About the Course

Challenges and Opportunities of Datafication: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Information communication technologies (ICTs) and big data have given rise to a fundamental digital transformation across public and private sectors, a process referred to as datafication. This course offers students the advanced theoretical and analytical skills needed to articulate, develop and understand the social implications of these digital transformations, their challenges and opportunities.

To provide conceptual and analytical frameworks that can help students develop, manage and reflect on data-driven strategies in organizations, this course will identify key economic, social, legal and ethical issues at the intersection of technology, business and society.

Because of the complexity of the phenomenon of datafication, the course mobilizes cross-disciplinary insights to facilitate a range of analyses and management positions across private, public and non-profit organizations. Hence, the course brings together different perspectives, research methods, and practices from business studies, sociology, law, communication and data science.

Lectures are pre-recorded and will be made available to all participating students and instructors on the webpage www.dataandorganizations.org. Each lecture introduces a topic and raises basic questions. Lectures consist of overview material about concepts as well as the discussion of case studies.

Students will be taught these key focus areas and understand how they are related to big data in public and private organizations. The course will include real-world cases, which will enable the students to contextualize and situate relevant case-based examples within existing scientific debates concerning data and society.

Learning Goals

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Achieve literacy in the potential opportunities and challenges of datafication in an organizational context, making use of good search principles and techniques.
  • Achieve literacy in the most important terminology on datafication in an organizational context 
  • Evaluate information sources on datafication, distinguishing scholarly sources from other content and critically assessing information from the internet and other sources.
  • Manage information on datafication using online and other resources as well as appropriate citing and referencing techniques,
  • Construct coherent and persuasive arguments in writing on current issues related to datafication, structuring the arguments logically and supporting them with relevant evidence
  • Plan and deliver a well-written and academically based results on assignments relating to datafication in an organizational context. 

Suggested Assignments and Grading

Assignments The primary work of the course is one short assignment each week which will amount to a portfolio which will be submitted at the end of the course. The assignments can be to answer to a given question regarding an article, a short personal reflection on the week’s topic, or the task to creatively engage with the course material.

Grading and examination, as well as the tools used for handling the assignments, may vary from instructor to instructor and institution. Generally, the workload in terms of ECTS depends on how the course is implemented by the respective instructor (e.g. whether completion of all eight classes including the following assignments is mandatory).