If you are interested in completing a doctoral study program and writing a doctoral thesis with us, this page gives you a few pointers and general guidelines about such an endeavor. Please consider these materials carefully, then reach out to us via email(jan.christof.recker"AT"uni-hamburg.de) to discuss possibilities and next steps.
Understanding the journey and requirements
It is important to understand what it means to write a doctoral thesis. The following books might be useful for you to understand what it takes, what it means to do scientific research, and what is expected from a doctoral dissertation.
- Recker, J. (2021). Scientific Research in Information Systems: A Beginner's Guide (2nd ed.). Springer.
- Evans, D., Zobel, J., & Gruba, P. (2011). How To Write A Better Thesis (3rd ed.). Melbourne University Press.
- Avison, D. E., & Pries-Heje, J. (2005). Research in Information Systems: A Handbook for Research Supervisors and Their Students Butterworth-Heinemann.
- Bhattacherjee, A. (2012). Social Science Research: Principles, Methods and Practices (2nd ed.). Global Text Project.
Also understand that the University and faculty have requirements toward PhD students, such as admission requirements and coursework expectations. You can find this information in the faculty of business administration here.
Understanding your own financial, work, and life situation
An important aspect of writing a doctoral thesis over the course of several years is to make sure that your own life situation supports such an endeavor and that support is available for the entirety of this undertaking.
One important part of this is to ensure financial security during your doctoral studies. Different ways are possible to ensure financial support:
- You can be hired as a research assistant in our team. A limited number of research assistant positions are available. In this model, you will be hired by the university and employed in our team and you can in parallel enroll as a doctoral student. The advantage is that these positions provide a secure stream of income for the duration of the doctoral program. A disadvantage might be limited number of positions are available and that these positions come with teaching load and other job duties.
- You can be hired as a member of a funded project. Occasionally, we secure third-party funding (e.g., from the government) to complete research on a particular topic. Such funding typically included funds for PhD student positions. One advantage is that you have typically a clearly defined research topic and no teaching duties. One disadvantage can be that you do not have full freedom in selecting your thesis topic and that funding is typically tied to the duration of the research project, not necessarily the duration of your dissertation.
- You can obtain a scholarship. Stipends are available from a range of organizations and institutions, which you can identify through web search. Securing a stipend has the advantage of secure income and typically (not always) freedom in choosing your research topic. A disadvantage might be that the amount of income can be relatively low.
- You can enroll as what is called an “external doctoral student” and complete your dissertation while being employed elsewhere. Advantages include being close to industry practice, which can be important as a source of data or ideas, and possibly higher and sustained levels of income. A key disadvantage is often the amount of time available to pursue your dissertation in light of other work and life commitments and the typical lack of proximity to the academic environment (e.g., for courses, seminars, interactions, and so forth).
Finding a topic
Before reaching out to contact us about a possible dissertation project, it will be important to identify and learn about topic areas that interest you sufficiently to spend the next years working on them. People are interested in many different topics, and it is important to find an area that interests you as well as us, and where we have expertise so that we can guide and teach you on your journey.
For orientation, below are a few exemplary papers that relate to what our main topic areas of interest are and which may give you some inspiration for the latest research in these areas and the type of research we are generally happy to support.
- Werder, K., Seidel, S., Recker, J., Berente, N., Kundert-Gibbs, J., Abboud, N., Benzeghadi, Y. (2020): Data-Driven, Data-Informed, Data-Augmented: How Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Live Unit Uses Data for Continuous Product Innovation. California Management Review, Vol. 62, No. 3, pp. 86-201.
- Yoo, Y., Henfridsson, O., & Lyytinen, K. (2010). The New Organizing Logic of Digital Innovation: An Agenda for Information Systems Research. Information Systems Research, 21(4), 724-735.
- Yoo, Y. (2010). Computing in Everyday Life: A Call for Research on Experiential Computing. MIS Quarterly, 34(2), 213-231.
