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All seminars will take place in the Gremienraum, Pohligstraße 1, 50969 Cologne, starting at 11.30 unless noted otherwise.

Talks are organized as brown bag seminars, so please join us for catered sandwich lunch and cold beverages. Everybody interested is welcome to attend the sessions! If you have questions, please send an email to werder(at)

Currently planned seminar talks (speakers and order may change on short notice):


Research Seminar Series Winter 2019/20
Date Speaker Room Title & Abstract
09/23/2019 Anastasiya Henk

Anastasiya Henk

(Nord University)


Between the devil and the deep blue sea: adapting business models in turbulent environments

In order to survive and succeed, organizations have to adopt to the requirements of their environments. The importance of studying the impact of the environmental changes can be explained by the number of factors. Decision-making and strategic planning become uncertain and uncontrollable as well as long-term forecasting becomes meaningless and questionable (Berry, 1998) due to the changes in market and technologies. Raising amount of new products and services leads to the shortening of product/service lifecycles (Dayan and Di Benedetto, 2011, Huang et al., 2013), decrease of customer brand loyalty (Chung and Low, 2017), rapid depreciation of technology and market knowledge (Dayan and Elbanna, 2011, Dayan and Di Benedetto, 2011, Shoham et al., 2017). Progressing globalization (Pandit et al., 2018)accompanied with the expansion of geographical boundaries (Nielsen and Thangadurai, 2007, Corbett, 2008) and relocation of mass production to developing countries for efficiency reasons (Mellor et al., 2014) result in increased complexity of interrelations within the supply chains (Nielsen and Thangadurai, 2007, Trkman and McCormack, 2009) and need to adopt to the new institutional fields (Volberda et al., 2001, Pandit et al., 2018). However, besides all the aforementioned challenges, turbulent environments provide wide range of opportunities for innovating (Panayotopoulou et al., 2003, Trkman and McCormack, 2009), long-term development (Berry, 1998), and opening up of new markets, customers, and products and services (Brennan and Dooley, 2005).

10/07/2019 Christian Schlereth

Christian Schlereth

(WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management)

Seminarraum 4.02 (Pohlighaus, 4th floor)

The relevance of customer win-back for digital firms: A novel framework and analytical perspective on reacquired customers

Subscriptions represent the monetization strategy of choice for many digital services. Research on mature industries highlights the profitability of subscription win-back efforts, yet no study specifies the impact of reacquired customers relative to first-lifetime customers in the interplay of acquisition and retention strategies adopted by digital firms. Such considerations are critical for assessing current win-back strategies and forecasting acquisition and retention success though. A proposed win-back assessment framework, in accordance with a novel analytical perspective, offers insights along these lines, by comparing the value of reacquired customers against that of customers in their first lifetime, from the same cohort, to determine the relevance of win-back activities. When applied to a digital subscription service, the results of a field experiment reveal an apparent contradiction, such that reacquired customers live on average 171% longer than in their previous lifetime, but 33% shorter than first-lifetime customers from the same cohort. The authors explain the factors underlying this observation and its implications.

10/21/2019 Markus Weinmann

Markus Weinmann

(Rotterdam School of Management)

Seminarraum 3.02 (Pohlighaus, 3rd floor)

13:00-14:30 Uhr

The Attraction Effect in Reward-Based Crowdfunding

Researchers have identified various factors that influence crowdfunding success but have not studied the design of rewards in sufficient depth. This paper presents the results of a series of experiments that tests the attraction effect in reward-based crowdfunding. We find that even small changes to reward menus—by manipulating the choice set—can significantly influence backers’ decisions by directing them to more attractive rewards. The design of crowdfunding platforms, therefore, makes it possible to increase the success probability of crowdfunding projects. The results have implications for the design of crowdfunding platforms.

10/28/2019 Hannes Rothe

Hannes Rothe

(Free University of Berlin)

Gremienraum (Pohlighaus, Ground floor)

Manage scaling in artificial intelligence ventures

Digital innovations enable new ventures to rapidly scale their business. Information systems research has largely explained scaling on the basis of network effects on user bases in platform markets. It cannot sufficiently explain scaling in digital ventures that integrate artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms into the core of their offerings. While these ventures attract similar funding and grow at analogous paces as (digital) platforms, we find many examples not relying on network effects of growing user bases within singular contexts. Instead, AI ventures in early stages apply their offerings to diverse contexts, relying on expanding training data more than on users. AI algorithms, however, are trained in specific contexts and can hardly act on events they have not been designed for. This so-called ‘framing problem’ leads to a conundrum as it might inhibit swift innovation from data-driven operations in new ventures that pursue rapid scaling. We introduce an exploratory, qualitative study of fifteen cases across Europe to reveal how AI ventures change the mechanism of scaling from user base to lateral scaling. By introducing the mechanisms of AI thresholding and AI locking, we do not only explain how ventures manage the ‘framing problem’, but also contribute to research on scaling as we outline how direct and indirect network effects substitute each other for AI ventures.

