Alexander Bock

Academic Staff

Alexander Bock, M. Sc.

R09 R04 H35
+49 201 18-34563
Consultation Hour:
by appointment
Research Gate


In my research I am concerned with decision and problem solving processes in relation to conceptual modeling.

My research touches upon how individuals and groups construe problem situations, how they mentally, communicatively, and socially construct those situations, and ways in which (conceptual) models are capable of shaping and supporting these processes. I am further concerned with the organizational conditions in which decision processes take place, and possibilities and limitations of decision support based on information systems.

Curriculum Vitae:



Business Information Systems, M.Sc. (with Honors), University of Duisburg-Essen
Master Thesis: "A Conceptual Modeling Method for Supporting the Management of Organizational Decision Processes"

2012International semester, University of Jyväskylä, Faculty of Information Technology, Finland
2007-2010Business Information Systems, B.Sc. (with Honors), University of Duisburg-Essen

Professional Positions

since 2013

Research Assistant & Ph.D. Student, Information Systems and Enterprise Modeling Research Group, Prof. Dr. U. Frank, University of Duisburg Essen

2010-2013Student Assistant, Information Systems and Enterprise Modeling Research Group, Prof. Dr. U. Frank, University of Duisburg-Essen
2009-2012Software Developer (C#, .NET, VBA) in Research and Development in an international heavy industries corporation


  • Frank, Ulrich; Maier, Pierre; Bock, Alexander: Low Code Platforms: Promises, Concepts and Prospects: A Comparative Study of Ten Systems - ICB Research Report, 70. Essen 2021. doi:10.17185/duepublico/75244) Full textCitationDetails
    Low Code Platforms: Promises, Concepts and Prospects: A Comparative Study of Ten Systems

    In recent years, the catchword “low‐code” has evolved into what can be seen as a major trend
    in software development platforms. A growing number of vendors respond to this trend by
    offering software development platforms that promise limited need for coding only and a tremendous
    boost in productivity. Both aspects have been the subject of intensive research over
    many years in areas such as domain‐specific modeling languages, model‐driven software development,
    or generative programming. Therefore, the obvious question is how ʺlow codeʺ
    platforms differ from such approaches and what specific performance features they offer.
    Since there is no unified definition of “low‐code”, the only way to develop an elaborate understanding
    of what it is – and might be – is to analyze the actual use of the term. For obvious
    reasons, it is not promising in this respect to rely on marketing announcements made by vendors.
    Instead, it seems more appropriate to examine “low‐code” platforms. This research report
    presents a study of 10 relevant platforms, capturing and assessing common characteristics
    as well as specific features of individual tools. The study is guided by a method that consists
    of a conceptual framework, which provides a uniform structure to describe and compare “lowcode”
    platforms, and a process model that describes the sequence of steps.

  • Bock, Alexander C.; Ulrich, Frank: Low-Code Platform. In: Business & Information Systems Engineering (2021). doi:10.1007/s12599-021-00726-8Full textCitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander C.; Frank, Ulrich: In Search of the Essence of Low-Code: An Exploratory Study of Seven Development Platforms. In: MODELS '21. Proceedings of the 24th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems: Companion Proceedings. ACM; IEEE, 2021. CitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander C.; España, Sergio; Gulden, Jens; Jahn, Katharina; Nweke, Livinus Obiora; Richter, Andreas: The Ethics of Information Systems: The Present State of the Discussion and Avenues for Future Work. In: 29th European Conference on Information Systems 2021 (ECIS 2021). AIS, 2021. Full textCitationDetails

    Despite occasional pleas to incorporate the ethics of information systems into the field’s research agenda, the analysis of the moral ramifications of information systems has remained unsystematic in nature. Work on a remarkable variety of ethical issues has appeared, but the field has yet to produce a coherent conception of how it construes and studies the ethics of information systems. In this research-in-progress paper, we report on work to redress the situation by addressing three goals. First, we provide an overview of contributions made to the study of ethics in information systems research in recent decades. Second, we present a classificatory scheme to organize past and future work on the subject. Third, we identify themes that have received little attention to date, proposing routes for future work. In particular, we find that our field has yet to fully explore the moral implications of the very artifacts of its own design. We conclude with a call to action for information systems researchers to work towards a structured account of ethics as part of the field’s research agenda.

