Digital Transformation: Strategies and Sustainability

Digital Transformation: Strategies and Sustainability

 Responsible for module: Prof. Dr. Joern Hoppmann
 Additional lecturer: Swantje Freund, Dr. Josua Oll
 Teaching format: Lectures and seminars
 Assessment: Portfolio (presentations and seminar thesis)
 ECTS credits: 6 (= 4 hours per semester week)
 Frequency: annually in the summer semester

The module is offered in the following degree programs:

  • Master Sustainability Economics and Management ("accent" module 3 in the 2nd semester)
  • Master Business Administration, Economics, and Law
  • can be selected as elective in other degree programs

Concept and content

The module "Digital Transformation: Strategies and Sustainability" provides insights into the role of digitalization for companies and the associated social discourse. The digital transformation leads to the emergence of new business models, markets and forms of interaction. This requires comprehensive changes in strategic orientation as well as in business processes and structures. In addition, new regulations and standards are required at the societal level in order to meet the ethical, ecological, and societal challenges posed by digitization.

In the first part of the seminar, students are familiarized with the basics and application areas of digitalization as well as the economic, social, and ecological implications. Toward this end, important questions in the context of digital transformation will be raised and discussed drawing on company case studies. Exemplary questions that will be dealt with in this context are

  • What are the technological drivers of digitalization and what trends can be observed?
  • What is the impact of digital transformation on industries and companies?
  • How can companies design strategies, business models, processes and structures to address the digital transformation?
  • What are the consequences of digitalization on a societal and legal level?
  • How does the digital transformation affect the natural environment?
  • How can social, ethical, and ecological aspects be integrated into digital products, services and business models?

In the second part of the course, students will develop digital business models in teams under the guidance of experienced coaches, taking into account economic, ecological and social/ethical criteria. The results are presented to the other students and company representatives and will be summarized in a term paper. An important part of the term paper is the critical reflection of current methods used to develop digital business models with regard to sustainability criteria.


The students should:

  • know basic definitions, trends and application areas of digitalization
  • be able to assess the economic effects of digitalization
  • understand corporate strategies and business models in the context of digital transformation
  • know how companies should design processes and structures to promote digitalization in organizations
  • have an overview of social, legal and ethical aspects of digitalization
  • assess the environmental impact of digitalization
  • evaluate digital products, services and business models using ethical and sustainable guidelines
  • independently develop proposals for the integration of ethical, social and ecological criteria in digitalization projects and processes

Literature (optional)

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy – and How to Make Them Work for You | Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary | ISBN: 9780393249132

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future | Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson | ISBN-13: 978-0393254297

(Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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