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Seminar on Digital Transformation and Value Creation


This seminar is a joint effort of the Digital Transformation Research Initiative. It will be supervised by and by Prof. Dr. Jörn Grahl (Digital Transformation and Analytics, grahl@wiso.uni-koeln.de). Although each individual research project will be supervised by one professor, all sessions will be held jointly and all grading criteria and formal aspects are the same.

In this seminar you will gain a deeper understanding of topics connected to the ongoing “Digital Transformation” of business and society. We have chosen a set of question that we consider to be central aspects of Digital Transformation. The general objective of the seminar is to produce a report and a presentation that combine rigor and relevance on one of the topics described below. To do so, you will first review the literature, concentrating on what is being published in international journals and on leading conferences. In some cases, you will be expected to use broader sources such as consulting reports, managerial articles or blog posts. This is a very new area and it could be the case that the cutting edge of a particular topic has not yet reached the academic journals. Depending on the research question and your own qualification and methodological skills, you may then proceed to gather data, examine existing datasets, interview consumers or managers, or write code.

You are expected to write a short rigorous paper (“Seminararbeit”) and to give an oral presentation about your findings. Before enrolling in this seminar, please make sure you fulfill all requirements, and make sure that you can visit the kick-off meetings and the final presentations (see below). There will be no joint meetings for everybody during the semester. Although we expect you to work on your own, we encourage you to meet with your supervisor regularly in order to make sure that the direction of your work is fruitful. We expect you to submit the paper in English, but German can be an option. Presentations will be in English.

It is required that you visit the kick-off meeting and the presentations. Most of the topics in this seminar are either empirical or computational. If you choose a quantitative or computational topic, we expect you to know how regression, hypothesis testing, significance levels, p-values, or programming works. The seminar will not serve as a first introduction into statistics/econometrics or programming. If you choose a qualitative topic (e.g., using interviews, or case studies) we expect you to pursue a rigorous and methodical approach.
The final grade will be a weighted average of grades for the paper (70%) and the oral presentation (30%).


Registration and kick-off

You register by writing an E-Mail to Matthias Sambale.
Please name three (3) preferred topics form our LIST OF TOPICS. Pick any three.
The kick-off meeting will take place April 20th in Seminarraum 1.31 (building 810) at 10h



List of Topics