. Springer, Cham.
  • Kim, Y., and Zhang, P. 2015. “Understanding data sharing behaviors of STEM researchers: The roles of attitudes, norms, and data repositories,” Library & Information Science Research, (37:3), pp. 189–200 (doi: 10.1016/J.LISR.2015.04.006).
  • Peffers, K., Tuunanen, T., & Niehaves, B. (2018). Design science research genres: introduction to the special issue on exemplars and criteria for applicable design science research. European Journal of Information Systems, 27(2), 129–139. https://doi.org/10.1080/0960085X.2018.1458066.
  • Vogl R., Angenent H., Rudolph D., Thoring A., Schild C., Stieglitz S. and Meske C. 2015. „sciebo – the Campuscloud for NRW”, European Journal of Higher Education IT (EJHEIT) (2:3), pp. 1-12. (Winner of the Elite Award for Excellence).
  • Savage, C. J., & Vickers, A. J. (2009). Empirical study of data sharing by authors pub-lishing in PLoS journals.In: PloS one, 4(9), e7078.
  • Sayogo, D. S., & Pardo, T. A. (2013). Exploring the determinants of scientific data shar-ing: Understanding the motivation to publish research data. In: Government Information Quarterly, 30 (1), pp. 19-31.
  • Stieglitz, S., Wilms, K., Mirbabaie, M., Hofeditz, L., Brenger, B., Lopez, A. & Rehwald, S. (2020). When are researchers willing to share their data? – Impacts of values and uncertainty on open data in academia. PLOS ONE, 15(7).
  • Vogl, R., Rudolph, D., Thoring, A., Angenent, H., Stieglitz, S., & Meske, C. (2016). How to build a cloud storage service for half a million users in higher education: Challenges met and solutions found. Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2016–March, 5328–5337. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2016.658
  • Wilms, K., Brenger, B., López, A., Rehwald, S. (2018). Open Data in Higher Education – What Prevents Researchers from Sharing Research Data?. In: Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS).
  • Wilms, K., Meske, C., Stieglitz, S., Decker, H., Fröhlich, L., Jendrosch, N., Schaulies, S., Vogl, R. and Rudolph, D. (2017). Digital Transformation in Higher Education – New Cohorts, New Requirements?. In: Proceedings of the 23rd Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS)

Kontakt:

Lennart Hofeditz

ICT and Social Connectedness in Virtual Organizations

Zielgruppe:

Master

Anforderungen:

Expert Interviews/Qualitative Methods

Inhalte:

Recent upheavals in the world of work have put many organizations in the position of forced virtualization, turning their extant working practices upside down. In parallel to this development, however, increasing numbers of virtual organizations surface in the IT sector and beyond. These organizations rely heavily on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and work fully remote, with many of their employees practicing digital nomadism. A supposed problem of such organizations is the formation and maintanance of social connectedness among its members. To better understand how virtual organizations approach this problem, this thesis aims to compile a case study of virtual organizations from different sectors. This could be underpinned by Social Identity Theory (or a similar lens). An alternative approach would be to approach only one case organization and using Grounded Theory Methodology.

Literatur:

  • Vecchi, A. 2019. “Global Work Arrangements and Talent Management in the Born-Virtual Organization: The Case of Automattic,” in Research Handbook of International Talent Management, pp. 144-185.
  • Richter, A., P. Heinrich, A. Stocker, and G. Schwabe, “Digital Work Design”, Business & Information Systems Engineering 60(3), 2018, pp. 259–264.
  • Asatiani, A., and Penttinen, E. 2019. “Constructing Continuities in Virtual Work Environments: A Multiple Case Study of Two Firms with Differing Degrees of Virtuality,” Information Systems Journal (29:2), pp. 484–513.
  • Wang, B., D. Schlagwein, D. Cecez-Kecmanovic, and M.C. Cahalane, “Beyond the Factory Paradigm: Digital Nomadism and the Digital Future(s) of Knowledge Work Post-COVID-19 Dialectical Reasoning for Envisioning the Future” Journal of the Association for Information Systems 21(6), 2020, pp. 1379-1401.

