[MA] Smart service systems in manufacturing firms – Evaluate the role of digital technologies

General Topic Smart service systems in manufacturing firms – Evaluate the role of digital technologies
Research Environment In the context of digitalization and Industry 4.0, smart service systems are emerging value propositions and create multiple benefits. Due to the increasing use of digital technologies, the proportion of digital components is rising alongside the tangible product component and intangible service component. Nevertheless, there is different understanding of what value the digital asset of smart service systems creates. For this reason, the value propositions of digital technologies within smart service systems need to be better explored so that manufacturing firms can develop and offer smart service systems in a more targeted manner.
Goal For manufacturing firms to successfully develop and offer smart service systems, the role of digital technologies and their value contribution in smart service systems must be sharpened. The aim of this thesis is to describe the role of digital technologies and to cluster their value contribution in order to build a better understanding of smart service systems.
Requirenments This thesis is in the field of IS and requires understanding of the empirical field of the manufacturing industry, motivation to apply solid scientific methods, and interest in academic research. The thesis should be written in English.
Approach This thesis pursues a case study research or systematic literature review.
References – Beverungen, Müller, Matzner, Mendling, & vom Brocke (2019). Conceptualizing smart service systems. Electronic Markets, 29(1), 7–18.
– Lim, & Maglio (2019). Clarifying the Concept of Smart Service System. In Maglio, Kieliszewski, Spohrer, Lyons, Patrício, & Sawatani (Eds.), Service Science: Research and Innovations in the Service Economy. Handbook of Service Science, Volume II (pp. 349–376). Cham: Springer International Publishing.


  1. Apply for this thesis by sending an e-mail with a short motivational text and current transcript to julian.kurtz@fau.de
  2. Initial meeting to discuss the topic and get to know each other
  3. Drafting an exposé
    1. Refine the problem statement
    2. Demonstrate the relevance
    3. Find your research question
    4. Build your research design
  4. Feedback meetings with supervisor during development
  5. Hand-in your thesis