  • Bock, Alexander; Frank, Ulrich: Organisationsforschung und Wirtschaftsinformatik: Zeit für eine Annäherung? - ICB Research Report, 67. Essen 2020. doi:10.17185/duepublico/73339) Full textCitationDetails

    Der vorliegende Beitrag zeigt am Beispiel der betriebswirtschaftlichen Organisationslehre und der Wirtschaftsinformatik auf, dass die Beschränkung auf tradierte disziplinspezifische Perspektiven nicht geeignet ist,den vielschichtigen Auswirkungen der digitalen Transformation gerecht zu werden. Vor diesem Hintergrund werden die Potentiale einer engen, trans-disziplinären Zusammenarbeit dargestellt. Dazu werden zunächst die für einesolche Zusammenarbeit erforderlichen Gemeinsamkeiten herausgearbeitet. Dabei wird insbesondere die Rolle der Sprache gewürdigt. Sie ist sie sowohl zur Untersuchung von Handlungssystemen als auch zur Gestaltung und Nutzung von Informationssystemen von zentraler Bedeutung, entfaltet dabei aber durchaus ambivalente Wirkungen. Darauf aufbauend werden grundlegende Zielkonflikte, etwa zwischen Standardisierung und Fortschritt oder zwischen loser und enger Kopplung betrachtet und Ansätze zur ihrer Entschärfung aufgezeigt. Daneben geht der Beitrag auf die Auswirkungen ein, die induktive Verfahren der „Künstlichen Intelligenz“ auf das Handeln in Unternehmen einerseits, auf die wissenschaftliche Forschung andererseits erwarten lassen –und welche wissenschafts-theoretischen Herausforderungen damit verbunden sind. Auch wenn vorwiegend auf spezifische Forschungsfragen der Organisationslehre und der Wirtschaftsinformatik fokussiert wird, sollte die Untersuchung auch für andere Teildisziplinen der Betriebswirtschaftslehre bedeutsam sein.

  • Frank, U.; Bock, A.: Conjoint Analysis and Design of Business and IT: The Case for Multi-Perspective Enterprise Modeling. In: Kulkarni, V.; Reddy, S.; Clark, T.; Barn, B. (Ed.): Advanced Digital Architectures for Model-Driven Adaptive Enterprises. IGI Global, 2020, p. 15-45. doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-0108-5.ch002Full textCitationDetails

    This chapter presents a method for multi-perspective enterprise modeling (MEMO). Enterprise modeling fundamentally aims to support the conjoint analysis of business and IT to foster their integration. MEMO expands on this general aim with a specific concern for the professional perspectives of different stakeholder groups. MEMO is based on a language architecture that comprises an extensible set of domain-specific modeling languages, each addressing one or more professional perspectives. It is supplemented by an adaptable generic framework to support high-level ‘ballpark' views of an enterprise and to serve as a common starting point for more elaborate analysis and design tasks. MEMO also supports the construction of corresponding process models to design customized modeling methods. The chapter motivates the use of MEMO and illustrates possible use cases. It also provides a description of the method's architecture, its DSMLs, and a tool environment that supports the development and analysis of enterprise models.