Kontakt:

Julian Marx

Exploring the Identity of Knowledge Workers in a Digital World

Zielgruppe:

Master

Anforderungen:

Qualitative Methods/Quantitative Methods

Inhalte:

The ongoing development of information technology (IT) enables organizations to introduce digital work as the new normal. Therefore, employees face new forms of work that might decrease personal interaction and increase interaction with IT. Nevertheless, these new ways of work entail that individuals cannot do their jobs with the same values and convictions as they are used to. Furthermore, location-independent work such as home office or digital (corporate) nomadism is on the rise in the digital landscape.

However, there is a constant change that might impact self- beliefs constituting professional identity at work, i.e., the perception of one's role in the workplace. Experiencing a new work situation that contradicts one's identity might lead to a loss of self-esteem and a threat to identity. As emerging technologies have changed the landscape and experiences of various professions, various touchpoints correlate with the identification at work. The digitization of the workplace emphasizes the demand for digital work as the new normal in organizations.

Thus, this thesis aims to explore novel factors that might influence a digital knowledge worker's identity at the workplace. To this end, several methods could be applied. Students may choose or connect qualitative and quantitative methods such as a systematic literature review, (Expert) Interviews, or online experiments with (digital) knowledge workers.

This thesis will need a solid theoretical foundation considering an identity perspective. To this end, possible theoretical foundations are (1) IT-Identity, (2) Organizational Identity, (3) Social Identity Theory, or (4) Sociomateriality.

Literatur:

  • Prester, J., D. Cecez-Kecmanovic, and D. Schlagwein, “Becoming a digital nomad: Identity emergence in the flow of practice”, 40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019, (2019)
  • RMirbabaie, M., Stieglitz, S., Brünker, F., Hofeditz, L., Ross, B., & Frick, N. R. J. (2021). Understanding Collaboration with Virtual Assistants – The Role of Social Identity and the Extended Self. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 63, 21-37
  • Carter, M., Grover, V., & Clemson University. (2015). Me, My Self, and I(T): Conceptualizing Information Technology Identity and its Implications. MISQuarterly, 39(4), 931–957. https://doi.org/10/gf5sg7
  • Carter, M., Petter, S., & Compeau, D. (2019). Identifying with IT in a Digital World. In ICIS 2019 Proceedings (p. 10). Presented at the International Conference on Information Systems, Munich.
  • Burke, P. J., & Stryker, S. (2016). Identity Theory: Progress in Relating the Two Strands. In New Directions in Identity Theory and Research (pp. 657–810). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kontakt:

Felix Brünker

Digital Nudging to overcome hierarchy in organizations

Zielgruppe:

Master

Anforderungen:

Mixed Methods

Inhalte:

