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Aachen UCD IOS Workshop

The Shape of Inter-Organisational Information Systems. A four day international research workshop between RWTH Aachen Information Systems Research Area (Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen) and the Department of Management Information Systems, University College Dublin (UCD).


The purpose of this workshop is to explore the link between industry structure and Inter-organisational Information Systems (IOIS) in a specific national context. Students will have to describe the structure of an industry as well as the types of IOIS that exist in that industry and formulate hypotheses regarding the link between industry structure and IOIS types. Results of these studies may feed into a larger research project (working title: "The Shaping of Inter-organisational Information Systems") described in a separate paper (see link).

Two workshops have been arranged

IOIS Research Progress Workshop

Thursday 13th Jan 2005 in Room N303 at The Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business

(see for directions)

Research team workshop with UCD MBS cohort (Masters in Electronic Business & Masters in Information Systems)

Invited panel discussion

Friday 14th Jan 2005 in Room 233 at The Quinn School of Business

(see for directions)

Invited industry representatives & interviewees. Open discussion on the state of inter-organisational information systems.

The Shape of Inter-Organisational Information Systems.

The following industries have been selected for study in this workshop:

  • Semiconductor
  • Banking
  • Airline catering
  • Pharmaceutical distribution

The seminar comprises 14 students who have formed four teams (with four and three members respectively) with each team focusing on one of these industries. Students are supported by three faculties (one professor, two researcher fellows).

Each team will define the scope of their study in terms of the number of adjacent production/distribution stages. For example, the study on IOIS in airline catering might be defined as comprising airlines and catering firms. Alternatively, it might be defined comprising airlines and airports or airlines-airport-catering firms. Teams are still in the process of defining the scope of their study with a minimum number of two stages involved in each study.

Students are in the second half of their five year "Diplom" study program (currently the dominant degree program in Germany). They have received as part of this research series, an introduction into case research methodology.

Their main method of data collection will be desktop research but students are also encouraged to contact firms and other relevant organizations directly and arrange interviews for the planned stay in Ireland. Students will have prepared an initial draft report on their specific industry prior to the planned research trip.

The purpose of the planned research in Ireland is twofold.

  1. It provides an opportunity for conducting primary data collection via in-depth interviews with industry experts.
  2. It enables students to present their findings in front of an expert group and receive immediate and valuable feedback. As a side-effect, students will learn case study research methods in an hands-on approach.

Students and the supervisory team are committed to the following rules/guidelines:

  • Research work will result in industry reports prepared by each team. Exceptionally good reports will be considered for publication in a book format. Reports will be written in German; however, if a book is to be produced it might be produced in English.
  • Reports will be made publicly available. Information collected from interviewees will be anonymized if required (non-disclosure agreements will be signed if required).

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Programme web site