The Chair of Information Systems Management’s research addresses conceptions of stabilizing control mechanisms. In this connection, the focus is on distributed information systems in economic fields of application with real-time requirements. We address two fundamental research questions within this broad topic.
We use empirical research methods to understand how technological progress affects the stability and efficiency of IT systems. On this basis, design-oriented research comes into effect to make software artefacts and improve the stability and efficiency of IT systems.
Our research can be categorized analogously to topics in computer science and management literature. In both cases, our research extends the interdisciplinary interface between computer science and management.
Our research projects can be categorized according to our research questions. This provides an overview. Funded research projects are given in the normal typeface; dissertation projects are given in italics.
Computer Science Topics: Ambient Intelligence, Ubiquitous Computing, Pervasive Computing, Peer-to-Peer-Computing, Grid Computing, Utility Computing, Service-Oriented Computing
Information systems of the 21st century are characterized by ever-increasing connectivity. Visionary approaches predict a complete linking of scaled-down processors that interact and communicate within a network. In this connection, Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs) provide ways to install flexible cooperation networks capable of independently and quickly reorganizing and dissolving. Objects become invisible and are fully integrated into the environment; hence the phrase “the network is the computer.” Examples for integrated objects include materials, furniture, and hospital equipment that can be enhanced using RFID technology. Computing power and storage space are often consumed on demand – directly from the network. Technical communication standards enable one to exchange components quickly without sacrificing efficiency and cost effectiveness. These technological developments provide a basis for innovative management applications.
Management Science Topics: Digital Business Agents, Silent Commerce, Now Economy
The economic vision of this network consists in the possibility of human participants – as well as software agents (such as Digital Business Agents - DBAs) – being able to join such a network quickly and easily and to benefit from the feedback effects, network effects, and scale effects. Such DBAs can assist human customers and vendors in digital processes and environments, including general trade and money transactions. This leads to a reduction in transaction costs. Many of the transactions will be local and decentralized, carried out directly between the individual agents. DBAs will suddenly be able to negotiate with a range of different transaction partners, allowing contracts to be realized within milliseconds. DBAs will be in a position to take care of all business transactions in the background without requiring any human intervention. Controlling the resulting information systems can then only be carried out to a minimal extent using central control procedures.
A stabilizing conception is one that controls information systems on the basis of self-organization as it occurs, for example, in biological evolution, social group behaviour, and market dynamics (e.g. Hayek’s Catallaxy). Here the concept of self-organization represents a way of getting around limitations of modern information systems such as scalability problems, high maintenance costs, and low customizability.