Hierarchies are omnipresent in organizations. They form the chain-of-command and sometimes provide the required stability in complex enterprise environments (Knight and Mehta 2017). (Hogg 2010) point out that given hierarchical power can alter people’s behavior. Despite positive intentions, it can easily lead to negative effects that hinder innovation (R. A. M. Mudambi 2011) and an organization's performance in general (Leavitt 2005; Meske et al. 2020). Digital nudging was suggested as a new way of guiding users towards to optimal decision. It seeks to optimize formerly negative decision-making processes and persuade the user towards the better decision (Weinmann et al. 2016). In the discipline of information systems, digital nudging was found to positively influence the user adoption (Gregor and Lee-Archer 2016; Thaler and Sunstein 2009) and effectiveness of application usage (Hummel and Maedche 2019). Nudging was applied in various contexts to verify positive influence on behavior (Meske and Potthoff 2017; Stieglitz et al. 2017). Yet, the application in the context of organizational hierarchy is missing. Research currently lacks the link between digital nudging in information systems and hierarchy in an organizational context. Thus, overcoming these hierarchical distances is both key and potentially benefiting from the new and subtle form of persuasion, digital nudging. First studies identified an accelerated effect of nudges when influenced by hierarchical power (Kretzer and Maedche 2018), however the opposite has not been elaborated on yet.
The study is a mixed-method study and has two parts. First, interviews with experts are conducted to find out what burdens exist with hierarchy. This will allow the validation of findings in literature that hierarchy forms an obstacle in the way towards an increased productivity in the digital age. In addition, the interviews should reveal what the examples and use cases are that hierarchy is impacting. This will contribute to the study by (1) verifying the hypothesis that hierarchy can be an inhibitor for productivity, (2) detailing out where the obstacles are (including their relative strength so prioritization is possible) and (3) what intentions of the interviewees are to overcome those obstacles. The interviews should be done with a target number of 12 participants conducted in an organization of at least around 100 employees. The second part is an experiment that will test a designed digital nudge, which was derived from the interviews. Depending on the interview outcomes, the strongest inhibitor for productivity should be chosen, preferably with backing from previous literature. This will allow the design based on the input from the interviews as well as previous research background and results. The nudge then should be tested at the same or another company in an automated way.

Literatur:

  • Gregor, S., and Lee-Archer, B. 2016. “The Digital Nudge in Social Security Administration,” International Social Security Review (69:3–4), pp. 63–83. (https://doi.org/10.1111/issr.12111).
  • Hogg, M. A. 2010. “Influence and Leadership,” in Handbook of Social Psychology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470561119.socpsy002031).
  • Meske, C., Kissmer, T., and Stieglitz, S. 2020. “Bridging Formal Barriers in Digital Work Environments – Investigating Technology-Enabled Interactions across Organizational Hierarchies,” Telematics and Informatics (48), Elsevier Ltd. (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2020.101342).
  • Stieglitz, S., Potthoff, T., and Kißmer, T. 2017. “Digital Nudging Am Arbeitsplatz,” HMD Praxis Der Wirtschaftsinformatik, Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, pp. 1–12. (https://doi.org/10.1365/s40702-017-0367-5).

Kontakt:

Tobias Kissmer

Giving advice on cyber threats

Target Group:

Master

Requirements:

Online Experiment / Online study

Contents:

Nowadays we have adopted a variety of technological devices into our lives that we use on a daily basis. Among these technologies are numerous devices that are connected to the internet. This makes them vulnerable to cyber-attacks from individuals with malicious intent.

In order for end-users of these technologies to handle such threats, they need to be informed about current cyber threats and how to handle them in case they become a victim of such an attack.

Therefore, it is important to understand the behavior of the end user in seeking out such information and the factors that influence the end-users behavioral intention to follow or ignore warnings in regard to cyber threats when they are presented with information about current threats.

Thus, this work aims at identifying such factors and their information-seeking behaviors through an (online) experiment where participants are surveyed in regard to their behavioral intention when presented with such information and how they seek out such information.

The aim of this work is to acquire insights into factors that might influence the end-user to act appropriately when experts provide them with information about cyber threats and how to handle them.

Literature:

  • Kovačević, A., Putnik, N., & Tošković, O. (2020). Factors Related to Cyber Security Behavior. IEEE Access, 8, 125140-125148.
  • Nicholson, J., Coventry, L., & Briggs, P. (2019, May). " If It's Important It Will Be A Headline" Cybersecurity Information Seeking in Older Adults. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-11).
  • Gratian, M., Bandi, S., Cukier, M., Dykstra, J., & Ginther, A. (2018). Correlating human traits and cyber security behavior intentions. computers & security, 73, 345-358.