  • Gulden, Jens; Bock, Alexander; España Cubillo, Sergio (Ed.): Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Ethics and Morality in Business Informatics/Ethik und Moral in der Wirtschaftsinformatik (EMoWI'19) - Workshop Held at 14. Internationale Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI2019), February 24, 2019, Siegen, Germany, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol-2297, 2019. Full textCitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander; Kudryavtsev, Dmitry; Kubelskiy, Miroslav: Towards More Expressive Problem Structuring: A Theoretical Conceptualization of 'Problem' in the Context of Enterprise Modeling. In: Proceedings of the 20th IEEE Conference on Business Informatics (CBI 2018). IEEE Computer Society, Vienna, Austria 2018, p. 30-39. doi:10.1109/CBI.2018.00013CitationDetails

    Dealing with ill-structured problems is a central responsibility of the manager operating in a business environment of complexity and ambiguity. To assist in problem structuring, a number of problem structuring methods have been developed in the field of operations research. But the modeling approaches incorporated in existing problem structuring methods lack semantic expressiveness, syntactical precision, and domain-specific modeling concepts. In contrast, the field of enterprise modeling offers a range of semantically rich domain-specific modeling languages. In this paper, we report on work towards a more expressive problem structuring method that integrates insights from theoretical problem solving research, core assumptions of the field of problem structuring methods, and modeling languages from the field of enterprise modeling. Specifically, we present results of a conceptual study of theoretical views of the concept of a problem, we present a meta model conceptualization of ‘problem’ in the context of enterprise modeling, and we illustrate the practical use of the proposed meta model with a case study. The presented conceptualization contributes to the field of enterprise modeling by offering a more nuanced ‘problem’ modeling concept than is currently available, and by constituting progress towards a problem structuring method that is more expressive and versatile than existing approaches.

  • Bock, Alexander: The Power/Generality Trade-Off in Decision and Problem Modeling - Theoretical Background and Multi-Level Modeling as a Resolution. In: Exploring Modelling Methods for Systems Analysis and Development (EMMSAD 2018). 23rd International Conference, Held at CAiSE 2018. Springer, Tallinn, Estonia 2018. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-91704-7_14Full textCitationDetails

    A central conflict in decision and problem solving support is known as the ‘Power/Generality’ trade-off. The incorporation of a high level of domain-specific concepts and mechanisms in a decision instrument will increase the instrument’s power but will do so at the cost of the instrument’s generality. This paper has two purposes. First, it brings to attention the power/generality conflict in conceptual decision and problem solving modeling, and it demonstrates the resultant problems in relation to an existing enterprise decision modeling language. Second, the paper proposes the use of a multi-level modeling paradigm as a possible resolution of the conflict, and it proposes concrete re-conceptualizations for an existing modeling language to alleviate the associated problems.

