MIS professor Jason Thatcher awarded TUM Ambassador

By Rishika Jain

Oct. 24, 2022

This designation is one of the highest academic honors in Germany

Thatcher in Germany at the ambassador weekend

Management information systems (MIS) is one of the largest growing business majors. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that overall employment for MIS majors is projected to grow 15% from 2021 to 2031. 

At the Fox School, MIS is the intersection between business and information technology and students learn how to manage information to enhance and streamline business processes in their future careers. 

Jason Thatcher, Milton F. Stauffer Professor in the Department of Management Information Systems, in addition to his responsibilities at the Fox School, serves as the senior editor at Information Systems Research as well as Journal of the Association for Information Systems and has served as a senior editor at MIS Quarterly. 

He has also served on several editorial boards including the European Journal of Information Systems, Decision Sciences and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. 

Thatcher now has another feather to add to his cap. Recently, he was awarded the TUM Ambassador by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in 2020. 

 Thatcher was nominated by the head of the Krcmar Lab at TUM, Prof. Helmut Krcmar, and his doctoral students, with whom Thatcher works closely. TUM is considered one of the top three universities in the EU and being selected as an ambassador is considered the highest academic honor offered to any faculty outside their university. It is also considered one of the highest academic honors in Germany. 

“I mentor graduate students, who are pursuing top careers in Information Systems, at TUM. I visited their lab for four years to work with them on research projects, teach a course, and coach them through interesting bits of a research project,” he says. 

The TUM Ambassador is an award given out to a small number of faculty who have made consistent and recurring contributions to the academic life on campus and around the world each year. 

An ambassador weekend was held in Germany on July 16 and 17 of this year to honor the eleven researchers and scientists, including Thatcher, who were awarded ambassadorships in 2020.  

“The ceremony was amazing. It was coordinated to be part of a summer concert by the TUM symphony,” he says. “Top faculty from Italy, the UK, Cyprus, Egypt, Australia and the U.S. were honored in front of a crowd of 1,800 people.” 

For Thatcher, this award was particularly special because it was tied directly to his work with PhD students. 

“To be named alumni of the university, along with the students that I serve, was a particularly sweet moment. I felt like a million euros!” he says. 

Thatcher’s work in MIS over the years helped him land this honor. His work frequently appears in preeminent journals like MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research and Journal of Applied Psychology. He has frequently been ranked as the most productive author on the AIS Seniors Scholars list and as the most productive scholar between 2018 and 2021. Recently his paper, “Qualitative comparative analysis in the information systems discipline: a literature review and methodological recommendations” was selected for the “Highly Recommended Paper Award” by the Internet Research journal. 

He was also recognized as a top associate editor by Information Systems Research.  

Thatcher says that he has Helmut Krcmar, TUM professor of German information systems and management; and Barbar Prommegger, TUM professor of information systems and business process management; to thank for helping create an opportunity to win a spot as a TUM Ambassador. 

“They helped create and sustain an opportunity to work with TUM students,” he explains. I’m grateful for the opportunities afforded to me, by my relationship with TUM.” 

 His latest accomplishment is just one of many that he has earned in his lifetime. 

“Through the work required to earn the award, I’ve become a better mentor to my students and more apt at understanding how to put together a stronger PhD program and to construct my own lab at Temple University,” he says.