Contact:

Ali Sercan Basyurt

Effektive Nutzung der Virtual Reality App Spatial für Kollaboration im Unternehmenskontext

Zielgruppe:

Master

Anforderungen:

Interviews (evtl. auch in englischer Sprache), hohes Engagement während der Rekrutierung von Interviewpartnern

Inhalte:

Plattformen für die Zusammenarbeit in virtueller Realität (VR) ermöglichen es Teammitgliedern, ein natürliches Gespräch zu führen, nonverbale Hinweise wahrzunehmen und in einer ablenkungsfreien Umgebung zusammenzuarbeiten. Die VR-Kollaborationsplattform Spatial hat sich als äußerst erfolgreich erwiesen, insbesondere seit der weit verbreiteten Home-Office-Regelung während der COVID-19-Pandemie. Viele große Unternehmen wie LARVOL, Mattel, Pfizer, BNP Paribas, Ford, Nestlé Purina und Enel SpA nutzen Spatial für die Zusammenarbeit und interaktive Meetings. So hat beispielsweise das Unternehmen LARVOL seinen Hauptsitz nach Spatial verlegt, während Unternehmen wie Mattel und Ford interdisziplinäre Teams aus der ganzen Welt in Spatial-Projekträume bringen, um gemeinsam neue Produkte zu entwerfen.

Nichtsdestotrotz sind kollaborative Meetings in VR immer noch eher die Ausnahme als die Regel, und es bleibt die offene Frage, wie VR effektiv genutzt werden kann, vor allem angesichts des breiten Spektrums anderer verfügbarer Meeting-Optionen wie Face-to-Face-Meetings, Telefonate und Videokonferenz-Tools. Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es daher, zu verstehen, was effektives Nutzungsverhalten in Bezug auf VR für die Zusammenarbeit im Unternehmenskontext ausmacht. Die Literatur zur Theorie der effektiven Nutzung und des Affordance-Netzwerk-Ansatzes als methodischer Schritt-für-Schritt-Ansatz zum Verständnis von effektivem Nutzungsverhalten dient dabei als guter Ausgangspunkt für die Auseinandersetzung mit dem Thema.

Um Erkenntnisse zu den Forschungsfragen zu gewinnen, sollen Interviews mit Beschäftigten geführt werden, die Spatial für die Zusammenarbeit nutzen. Da die Zielgruppe nicht einfach für Interviews zu rekrutieren ist, ist eine hohe Begeisterung für das Thema und Engagement während des Rekrutierungsprozesses erforderlich. Außerdem ist eine gewisse Sicherheit in der englischen Sprache erforderlich, um Interviews mit Beschäftigen aus internationalen Unternehmen führen zu können. Ein guter Anfang könnte die Kontaktaufnahme mit der Firma Spatial selbst und den oben genannten Unternehmen sein, die Spatial bereits einsetzen. Während der Bearbeitung besteht die Möglichkeit, ein Oculus-Quest-Headset vom Lehrstuhl auszuleihen, um Spatial (und andere Apps) selbst auszuprobieren und sich mit Interviewpartnern in ihrer Spatial-Umgebung zu treffen, um einen besseren Eindruck davon zu bekommen, wie Unternehmen diese Umgebung nutzen.

Literatur:

  • Spatial (2020). LARVOL Uses Spatial As Their Virtual Headquarters. https://spatial.io/blog/larvol-vr-office
  • Burton-Jones, A., & Grange, C. (2013). From Use to Effective Use: A Representation Theory Perspective. Information Systems Research, 24(3), 632–658.
  • Burton-Jones, A., & Volkoff, O. (2017). How can we develop contextualized theories of effective use? A demonstration in the context of community-care electronic health records. Information Systems Research, 28(3), 468–489.
  • Fromm, J., Mirbabaie, M. & Stieglitz, S. (2020). The Effects of Virtual Reality Affordances and Constraints on Negative Group Effects during Brainstorming Sessions. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI), Potsdam, Germany.

