Research projects

At the Chair of Media Management, there are continuously various research projects. The focus of current research is based on the Big Data phenomenon at the moment:

Everybody is currently talking about Big Data as a catchword that creates an almost euphoric mood when it comes to the generation and analysis of information – not least for any economic interest. Nevertheless, despite many opportunities and promises associated with such phenomenon, this topic involves many fears and even risks at the same time.

In this context, one aspect is e.g. the lack of transparency of the data use from the consumers´ point of view. Any data once collected can e.g. be used for various purposes and combined with any further data. Moreover, algorithms on the basis of which analyses are made are "[…] not only instrumentally to be understood as problem-solving procedures, but even as a source of any new problems from the socio-philosophical point of view" (Simanowski 2014). In this regard, it should be noted that at first the logic of algorithms is fundamentally based on statistical assumptions and not on causal explanations (Simanowski 2014). In particular, it is this aspect that puts the significance of Big-Data-Analyses and any resulting consequences thereof up for discussion, as they do not provide any information with regard to the cause-effect chains and finally there is the risk of establishing any correlations and misusing them as explanations (Mayer-Schönberger 2013).

Based on the conflicting fields mentioned, there are currently two main attitudes with regard to the public discussion about Big Data: Adversaries and advocates whose positions seem to be incompatible. Therefore, the subject matter of current research at the chair is to look at actors´ arguments and logics from different perspectives, to analyze the latter (among others, in the context of ethical consideration) and to finally negotiate a way to reach a consensus when dealing with Big Data.