  • Bock, Alexander; Frank, Ulrich; Bergmann, Arne; Strecker, Stefan: Towards Support for Strategic Decision Processes Using Enterprise Models: A Critical Reconstruction of Strategy Analysis Tools. In: Horkoff, Jennifer; Jeusfeld, Manfred A.; Persson, Anne (Ed.): The Practice of Enterprise Modeling. 9th IFIP WG 8.1. Working Conference, PoEM 2016, Skövde, Sweden, November 8-10, 2016, Proceedings. Springer, 2016, p. 41-56. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-48393-1_4Full textCitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander: Conceptual Models and Reflective Decision Making: A Conceptual-Constructivist Synthesis, Review, and Modeling Framework. In: Assar, Said; Strecker, Stefan (Ed.): Doctoral Consortium of the 18th IEEE Conference on Business Informatics. 2016. CitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander: How Modeling Language Shapes Decisions: Problem-Theoretical Arguments and Illustration of an Example Case. In: Schmidt, Rainer; Guédria, Wided; Bider, Ilia; Guerreiro, Sérgio (Ed.): Enterprise, Business-Process and Information Systems Modeling. 21st International Conference, EMMSAD 2016, Held at CAiSE 2016, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 13-14,2016. Springer, 2016, p. 383-398. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-39429-9_24Full textCitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander; Frank, Ulrich: MEMO GoalML: A Context-Enriched Modeling Language To Support Reflective Organizational Goal Planning and Decision Processes. In: Comyn-Wattiau, Isabelle; Tanaka, Katsumi; Song, Il-Yeol; Yamamoto, Shuichiro; Saeki, Motoshi (Ed.): 35th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER 2016). Springer, 2016, p. 515-529. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-46397-1_40Full textCitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander; Frank, Ulrich: Multi-Perspective Enterprise Modelling – Conceptual Foundation and Implementation with ADOxx. In: Karagiannis, Dimitris; Mayr, Heinrich C.; Mylopoulos, John (Ed.): Domain-Specific Conceptual Modeling – Concepts, Methods and Tools. 2016, p. 241-267. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-39417-6_11Full textCitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander: The Concepts of Decision Making: An Analysis of Classical Approaches and Avenues for the Field of Enterprise Modeling. In: Ralyté, Jolita; España, Sergio; Pastor, Óscar (Ed.): The Practice of Enterprise Modeling. 8th IFIP WG 8.1. Working Conference, PoEM 2015, Valencia, Spain, November 10–12, 2015, Proceedings. Springer, 2015, p. 306-321. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-25897-3_20Full textCitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander: Beyond Narrow Decision Models: Toward Integrative Models of Organizational Decision Processes. In: Ieee (Ed.): Proceedings of the 17th IEEE Conference on Business Informatics (CBI 2015). IEEE Computer Society, 2015, p. 181-190. doi:10.1109/CBI.2015.34Full textCitationDetails
  • Kaczmarek, Monika; Bock, Alexander; Heß, Michael: On the Explanatory Capabilities of Enterprise Modeling Approaches. In: Aveiro, David; Pergl, Robert; Valenta, Michal (Ed.): Advances in Enterprise Engineering IX. 5th Enterprise Engineering Working Conference, EEWC 2015, Prague, Czech Republic, June 15-19, 2015, Proceedings. Springer, 2015, p. 128-143. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-19297-0_9Full textCitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander; Kaczmarek, Monika; Overbeek, Sietse; Heß, Michael: A Comparative Analysis of Selected Enterprise Modelling Approaches. In: Frank, Ulrich; Loucopoulos, Pericles; Petrounias, Ilias; Pastor, Óscar (Ed.): The Practice of Enterprise Modeling: 7th IFIP WG 8.1 Working Conference, PoEM 2014, Manchester, UK, November 12-13, 2014, Proceedings. Springer, 2014, p. 148-163. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-45501-2_11Full textCitationDetails
  • Bock, Alexander; Kattenstroth, Heiko; Overbeek, Sietse: Towards a modeling method for supporting the management of organizational decision processes. In: Fill, Hans-Georg; Karagiannis, Dimitris; Reimer, Ulrich (Ed.): Proceedings: Modellierung 2014. Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn, Wien, Österreich 2014, p. 49-64. Full textCitationDetails


The following list summarizes courses for which I have been responsible.

Lectures and tutorials:

Student projects:

  • Master project: Entwurf und Anwendung einer Domain-Specific Modeling Language (DSML) für die Beschreibung von Datenanalyseproblemen im organisationalen Kontext (WS 17/18)
  • Bachelor project: Komplexe Problemsituationen in Unternehmen - Entwicklung eines realitätsnahen Illustrationsszenarios und Anwendung ausgewählter Modellierungsmethoden (SS 17)
  • Bachelor project: Design Thinking - Theoretischer Hintergrund, verfügbare Praxisansätze, beispielhafte Anwendungsszenarien, kritische Beurteilung (SS 17)
  • Bachelor project: Vergleichende Analyse von Dashboard-Systemen und Entwurf einer Vision zukünftiger Entscheidungsunterstützungssysteme (WS 16/17)
  • Bachelor project: "Decision Intelligence" - Objektorientierte Entwicklung eines Softwareinstruments zur Koordination von Entscheidungsprozessen auf Basis einer domänenspezifischen Modellierungssprache (WS 16/17)
  • Bachelor project: Decision Support Systems, Group Decision Support Systems und Decision Modeling Tools: Eine strukturierte Analyse ausgewählter Ansätze und Implementierung von Beispielszenarien (WS 15/16)
  • Master project: Konzeption eines Szenarios und Implementierung einer Systemlandschaft zur Illustration von Entscheidungsunterstützungssystemen (SS 15)
  • Bachelor project: Umsetzung von Modellierungskonzepten der MEMO GoalML zur Beschreibung von organisationalen Zielsystemen in dem Modellierungswerkzeug ADOxx (SS 15)
  • Bachelor project: Umsetzung von Modellierungskonzepten der MEMO OrgML zur Beschreibung von Organisationsstrukturen in ADOxx (WS 14/15)