Kontakt:

Jennifer Fromm

Wie Akteure mit gegensätzlichen Zielen die Social Media Aktivitäten von Fridays for Future beeinflussen

Zielgruppe:

Bachelor / Master

Anforderungen:

Interviews

Inhalte:

Fridays for Future ist eine Umweltbewegung, die erfolgreich soziale Medien nutzt, um über Umweltthemen aufzuklären, sich zu koordinieren und Menschen für Proteste zu mobilisieren. In kürzlich durchgeführten Interviews konnten wir uns ein gutes Bild davon machen, wie Fridays for Future soziale Medien nutzt, um die Ziele der Bewegung zu erreichen. Während dieser Interviews kam oft zur Sprache, dass nicht nur die Social-Media-Aktivitäten der Bewegung selbst wichtig sind. Vielmehr warfen die Aktivist:innen das Problem auf, dass sie sich mit den Social-Media-Aktivitäten von Akteuren auseinandersetzen müssen, die andere Ziele als die der Bewegung verfolgen. Als Beispiele wurden Fridays for Hubraum oder Privatpersonen mit rechtsextremen Ansichten genannt. Fridays for Future musste sich mit Akteuren auseinandersetzen, die versuchten, in ihre WhatsApp-Gruppen einzudringen, um rechtsextremes Gedankengut zu verbreiten, die sie persönlich über Direktnachrichten auf Facebook angriffen oder, die einen koordinierten Shitstorm organisierten.

Trotz der Möglichkeiten, die soziale Medien für soziale Bewegungen bieten, insbesondere in Zeiten der Pandemie, können die Aktivitäten dieser Akteure Fridays for Future bei der Erreichung ihrer Bewegungsziele einschränken. Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, genauer zu untersuchen, welche Auswirkungen die Aktivitäten von Akteuren mit konträren Zielen auf die Social-Media-Nutzung von Fridays for Future haben und wie die Bewegung ihr Nutzungsverhalten anpasst, um den Auswirkungen entgegenzuwirken und ihre Ziele dennoch zu erreichen. Zur Erforschung des Themas soll die Technology Affordances and Constraints Theory herangezogen ewrden. Der Grundgedanke dieser Theorie ist, dass Technologien wie soziale Medien einerseits Handlungsmöglichkeiten (Affordances) bieten, andererseits aber auch Einschränkungen, die Akteure an der Erreichung ihrer Ziele hindern. Bisherige Forschung konzentrierte sich bisher hauptsächlich darauf, wie ein einzelnes Individuum, eine Gruppe oder eine Organisation solche Handlungsmöglichkeiten und Einschränkungen wahrnimmt und nutzt / umgeht, während das Zusammenspiel mit anderen Akteuren Möglichkeiten zur Erweiterung der Theorie bieten könnte.

Die Forschungsfragen könnten durch zusätzliche Interviews mit Fridays for Future-Aktivist:innen beantwortet werden, die sich detaillierter mit diesem Thema befassen. Die Transkripte der bereits durchgeführten Interviews können vom Lehrstuhl zur Verfügung gestellt werden und als Ausgangspunkt dienen, um ins Thema einzusteigen und Fragen in Bezug auf Akteure mit konträren Zielen zu identifizieren, die in der Arbeit vertieft werden könnten.

Literatur:

  • Pozzi, G., Pigni, F., & Vitari, C. (2014). Affordance theory in the IS discipline: A review and synthesis of the literature. Proceedings of the Americas Conference on Information Systems.
  • Majchrzak, A., & Markus, M. L. (2012). Technology affordances and constraints in management information systems. In E. Kessler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Management Theory (pp. 832-836), Sage.
  • Harindranath, G., Bernroider, E., & Kamel, S. (2015). Social media and social transformation movements: The role of affordances and platforms. Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems.
  • Dumitrica, D., & Felt, M. (2019). Mediated grassroots collective action: Negotiating barriers of digital activism. Information, Communication & Society, 23(13), 1821–1837.
  • Sergeeva, A., Huysman, M., Soekijad, M., & van den Hooff, B. (2013). “No user is an island” onlookers, affordances, and the impact of mobile devices on work practices. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems.