- Mendling, J., Pentland, B., Recker, J. (2020): Building a Complementary Agenda for Business Process Management and Digital Innovation. European Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 208-219.
- Berente, N., Gu, B., Recker, J., & Santhanam, R. (2021). Managing Artificial Intelligence. MIS Quarterly, 45(3), 1433-1450.
- Recker, J., Lukyanenko, R., Jabbari Sabegh, M., Samuel, B., Castellanos, A. (2021): From Representation to Mediation: A New Agenda for Conceptual Modeling Research in a Digital World. MIS Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 269-300.
- Pentland, B. T., Yoo, Y., Recker, J., & Kim, I. (2022). From Lock-in to Transformation: A Path-Centric Theory of Emerging Technology and Organizing. Organization Science, 33(1), 194-211.
- Hovestadt, C., Recker, J., Richter, J., & Werder, K. (Eds.). (2021). Digital Responses to Covid-19: Digital Innovation, Transformation, and Entrepreneurship During Pandemic Outbreaks. Springer.
- Baiyere, A., Salmela, H., & Tapanainen, T. (2020). Digital Transformation and the New Logics of Business Process Management. European Journal of Information Systems, 29(3), 238-259.
- Wessel, L., Baiyere, A., Ologeanu-Taddei, R., Cha, J., & Blegind-Jensen, T. (2021). Unpacking the Difference between Digital Transformation and IT-enabled Organizational Transformation. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 22(1), 102-129.
- Sebastian, I. M., Ross, J. W., Beath, C. M., Mocker, M., Moloney, K. G., & Fonstad, N. O. (2017). How Big Old Companies Navigate Digital Transformation. MIS Quarterly Executive, 16(3), 197-213.
- von Briel, F., Recker, J., Davidsson, P. (2018): Not all digital venture ideas are created equal: Implications for venture creation processes. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Vo. 27, No. 4, pp. 278-295.
- von Briel, F., Davidsson, P., Recker, J. (2018): Digital Technologies as External Enablers of New Venture Creation in the IT Hardware Sector. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 47-69.
- von Briel, F., Selander, L., Hukal, P., Jarvenpaa, S. L., Yoo, Y., Lehmann, J., Chan, Y. E., Rothe, H., Alpar, P., Fuerstenau, D., & Wurm, B. (2021). Researching Digital Entrepreneurship: Current Issues and Suggestions for Future Directions. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 48(33), 284-304.
- Davidsson, P., Recker, J., & von Briel, F. (2021). COVID-19 as External Enabler of Entrepreneurship Practice and Research. Business Research Quarterly, 24(3), 214-223.
- Lehmann, J., & Recker, J. (2022). Offerings That are “Ever-in-the-Making”: How Digital Ventures Continuously Develop Their Products After Launch. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 64(1), 69-89.
- Lehmann, J., Recker, J., Yoo, Y., & Rosenkranz, C. (2022). Designing Digital Market Offerings: How Digital Ventures Navigate the Tension Between Generative Digital Technology and the Existing Environment. MIS Quarterly, 46(3), https://doi.org/10.25300/MISQ/2022/16026.
Digital solutions for sustainable development:
- Borchard, R., Zeiss, R., & Recker, J. (2022). Digitalization of Waste Management: Insights from German Private and Public Waste Management Firms Waste Management & Research, 40(6), 775–792.
- Zeiss, R., Ixmeier, A., Recker, J., Kranz, J. (2021): Mobilizing IS Scholarship for a Circular Economy: Review, Synthesis, and Directions for Future Research. Information Systems Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 148-183.
- Seidel, S., Recker, J., vom Brocke, J. (2013): Sensemaking and Sustainable Practicing: Functional Affordances of Information Systems in Green Transformations. MIS Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 1275-1299.
- Loeser, F., Recker, J., vom Brocke, J., Molla, A., & Zarnekow, R. (2017). How IT Executives Create Organizational Benefits by Translating Environmental Strategies into Green IS Initiatives. Information Systems Journal, 27(4), 503-553.