[MA/PA] Designing a tool for Innovation Ecosystem Visualisation


The concept of innovation ecosystems (IE) is used by scholars to describe highly interdependent business constellations (e.g. Iansiti and Levien, 2004;  Adner, 2016; Jacobides, Cennamo and Gawer, 2018). Actors in such IE are linked to each other and have often unique relations (Adner and Kapoor, 2010). Current research is developing an understanding of IE as a structure and tries to model these systems based on roles and activities (Adner, 2016; Basole, 2009). These models allow researchers to analyse constructs and concepts like value (co-)creation, inter dependencies and others. For managers it yields the possibility to organise multi-actor innovation and to develop strategies in these constellations.


The task for this offering is to design an prototype IT artifact (software tool) that visualises such IE based on existing frameworks (e.g. Adner, 2016; Basole, 2009) that describe these systems.


For the purpose of developing this artifact a Design Science Research (DSR) (Hevner et al., 2004) approach is chosen that provides a structured process for designing such artifacts.

Your Contribution and Gains

Through this thesis you are directly contributing to frontier research in the field of innovation ecosystems (Jacobides, Cennamo and Gawer, 2018). You will learn about this emergent theory and about design science and the methods in this Field.



If you are interested, please contact me at julius.kirschbaum@fau.de and we can have a chat about the topic and the thesis process.



Adner, R. (2016) ‘Ecosystem as Structure: An Actionable Construct for Strategy’, Journal of Management, 43(1), pp. 39–58. doi: 10.1177/0149206316678451.

Adner, R. and Kapoor, R. (2010) ‘Value creation in innovation ecosystems: how the structure of technological interdependence affects firm performance in new technology generations’, Strategic Management Journal, 31(3), pp. 306–333. doi: 10.1002/smj.821.

Basole, R. C. (2009) ‘Visualization of Interfirm Relations in a Converging Mobile Ecosystem’, Journal of Information Technology, 24(2), pp. 144–159. doi: 10.1057/jit.2008.34.

Hevner, A. R. et al. (2004) ‘Design science in information systems research’, MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, 28(1), pp. 75–105. doi: 10.2307/25148625.

Iansiti, M. and Levien, R. (2004) The Keystone Advantage: What the New Dynamics of Business Ecosystems Mean for Strategy, Innovation, and Sustainability. 1st edn. Harvard Business Press. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/erlangen/reader.action?docID=5560206.

Jacobides, M. G., Cennamo, C. and Gawer, A. (2018) ‘Towards a theory of ecosystems’, Strategic Management Journal, 39(8), pp. 2255–2276. doi: 10.1002/smj.2904.