11/11/2019 Andreas Eckhardt

Andreas Eckhardt

(German Graduate School of Management and Law)

Gremienraum (Pohlighaus, Ground floor)

Eyes Wide Open: The Role of Situational Information Security Awareness for Cognitive Appraisals and Security-Related Behavior

Phishing emails continue to make their way to users’ inboxes at organizations, putting users under the constant threat of data or identity theft. In finding ways to motivate users to protect themselves and their organization from such threats, information security researchers have made notable contributions on how individuals’ threat and coping appraisal processes shape adaptive responses. What is largely lacking, however, is an understanding of what influences these appraisal processes in a security-related situation, particularly which information cues are salient for users in terms of developing awareness of the situation in order to identify an email as threat. To observe this link, we derive and define situational information security awareness based on situation awareness literature and examine its impact on threat and coping appraisals in a multi-method phishing experiment including eye tracking and survey components with 107 employees. The results underscore the importance of situational information security awareness and show that past experience with phishing and a security warning positively impact awareness, which in turn increases perceived threat and perceived coping efficacy and, ultimately, actual behavioral responses to phishing attacks

11/25/2019 Vanessa Cooper

Vanessa Cooper

(RMIT University)

Gremienraum (Pohlighaus, Ground floor)

An iron hand in a velvet glove: The embodiment of the platform logic in the emergency sector

Despite increasing attention on organizations’ response to digital platforms, Information Systems research has largely overlooked the influence of platforms on the public sector. This presentation will draw on the concept of institutional logics to examine the transformative impact of platforms on the emergency sector. A qualitative theory generating case study of the emergency sector is reported comprising of interviews with 29 organizations—including emergency response organizations, government agencies, NGOs and community and volunteer groups. The findings reveal the interplay between the prevailing ‘command and control’ and ‘community’ logics and the new ‘platform’ logic and how the tensions and synergies between them are shaping the transformation of the information landscape in the sector. The presentation will discuss how organizations embody and reject aspects of the platform logic, and at the same time show how platform-based actors both follow the prevailing logics as well as promote the platform logic.

12/12/2019 Alan Hevner

Alan Hevner

(University of South Florida)

Gremienraum (Pohlighaus, Ground floor)

Daring to Do Good Design Science Research

Doing good design science research (DSR) is an audacious venture. It is not a journey for those who value conclusive and repeatable research results. DSR projects aspire to create innovative digital artifacts that solve real-world problems in bounded application domains by providing improvements to conditions of the impacted individuals, groups, and societies. Research results include both the designed artifacts and evidence of their impacts along with a fuller scientific understanding via design theories of why the artifacts provide enhancements (or, disruptions) to the relevant application contexts. However, even the most useful results are often eclipsed by rapid changes in the problem and solution spaces. This presentation will survey key challenges of doing good DSR. The challenges of complexity, creativity, control, contribution, and sustainability will be described, examined, and illustrated with recent research results. While formidable challenges exist, doing good DSR is fun and satisfying. You change the world!

01/20/2020 Alexander Herwix

Alexander Herwix

(University of Cologne)

Gremienraum (Pohlighaus, Ground floor)

Learning from effective altruism: Towards a design science research value chain framework

Design Science Research (DSR) is becoming an increasingly recognized research paradigm for relevant research in times of grand societal challenges. However, so far extant research on DSR has mainly focused on the procedural aspects of how to conduct and publish DSR and neglected the discussion and investigation of the ethical dimension that is inherent to all research with a focus on improving the world. Myers and Venable (2014) took a first step towards investigating the role of ethics in DSR and proposed a tentative set of ethical principles that aim to make sure that researchers do not create unintended harm. We extend this stream of research and present the DSR Value Chain framework, which conceptualizes how ethics is fundamentally related to relevant DSR. Most importantly, the framework can act as an actionable guideline for how to maximize the positive consequences of DSR projects. Moreover, the framework can also be used to articulate and position the relevance of research projects more precisely.

01/22/2020 Kenan Degirmenci

Kenan Degirmenci

(Queensland University of Technology)

Gremienraum (Pohlighaus, Ground floor)


Nudging Sustainable Work Practices through Sensemaking in Information Systems: A Field Experiment

Organizations look for support from information systems in their quest to establish environmentally more sustainable work practices. In 2013, Seidel et al. identified two types of sensemaking affordances vested in information systems that support pro-environmental behaviors in organizations: reflective disclosure, the ability to refocus a prior understanding, and information democratization, the ability to empower individuals in a more equitable information environment. Since then, IS researchers have looked to design information systems that provide sensemaking support. However, the valence and magnitude of environmental sensemaking affordances vested in information systems is not yet understood; we do not know whether sensemaking support systems are actually effective to instill pro-environmental behavior. We take up where our colleagues left off and empirically analyze the relationships between reflective disclosure and information democratization on pro-environmental work practices through a field experiment within a case organization operating in the knowledge sector in a major global city.

01/27/2020 Anders Hjalmarsson Jordanius

Anders Hjalmarsson Jordanius

(Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) & University of Borås Gustaf Juell Skielse Stockholm University)

Gustaf Juell Skielse

Gustaf Juell Skielse

(Stockholm University)

Seminarraum 4.02 (Pohlighaus, 4th floor)

Digital Innovation and Incubators – Experiences from the Automotive Industry

The focus for our seminar is our paper Digital Innovation and Incubators presented at HICSS 2019. The aim was to distinguish how different types of incubators support digital innovation and how this understanding can improve how corporate incubators (within the automotive industry) can organize themselves so that the interface between startups and incumbent firms can be facilitated/catalysted/accelerated when they aim to partner pursuing digital innovation together. We are currently writing a journal version of the paper. We will in the seminar present the study and also discuss how this currently is used as a base for theory development.

Link to the paper