The 11 research themes of the 4 research units of the institute are outlined below:

I. Production, Logistics & Maintenance Management

  • We plan, control and improve production, logistics and maintenance processes along the entire value chain - from individual business units to complex supply chain systems.
  • We specialize in the use of knowledge-based systems, especially in maintenance management.
  • Current and future focuses are also on resource-efficient production design, quality management, corporate planning and organization and in particular on digital transformation in the areas of production and logistics, Industry 4.0 & Smart Factory, predictive & prescriptive maintenance, maintenance decision support and recommendation systems, maintenance insurance and maintenance knowledge management.

II. Advanced Industrial Engineering

  • We develop procedures, methods and models for future-oriented planning, design and control of work and production systems.
  • Our guiding principle is the hybrid combination of conventional and digitally supported methods, tools and software tools in the context of an integrated planning of socio-technical systems, from the application of software and system architecture in the field of work design (planning and control software, digital twins, ergonomics simulation) to participative planning of technical systems, change and ramp-up-management.

III. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Knowledge Management in Cyber-Physical Production Systems

  • We implement methods, technologies and tools from the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and knowledge management in cyber physical production systems.
  • We utilize knowledge-based technologies based on enriched data taken from industrial data repositories as well as Cognitive & Smart Production Systems, e.g. text mining (Association Measuring, Sentiment Analysis, etc.) & Natural Language Processing in industrial applications, Ontology Modeling and Engineering in industrial applications, Advanced Data Analytics and simulation based on production data.
  • The main focus of our activities is the combination of human and machine learning processes in the sense of collaborative problem solving and reciprocal learning between humans and machines as well as an integrated and flexible determination and development of the necessary experiences, skills and competences.

IV. New Ways of Working & Workspace Management

  • We investigate the effects of the temporally and spatially flexible work design which is made possible by current developments in information and communication technology. The use of these technologies can have a positive impact on job satisfaction, effectiveness and efficiency, for example through shorter travel times, a better work-life balance, etc.
  • On the other hand, these new working conditions can also have negative effects such as less personal contact, all-time availability, blurring of the boundaries between work and private life, which can lead to insufficient recovery times, stress symptoms and burnout. A concrete research project deals with the influence of the duration and type of smartphone use on health and productive factors.

V. Human-Robot Collaboration

  • We design and evaluate human-robot teams including their embedding in work systems and organization. Our work focuses on trust, safety (safety, security, privacy), economy, flexible division of labour, intuitive robot programming and learning, overconfidence and automation gaps as well as acceptance and change management.
  • Within the interdisciplinary doctoral program TrustRobots (4 out of 10 doctoral positions are assigned to the IMW) we investigate how humans can build up trust in robots on different levels (technical, social) and how the social abilities of robots can be improved, under which circumstances trust in the actions and decisions of autonomous machines is appropriate and when not.

VI. IT-based Management

  • Digitalisation opens up new possibilities for the design and development of management information systems:
    • Construction, calibration and validation of forecasting models (predictive analytics),
    • Model-driven development of ERP systems (Model Driven Development),
    • Development of the generic Smart Survey Technology platform and its availability for the measurement and monitoring of maturity levels in various application areas.

VII. Digital Assistance Systems

  • We design digital assistance systems in production and logistics from selection and design to implementation, use and multi-criteria evaluation. These are increasingly used to support cognitive and physical activities, especially in the varied individual and small series assembly.
  • The focus is on the industrial use of augmented reality systems, their context adaptability and individualizability as well as their usability and user experience, and the creation and updating of content for assistance systems. The design of learning assistance systems for the targeted development of competencies while avoiding monotony, learning cessation and disqualification is also an emerging research topic.

VIII. Financial Enterprise Management

  • In order to ensure the economic sustainability of companies, suitable information and management systems should be set up that comply with legal requirements, i.e.
    • Development of financial planning and control systems in IFRS financial management,
    • Analysis and design of Investment and Financing Decision Support Systems,
    • Design and development of a Domain Specific Language (DSL) for the model-driven implementation of ERP systems based on Resource Event Agent Ontology (OntoREA©)

IX. Enterprise Risk Management

  • New technologies entail new risks that need to be identified, measured and managed within the enterprise, i.e.
    • Construction, calibration and validation of risk models (Risk Model Management),
    • Measurement and monitoring of the maturity levels of Enterprise Risk Management implemented in enterprises

X. Gender in Science & Technology

  • Technologies, like organizations, are cultural artefacts and therefore inherently gendered. Despite great efforts to involve more women in engineering and technology, current developments at the European level show that the proportion of women in science and technology is stagnating or even declining.
  • Although there are clear findings on barriers and obstacles faced by women, organisations and technology-related professions are surprisingly resistant to measures for increasing the proportion of women. An in-depth analysis and disclosure of gendered organisational and technological development processes is an essential element for the development of reflexive and sustainable change processes. In our research, we develop strategies for sustainable change of gendered organizational structures with a focus on natural sciences and technology.

XI. Social & Societal Implications of Digitalization

  • New information and communication technologies and advances in artificial intelligence are changing not only work processes themselves, but also how work is organized and distributed in the future. While the project New Ways of Working focuses on new forms of work, our research will also focus on structural work organization.
  • In particular, new organizational principles such as the organization of work via networks (crowdworking, platform economy, etc.) will be critically examined and their effects on people and society will be investigated. The analysis of governance and accountability aspects in new forms of work organisation allows the development of targeted recommendations for politics and companies.
  • Digital Transformation & Change Management
  • Leadership & Digitalization
  • Ambidexterity and the Development of Novel (Digital) Capabilities
The House of Excellence is a graphic to visualize the assignment of the research topics of the Institute of Management Sciences to the cluster topics incumbent upon them. These are: "Automation and robotics", "Emerging digital technologies", "Leadership and learning", "Sustainable cyber-physical systems" and "Technology assessment. Eleven research topics can be assigned to the five cluster topics, although some are assigned more than once. For example, Production, Logistics & Maintenance Systems and Advanced Industrial Engineering can be assigned to all cluster topics. While Human-Robot Collaboration can only be assigned to the category Automation and robotics, the following three topics "Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Management in CP Production Systems", "New ways of Working & Work Space Management" and "Digital Assistance Systems" all fall into the two topics "Emerging digital technologies" and "Leadership and learning". "IT-based Management, on the other hand, can only be assigned to the former. "Financial Enterprise Management" falls under Leadership and Learning and Sustainable cyber-physical systems, "Enterprise Risk Management" falls under the latter and under Technology assesment, which is our last category. Gender in Science & Technology" and "Social and societal implications of digitization.