Keyvisual SITE

Digital Transformation

Our Research

In our research, we focus on areas related to the digital transformation. In doing so, we apply both qualitative and quantitative-empirical methods for answering research questions in order to gain new insights. We analyze practice-oriented challenges using scientific methods to deliver valuable results for both research and practice.

Currently the Center for Digital Transformation deals with the following research projects:

  • Blockchain: Discussing use cases and best-practices for the implementation of Blockchain-projects as well as studying the implications of the Blockchain-Technology on different types of business models
  • Digitalization Index: Developing a measure to evaluate the digital maturity of an organization
  • Un-Enacted Projects: Study on the types, characteristics, and implications of un-enacted projects in the context of project portfolio management
  • Self-Tracking: Study of user acceptance and continuous use of self-tracking devices
  • IT-Governance: Study on the understanding, success factors and objectives of IT governance in the organizational practice

Current Studies:

IT Outsourcing Satisfaction Survey

Despite the fact that organizations have decades of experience in IT Outsourcing, the successful implementation cannot be taken for granted, as an online survey of 85 IT executives shows: about 60 percent of the respondents said that they did not achieve all of their IT outsourcing objectives.

IT Governance in Organizational Practice

During the last few years, the concept of IT governance has been increasingly spotlighted in the context of the IT’s increased business orientation. This interview study aims at exploring the understanding and the status quo of IT Governance across different companies and industries, at analyzing interdependencies and correlations to success, and at identifying successful approaches and success factors.


Current research projects

Blockchain

The revolutionary Blockchain technology is continuously gaining popularity. The principle of decentralization enables a variety of possibilities for new and already existing business models and has the potential for transforming various industries entirely. In essence, it is a technology in which information or transactions are stored in blocks, performed decentralized. Blocks are chronologically connected with a cryptographic signature. Cryptographic signature ensures integrity, such that information cannot be manipulated subsequently and unnoticeably. In the medium-term, the blockchain technology has the potential to turn value chains upside-down by bypassing traditional intermediaries (e.g. banks).

However, due to the blockchain’s technological complexity, it is rather difficult to grasp and it is still not clear, which specific implications the blockchain technology will actually have on existing business models. This challenge is addressed by the Center for Digital Transformation (CDT) with its focus group in collaboration with many well-known companies. This includes, among others, the discussion of use cases and challenges as well as the development of best-practices for the implementation of Blockchain projects.

Team

  • Laura Schlecht, M.Sc. (EBS Business School)
  • Prof. Dr. Arne Buchwald (EBS Business School)

Digitalization Index

The CDT Digitalization Index represents a measure to evaluate the digital maturity of an organization, resulting from the characteristics of individual evaluation criteria. The objective is to identify optimization potentials and to analyze developments over time through iterative surveys. By using a holistic survey with items in all relevant dimensions of digitalization to be analyzed, companies get ideas for optimizations already during the survey. Furthermore individual analyses can be performed e. g. for benchmarking purposes. The interpretation of the results obtained by the survey can be conducted individually, meeting organizational or industry-specific needs.

Project Objectives:

  1. Capturing all digitalization-related aspects in companies in a structured manner
  2. focus on mid-sized companies
  3. Identification of digital potentials for improvements
  4. Raising awareness of decision makers for the relevance of digitalization-related aspects, previously considered as marginally important
  5. Interpreting of results individually for an organization or in comparison with competitors (benchmarking)

Team

  • Alexander Krüger, M.Sc. (EBS Business School)
  • Prof. Dr. Arne Buchwald (EBS Business School)

Un-Enacted Projects / Unofficial Projects

Over the past decades, project portfolio management (PPM) has increasingly gained importance and offers organizations many advantages. By using PPM as part of their IT governance, organizations can align IT projects with their strategic objectives, thus ensuring a balanced portfolio of projects. Although, in practice, using PPM seems to imply challenges for organizations, it helps them maximize their returns from investments in their IT. Various PPM models which attempt to support the strategic alignment of projects have been developed. While early-stage PPM models were mainly based on the central principle of rational decision-making theory, recent research on PPM has shifted from a purely theoretical perspective towards the understanding of PPM as a real-world phenomenon.

Examples of the latter include resource-related problems. Since companies, which are supposed to be the most experienced in PPM, have still not overcome resource-related issues, previous research indicates that there are too many projects for the available resources, that different types of projects require distinctive management styles, that there are un-enacted projects that compete with official projects for resources, and that employees face increased pressure due to the conflict between projects and their daily work.

We define un-enacted projects as unofficial projects that have never been subject to any official evaluation process but do exist, although they are not known to or are included in the project portfolio of a company. Previous research found that even after companies have implemented PPM, official (enacted) projects still face resource constraints. In other words, PPM has officially allocated resources to a project, but, in reality, some resources turn out to be unavailable. They found the cause of this to be numerous unofficial initiatives, or un-enacted projects.

This leads us to some fundamental questions regarding the reasons behind the occurrence of these un-enacted projects which this study attempts to answer:

  1. What types of un-enacted projects do exist?
  2. What are the decisive characteristics of each type and its reasons to occur?
  3. What are the implications of each type of un-enacted project for PPM?
  4. What is the link between each type of un-enacted project and the industry of the case organization?
  5. What is the link between un-enacted projects and the maturity of PPM in the case organization?

We rely on the case study approach to develop our preliminary theories. We chose a multiple-case setting to generate in-depth understanding of the phenomenon of interest and of its context for theory building. In terms of data analysis, we draw upon a grounded theory technique.

