Theory and Practice in Synergy – Cooperation between TD Trusted Decisions and the Institute of Information Systems – Information Engineering at JKU Linz
“How much theory can practice take, how much practice does theory need?” is the question that was and remains a lifelong theme for university professor Friedrich Roithmayr until his retirement in autumn 2015. The consistent examination of this topic created the fertile ground on which the cooperation of TD Trusted Decisions GmbH with the Institute for Business Informatics – Information Engineering of the Johannes Kepler University Linz began, continues to grow and flourish. Is theory and practice a cooperative construct that creates synergies and acts symbiotically, or rather a duality that is characterized by areas of tension?
Undoubtedly, it is a philosophical question, which does not allow a generalized answer. But – and this brings us closer to the motivation behind the cooperation – it is a question that calls for discourse. A discourse that has significantly shaped and guided the cooperation projects since the first strategy workshop of TD Trusted Decisions GmbH.
The goal of the cooperation was identified as answering the question of how IT in all its forms and in its strategic orientation can best support companies in their decision-making situations and their framework conditions. There are still many fields of development here, even and especially in larger companies, so that the subject area is highly relevant. A scientifically sound answer, however, also requires methodological stringency. Since the summer of 2015, the Institute has been working on several research projects, which in their entirety should contribute to gaining knowledge in this field. Explorative, qualitative studies create the basis for broader quantitative studies, concepts and prototypes are built and evaluated, and models are derived. Linz students of business informatics also consistently contribute to these research projects with their expertise, creativity, consistency and perseverance and their impartiality. They often open up new perspectives and differentiated views on processes and methods established in theory and practice. Against the background of the discourse mentioned in the introduction, two perspectives are consistently derived from the results: On the one hand, the perspective of practice, which opens up the possibility for the Institute to empirically question theories, models or methods developed and established in science, to evaluate them and, if necessary, to expand or adapt them. Activities which are substantial for the real-, formal- and engineering-scientific claim of business informatics. On the other hand, the view of science, which enables the practice to get to know the latest theories, models and methods, to analyse them, to apply them and to further develop them in interaction with customers in the operational application. Activities to which TD Trusted Decisions GmbH is strategically committed and which make a substantial contribution to excellence and unique position and for the customers. The findings of the viewpoints flow into a cyclical discussion process that forms the basis for new research projects.
The mutual commitment to a synergetic research process, the commitment of TD Trusted Decisions GmbH to the methodological development and the scientific foundation of the practice, as well as the commitment of the institute to the relevance of the scientific work and the publication of the results are the core of this official cooperation agreement, which is currently being developed between the new institute director, university professor Stefan Koch, and the management of TD Trusted Decisions GmbH.
David Rückel & Prof. Stefan Koch