Prof. Dr. Jens Foerderer researches competition and innovation in digital markets, particularly by providing empirical evaluations. His research findings support decision-makers in firms and public policy. Of particular research interest are the following topics: digital platforms (business models, network effects, market power, regulation), privacy vs innovation, chances and risks of the digitalization (transformation, disinformation and fake news, data breaches, cyber security).
Jens Foerderer is one of the leading business researchers in Germany under the age of 40. His research has been published in the leading journals of the field, including multiple times in Management Science and Information Systems Research, as well as in the Journal of Operations Management. His research has received several awards, including the INFORMS Information Systems Research Best Paper of the Year Award. Several organizations support his work, including the German Research Foundation (DFG). He serves as reviewer for leading scientific journals of the field, and as reviewer for various organizations, including the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German-American Fulbright Commission. He is Associate Editor for Business and Information Systems Engineering (BISE), and frequently serves as expert for the media and public policy, including Handelsblatt, ZEIT and acatech.
Jens Foerderer studied Business and Information Systems at the University of Mannheim (B.Sc. 2011, M.Sc. 2013). Graduate studies at the Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences (GESS) as well as Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Mannheim and the software company SAP. Graduation with a Dr. rer. pol. (business) in 2017, University of Mannheim. Thereafter, Assistant Professor (no tenure track / Habilitand) at the University of Mannheim. Since 2019 Assistant Professor (tenure track) at the Technical University of Munich.
My team and I research competition and innovation in multi-sided platform markets. Examples of multi-sided platform markets are app stores, operating systems, the metaverse, search engines, social media platforms, and e-commerce marketplaces. Our research has contributed to understanding managerial challenges in starting and operating digital markets (e.g., monetization, participation, barriers, network effects) as well as the regulation of these markets (e.g., market power, tying).
For firms, profiting from digital technologies requires the exploitation of data, which can be—from a welfare perspective—in a conflict with individuals’ desire for privacy. In fact, data is the key input for artificial intelligence algorithms, machine learning applications, and targeted advertisement. My team and I have made considerable contributions to understanding this trade-off, for instance in terms of evaluating the impacts of banning data use for some purposes or algorithmic transparency regulations.
My team and I are conducting research to understand the chances and risks of the digitalization for firms, employees, and consumers. Our research has contributed to understanding the challenges faced by firms regarding the digital transformation, as well as strategies to overcome these challenges. Moreover, our work has helped understand challenges of cyber security and data breaches.
One of the main implications of the digitalization for firms are digital innovation platforms. At the core of digital platforms is a software-based infrastructure ("platform"), which is operated by one or several firms (“platform owner”). The platform owner allows third-party firms (“complementors”) to develop and commercialize products based on the platform. A well-known example is the iPh-one: Apple allows other firms to provide complementary products in the form of "apps". Apple benefits from a constant stream of new apps; app developers gain access to a large installed base of users. Today, many complementors, especially Startups build their business on digital platforms.
A significant business risk for complementors is platform owners’ entry into their market space. Platform firms such as Apple, Microsoft and SAP regularly enter markets complementary to their platforms with own complements. For example, in 2018 Apple surprisingly announced an app called ScreenTime, which gave users an overview of the time they spent on their iPhone. Several firms had been offering apps with similar functionality before and were now confronted with hav-ing to compete with Apple. For affected complementors, entries by the platform owner can be consequential, eventually leading to them going out of business.Extant research provides little insight into the risk of market entries by the platform owner. Previ-ous research predominantly studied the consequences of entries on complementors. However, these studies provide little insight into the factors that explain market entries. Understanding the systematics behind platform owners’ entries would help improve complementors’ decision-making regarding what market niches to join and what complements to offer.
The aim of the research project is to address this gap by studying the factors that explain market entries by the platform owner. The goal is to examine the relationship between the characteristics of individual ecosystem niches (e.g. the quality of the complements, the innovation performance) and the market entry by the platform owner. In order to achieve this goal, a quantitative-empirical study will be conducted in the context of the mobile app platforms Apple iOS and Google An-droid. The iOS and Android ecosystems will be divided into market niches in a systematic proce-dure. A comprehensive data set on market entries will be built up for the period 2008 to 2020.
This research project seeks to understand the challenges faced by Mittelstand firms in the Heilbronn-Franken region regarding the digital transformation, as well as their strategies to overcome them.
For this purpose, a survey was conducted among more than 500 firms of the region. The scientific analysis of the data provides unique insights into the status quo, and permits identifying recommendations for decision-makers in Mittelstand firms.
The primary questions of interest are:
Are you curious about the results? The survey results will be published in early 2023.
This industry project investigated the status quo of the digital maturity (Digitale Reife) of medium-sized and large firms in Germany and the United States. The project was conducted together with the Boston Consulting Group and relied on their so-called Digital Acceleration Index. In total, 1,876 executives were surveyed about the digital transformation of their firms.
The key findings of the project are as follows:
Teaching: I teach various courses at the intersection between management and technology as well as research methods. Please find my teaching offerings and the point of contacts in TUMonline.
Theses: If you are interested in bachelor’s and master’s theses projects, please find a list of current topics on the theses page. If you already have an idea for a topic, please contact Alexander Stolte.
Project studies: If you are interested in a project study, please contact Alexander Stolte.