Kontakt:

Jennifer Fromm

Die Enstehung von digitalen Desinformationskampagnen auf sozialen Medien während der COVID-19 Pandemie

Zielgruppe:

Bachelor / Master

Anforderungen:

Systematisches Literatur Review, Social Media Analytics

Inhalte:

In Krisensituationen wie der COVID-19 Pandemie benötigt die Bevölkerung verlässliche Informationen, um die Lage einzuschätzen und angemessen handeln zu können. Um schnell an Informationen zu gelangen, wenden sich viele verstärkt den sozialen Medien zu. Fake News, Verschwörungstheorien und digitale Desinformationskampagnen erschweren dort jedoch die Meinungsbildung. Es zirkulieren Fake News, die dazu führen, dass Schutzmaßnahmen nicht umgesetzt und Menschenleben gefährdet werden (z.B. Händewaschen hilft nicht). Außerdem kursieren Verschwörungstheorien, die dem Zusammenhalt unserer Gesellschaft schaden und soziale Unruhen auslösen können (z.B. Theorien über bestimmte ethnische oder religiöse Gruppen als Ursprung des Virus).

Die Europäische Kommission warnt außerdem davor, dass bestimmte Personen existierende Falschinformationen gezielt instrumentalisieren. Mit digitalen Desinformationskampagnen versuchen etwa ausländische Akteure, die demokratische Debatte zu untergraben, die soziale Polarisierung zu verschärfen und ihr eigenes Image in der Krise zu verbessern. Durch die koordinierte Verbreitung von Desinformationen – häufig unter Einsatz von sozialen Bots – sind diese Akteure in der Lage, eine künstliche Verzerrung des Meinungsbilds auf sozialen Medien herbeizuführen. Digitale Desinformationskampagnen können dazu führen, dass die Bevölkerung das Vertrauen in sicherheitsrelevante Akteure verliert und Pandemieschutzmaßnahmen nicht mehr einhält.

Das Ziel dieser Arbeit besteht deshalb darin, ein besseres Verständnis für die Entstehung von digitalen Desinformationskampagnen zu erlangen, um Präventionsmaßnahmen für Behörden und Organisationen mit Sicherheitsaufgaben daraus abzuleiten. Im Rahmen eines systematischen Literatur Reviews soll in einem ersten Schritt der aktuelle Forschungsstand zur Entstehung von digitalen Desinformationskampagnen erfasst werden. Ergänzend dazu sollen mit Hilfe von Social Media Analytics weitere Erkenntnisse zur Entstehung von realen Desinformationskampagnen während der COVID-19 Pandemie gewonnen werden.

Literatur:

  • Karlova, N. A. & Fisher, K. E. (2013). A Social Diffusion Model of Misinformation and Disinformation for Understanding Human Information Behaviour, Information Research (18:1).
  • Rofrío, D. et al. (2019). Presidential Elections in Ecuador: Bot Presence in Twitter, Proceedings of the International Conference on eDemocracy & eGovernment.
  • Shao, C., Ciampaglia, G. L., Varol, O., Yang, K.-C., Flammini, A., & Menczer, F. (2018). The spread of low-credibility content by social bots. Nature Communications, 9(1), 1-9.
  • Tran, T., Valecha, R., Rad, P. & Rao, H. R. (2020). An investigation of misinformation harms related to social media during humanitarian crises. Communications in Computer and Information Science, 167–181.
  • Varol, O., & Uluturk, I. (2018). Deception strategies and threats for online discussions. First Monday, 23(5-7).

Kontakt:

Jennifer Fromm

Themenfelder für Abschlussarbeiten

Social media analytics

  • Misinformation in social media -  contact
  • Automated communication in social media - contact
  • (Digital) science communication -  contact
  • Echo chambers and filter bubbles in social networks - contact

Communication and Collaboration

  • Conversational agents in virtual collaboration -  contact  &  contact
  • Deployment and use of artificial intelligence (in companies) -  contact 
  • Digital ethics -  contact  &  contact
  • Research data management and open science in the cloud - contact