Opportunities through text mining in strategic management – Quantitative analysis of innovation ecosystems with the help of advanced text mining approaches

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Lehrstuhl für Innovation, Strategie und Organisation


The ecosystem theory has been recognized in strategy research and practice for several decades as a possible explanation for superior firm performance. The theory is based on the view that, in addition to the industry in which an organization is located and the resources at its disposal, the relationships with other organizations determine its success. These relationships extend the resources of the focal organization and sustain its competitive advantage (Dyer and Singh, 1998). Therefore, awareness about the ties between the focal company and external organizations (i.e. ecosystem actors) is crucial for a successful business strategy. The strategy must consider both formal and informal relationships.

However, analyzing these relationships proves challenging simply because of their large number. For this reason, text-based, quantitative methods are particularly suitable for a detailed evaluation. Networks of relevant ecosystem actors can be constructed by collecting external website links and scraping relevant websites. Advanced text mining methods (e.g., topic modeling) can then be employed to analyse the written texts of the scraped website data. In sum, this approach could lead to a data-based description of the investigated ecosystem.

This offered work aims to implement the described approach as a model, based on eligible innovation ecosystems in Germany. The scientist should then derive strategic implications based on this virtual model. A comprehensive network of websites with their respective (German) texts and first programmed functions are available as a basis.

Since the successful completion of this interdisciplinary topic requires not only advanced programming knowledge but also an understanding of business strategies, we would like to explicitly mention that required business skills can be built up while working on the topic.

The applicant should have the following skills:
- Experience in Natural Language Processing
- Programming experience in Python and its relevant packages (e.g. nltk, spaCy, scikit-learn or keras)
- Affinity for Strategy Management and especially for Ecosystem Theory
- Willingness to work in a motivated team
- Equivalent German language skills of >= B2

Keywords: Ecosystem, Quantitative, Text Mining, Web Scraping, Python, Strategy, Management, regional, innovation