Projects The Chair for Communications Management researches management issues from a communication perspective. At present, the following projects are already under progress. Reengineering Meetings In the “Reengineering Meetings” research project we examine the potential of incremental and radical reinventions to improve communication and collaboration in meetings to create more engagement and effectiveness in meetings. Dynagrams In the Dynagrams research project we examine the potential of dynamic, interactive, diagrams to improve managerial sense making, planning, and decision making, particularly in strategic planning contexts. Creability With the Creability project we aim to identify, evaluate, and deploy the current best practices in group creativity tools and help organizations use them effectively for their diverse teams and innovation efforts. In the project we will give special emphasis to a new generation of (analytical) creativity techniques that rely on visual support and take real-life innovation constraints into account. Application contexts for these tools are strategizing, product, service or business model innovation, project management, and business development. Understanding the Impact of Interactive Visual Representations on Group Communication - An Assessment in the Experience Sharing Context (Swiss National Science Foundation project) Visual communication tools, such as diagramming or mapping software, have become more widely used in group communication in the last years, empowering interpersonal communication through new means of interaction. Initial research has shown that graphic representations can improve communication in organizations. Yet it is still not clear which characteristics make visual representations a valuable communication tool. The aim of this project is to open the black box of interactive visualizations by testing the effects of one specific and highly relevant dimension, namely a visualization’s “restrictiveness”, conceived as the interaction constraints imposed by a graphic template for joint mediated actions. To investigate this dimension, we focus on the communication task of experience sharing in small groups, as this is a crucial and challenging task for many professional contexts (ranging from project management, to intercultural cooperation, to general team work). Knowledge Management in the Area of Natural Hazards and Risk Management in Switzerland (interdisciplinary SNSF project) This transdisciplinary project is concerned with the issue of how the exchange of knowledge operates between research and practice and how it can be optimized. This is investigated taking the example of the institutionalized natural hazard management system in Switzerland. In addition, a significant proportion of the empirical work is being carried out this year. In the interviews with experts it was mainly visualization methods that were used, such as timetables for formulating decision-making processes, assessment grids for evaluating an online tool for risk minimisation, and actor maps to record the constellation of actors. Nonprofit Organizations Driven by their mission, nonprofit organizations (NPOs) contribute day by day to a better world – by providing humanitarian aid, protecting endangered species, or caring for patients. However, the third sector has faced deep and drastic changes over the last years: as nonprofit organizations are in constant competition for funds, staff, influence, and public attention, they experience a growing pressure to operate effectively. But how do NPOs cope with this pressure, which strategies do they develop and how do they implement their plans? And above all: how do they communicate with their stakeholders in these processes? How do nonprofit organizations manage their communications to ensure their stakeholders’ trust and their support (e.g., through visual communication and social media)? These questions lie at the heart of our research. Communicating Analytics Project description In this 3 year applied research project (2018 - 2021) we explore: the main challenges when communicating analytics results best practices to convey analytics insights in management contexts approaches to data storytelling and interactive data visualization tools for analytics-centered discussions, such as our data storytelling canvas. In terms of research methods, we use focus groups, surveys, and experiments to understand and improve the collaboration between data scientists and managers. VisualQuantQual Bridging the research-practice gap through information visualization – a mixed methods approach to involve research subjects in data interpretation As part of this SNF project, we have developed and applied a mixed methods approach for involving research participants in the process of data interpretation through visual means. In this approach, quantitative methods of data collection (e.g., surveys, card sorting) and data analysis (e.g., cluster analysis) are followed up by (focus) group conversations in which research participants are shown real-time visualizations representing the aggregated results of the quantitative research phase. These visualizations (interactive «bar charts», «dendrograms» etc.) are used as stimuli for the critical interpretation of the pre-collected quantitative data. The information visualizations enable research participants to jointly produce interpretations that extend or challenge the quantitative results. De-biasing Strategy Workshops In this research project we empirically identify and examine crucial strategizing biases through experiments with real-life managers and devise and test effective counter-measures. Thus far we have conducted experiments on the illusion of explanatory depth of managers regarding the impact of key digital technologies on their business models and we have developed an interactive Biases Classification that helps managers learn about their own strategizing biases. Find our latest research here.