Publications

  • Buchwald, A., Urbach, N. and Mähring, M. (2015) Understanding Employee Engagement in Un-Official Projects – A Conceptual Model Based On Psychological Empowerment and Constructive Deviance, Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2015), December, 13-16, Fort Worth, Texas, USA.
  • Buchwald, A. and Urbach, N. (2014) Implikationen von inoffiziellen Projekten für die IT-Governance, HMD – Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 51(3), 319-329.
  • Buchwald, A., Urbach, N. and Ahlemann, F. (2014) Understanding the Organizational Antecedents of Bottom-Up Un-Enacted Projects – Towards a Conceptual Model Based on Deviance Theory, Proceedings of the 22nd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2014), June 9-11, Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • Buchwald, A. and Urbach, N. (2012) Exploring the Role of Un-Enacted Projects in IT Project Portfolio Management, Proceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2012), December 16-19, Orlando, Florida, USA.

Team

  • Prof. Dr. Arne Buchwald (EBS Business School)
  • Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach (University of Bayreuth)
  • Prof. Magnus Mähring (Stockholm School of Economics)

Self-Tracking

Self-Tracking is a very trendy subject in the consumer sector and is currently enjoying increased media coverage. Due to the participation of big companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft, the subject of self-tracking left its former niche existence and is now reaching a wider audience. Therefore, a rapid market growth is expected for this market segment in the coming years.

The term self-tracking describes the measurement, storage and analysis of body and health data as well as data of everyday behavior by using specific devices. The main goal is the increase of the person’s own wellbeing by focusing on the analysis of a persons’ health and sporting activities. Further goals can also be to improve personal effectiveness and discipline. For example by recording income and expenditure, working hours and leasure time.

Due to this current hype, essential questions that come along with this subject drift into the background. Questions concerning user acceptance and long-term use of the devices and applications, their application scenarios and data protection remain largely unanswered.

It is therefore our aim to investigate the following main issues in more detail:

  1. Which specific factors promote/inhibit user acceptance of self-tracking devices and application?
  2. Which factors lead to cancelling the long-term use of self-tracking devices and applications?
  3. How can the use of collected data be expanded in future, beyond own analyses for example through the transfer to third parties?
  4. How can self-tracking be used in a business environment?
  5. What privacy issues arise with the collection of personal data?

In order to resolve these issues, mainly qualitative and quantitative empirical research methods are used. These include interviews with (potential) users of such devices as well as a survey on a great scale using questionnaires. With the results, the theoretical basis in the field of self-tracking maybe strengthened. On the other hand, specific recommendations for action, especially for manufacturers of self-tracking devices could be derived.

Publications

  • Pfeiffer, J., von Entress-Fürsteneck, M., Urbach, N. and Buchwald, A. (2016) Quantify-Me: Consumer Acceptance of Digital Self-Tracking Devices, Proceedings of the 24th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2016), June 12-15, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Buchwald, A., Letner, A., Urbach, N. and von Entress-Fürsteneck, M. (2015) Towards Explaining the Use of Self-Tracking Devices: Conceptual Development of a Continuance and Discontinuance Model, Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2015), December, 13-16, Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

Team

  • Prof. Dr. Arne Buchwald (EBS Business School)
  • Matthias von Entreß-Fürsteneck (University of Bayreuth)
  • Albert Letner (University of Bayreuth)
  • Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach (University of Bayreuth)

IT-Governance

During the last few years, the concept of IT governance has been increasingly spotlighted in the context of the organizational IT’s positioning. The term IT governance is used and proclaimed by various parties, even though the understanding significantly differs among the respective parties. Thereby, the goals, boundaries, and responsibilities associated with IT governance do not only vary among scholars, but also among practitioners.

As a result of the ambiguity related to the term IT governance we have conducted a qualitative study in order to investigate the understanding and the current state of IT governance, as it is lived in leading organizations across different industries, with the overall goal of understanding how companies can improve their performance through mature IT governance.

Among others, the research questions are:

  1. What is the current understanding and the status quo of IT governance by practitioners?
  2. In which ways do organizations develop IT governance over time and what are their experiences?
  3. What goals do organizations try to achieve with IT governance?
  4. What are the drivers and consequences of successful IT governance?
  5. How can IT governance help improve the performance of the organizational IT?

We rely on the case study approach to develop our preliminary theories. We chose a multiple-case setting to generate in-depth understanding of the phenomenon of interest and of its context for theory building. In terms of data analysis, we draw upon a grounded theory technique.

Publications

Buchwald, A., Urbach, N. and Ahlemann, F. (2014) Business Value through Controlled IT – Towards an Integrated Model of IT Governance Success and its Impact. Journal of Information Technology (JIT), 29, 2, 128-147.

Urbach, N., Buchwald, A. and Ahlemann, F. (2013) Understanding IT Governance Success and its Impact: Results from an Interview Study, Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2013), June 5-8, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Urbach, N., Buchwald, A. and Gschwendtner, M. (2013) IT-Governance als ganzheitliches Konzept zur Steuerung der Unternehmens-IT, Wirtschaftsinformatik & Management, 2013, 3, 94-102.

Team

  • Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach (University of Bayreuth)
  • Prof. Dr. Arne Buchwald (EBS Business School)
  • Prof. Dr. Frederik Ahlemann (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Contact
+49 611 7102 1387
+49 611 7102 10 1387
arne.buchwald@ebs.edu
Burgstraße 5
65375 Oestrich-Winkel