Tutored Theses:

  • "Künstliche Intelligenz"-Forschung: Neue Möglichkeiten zur Automatisierung von Entscheidungen in Unternehmen? (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, in progress)
  • Big Data: Eine Aufarbeitung des Standes der Kunst und Entwicklung eines konzeptuellen Bezugsrahmen zur Projektunterstützung (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, in progress)
  • Design Thinking: Theoretischer Hintergrund und Beurteilung verfügbarer Praxisansätze (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, in progress)
  • Verfahren des maschinellen Lernens: Grundlegende Konzepte, Potenziale und Voraussetzungen, Einsatzszenarien in Unternehmen (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, in progress)
  • Entwurf einer Methode zur Unterstützung der Einführung von Verfahren des maschinellen Lernens in Unternehmen (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2019)
  • Design-Thinking und agile Softwareentwicklungsmethoden: Ein strukturierter Vergleich und Entwicklung von Integrationsempfehlungen (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2019)
  • Design Thinking : Theoretischer Hintergrund, grundlegende Konzepte und Anwendungspotenziale im Kontext der Softwareentwicklung (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2019)
  • Der Beitrag der künstliche Intelligenz-Forschung für betriebliche Entscheidungsprozesse: Expertensysteme und neuronale Netze im kritischen Vergleich (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2019)
  • Monitoring von Smart-City Initiativen: Anforderungen an eine domänenspezifische Modellierungsmethode zur Schaffung von Transparenz (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2017)
  • Soft Operations Research und Unternehmensmodellierung: Theoretischer Hintergrund und Entwicklung von Anforderungen für eine Integration (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2016)
  • Eine konzeptuelle Rekonstruktion des betriebswirtschaftlichen Problembegriffs und Entwicklung von Anforderungen an DSS (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2016)
  • Entscheidungsprozesse und Management Support Systems: Zentrale Konzepte, Stand der Kunst, zukünftige Entwicklungen (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2016)
  • Business Models: Reconstruction of Central Concepts and Outline of Potentials and Challenges for the Field of Enterprise Modeling (Master Thesis Business Information Systems, 2015)
  • Eine Rekonstruktion zentraler Konzepte der normativen betriebswirtschaftlichen Entscheidungstheorie im Kontext der Unternehmensmodellierung (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2015)
  • Unternehmensmodelle als Grundlage leistungsfähiger Management-Dashboards: Anwendungsszenarien, Anforderungen und Konzeption (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2015)
  • Business Models: Eine Aufarbeitung des Standes der Kunst und Entwicklung eines konzeptuellen Unterstützungsinstruments (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2015)
  • Entwicklung eines Ansatzes zur Integration von Big Data in Data Warehouse Architekturen (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2014)
  • Entwicklung eines Bezugsrahmens zur Bestimmung der Reife des Business-IT-Alignment in Unternehmen (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2014)
  • Data Aging of In-Memory Databases with SAP Implementation (Master Thesis Business Information Systems, 2014)
  • Design of a Decision-Supporting Framework for Social Media Management in Organizations (Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems, 2014)
  • Extending the Integration of Business Process Models With Contextual Elements in Enterprise Models (Master Thesis Business Information Systems)