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Master Thesis

Master thesis on "digital platforms" in collaboration with Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG, Dortmund

Digital platforms represent a foster a multi-sided interaction between a focal company, partners, and customers. The world's largest companies, such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon, use digital platforms as part of their business model. A unique selling point of these two- or multi-sided markets is the direct exchange of data via the platform itself and the resulting network effects - the more players are active on a platform, the greater the benefit for other participants (Anderson et al., 2014; Eisenmann et al., 2006; Tiwana, 2014).

Well known in consumer industries, an increasing "platformization" in the B2B sector becomes apparent, where manufacturers and retailers use digital platforms to generate additional value for their customers (Reuver et al., 2017). Due to the significant increase in digital platforms, the literature distinguishes between transaction-based and innovation-based digital platforms (Cusumano et al., 2020). Digital platforms such as marketplaces, social networks or industry platforms can also adopt hybrid patterns (Gawer & Cusumano, 2014).

This master thesis will focus on understanding digital platform based business models. Together with the partner company Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG, Dortmund, the applicant will conduct qualitative, interview-based research on understanding the different phases of digital platform ecosystems. The goal of the master thesis is to conduct a detailed analysis regarding the structure and potential scaling of a platform. Thereby economic aspects such as market position and market environment will be examined and evaluated in detail.

Our partner company Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG is a SME medium-sized family business from Dortmund with more than 650 employees in a total of eight locations worldwide. Since more than 85 years, the name Dolezych stands for competence and performance. Products and services that meet the highest quality standards make Dolezych one of the top addresses in rope, lifting, slinging and load securing technology.


Anderson, E. G., Parker, G. G., & Tan, B. (2014). Platform Performance Investment in the Presence of Network Externalities. Information Systems Research, 25

(1), 152–172.

Cusumano, M. A., Yoffie, D. B., & Gawer, A. (2020). The Future of Platforms. MIT Sloan Management Review, 61(3), 46-54.

Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., & van Alstyne, M. (2006). Strategies for two-sided markets. Harvard Business Review, 84, 92-101+149.

Gawer, A., & Cusumano, M. A. (2014). Industry Platforms and Ecosystem Innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31

(3), 417–433.

Reuver, M. de, Sørensen, C., & Basole, R. (2017). The digital platform: a research agenda. Journal of Information Technology.

Advance online publication.

Tiwana, A. (2014). Platform ecosystems: Aligning architecture, governance, and strategy. Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann.


If you are interested in this topic, please send your application documents by e-mail via abschlussarbeit.dt.wiwitu-dortmundde

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus North to Campus South by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus North and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The departments of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Street navigation from and to the TU Dortmund University:

OpenStreetMap Routing Machine

The document and the graphic represent the motorways and federal highways around the TU Dortmund University in a very simplified way:

Environment map (PDF)

Environment map (graphic)

This interactive map helps you find and navigate between facilities and buildings on campus:

Interactive campus map

This document contains a simple campus map in German and English:

Campus map (PDF)