BMBF-Project “Innovative Forms of Work in Medium-Sized Businesses” (with Prof. Dr. Norbert Bach, TU Ilmenau)
The overall objective of the InnoFARM project is to use novel models of work to tap into the innovation potential available in SMEs in the region (Thuringia) and thus trigger a sustainable change in work that also takes account of general social and demographic change and enables new competence architectures. At the same time, InnoFARM is intended to help employees acquire new competencies by testing out novel forms of work. Through novel forms of organizing work, SMEs from the previously structurally weak region are to become attractive employers for creative and innovative skilled workers. By attracting and retaining skilled workers, the economic competitiveness of SMEs will also increase in the long term, thus improving overall employment prospects in the region. As a funding project of the “REGION.innovativ” the collaborative project InnoFARM aims to develop a toolbox of methods for novel forms of work organization that encompasses not only classic specialist topics such as specialization and working time models or well-known meta-topics such as digitalization and virtual collaboration. The learning and design fields identified for the topic area “novel models of work” also address non-technological cross-cutting issues with novel forms of management and decision-making organization, novel working time models and local innovation spaces, which are particularly relevant for SMEs in structurally weak regions due to the frequently encountered owner-managed SMEs or the integration of production sites into corporate structures.
DFG-Projekt „The crafting of organizational identity and the role of history“ (with Prof. Dr. Kirsten Thommes, University Paderborn)
Most research in the field of organizational identity focuses on the evolution and development of identities. The question of which claims organizational members and organizations use to construct identity, however, has received considerably less attention. In our research project, we will focus on this research gap by analyzing the crafting of organizational identities in a sample of 30 watchmaking firms located in two clusters in western Germany and eastern Germany. We will deepen our understanding of organizational identity in two ways. First, by applying a multilevel approach in studying the layers of organizational identity, ranging from the employee level to the corporate and organizational-field levels, our project’s findings will allow for a more comprehensive understanding of organizational identity. Considering the notion of scripted identities, we will complement existing research on identity crafting by taking the perspectives of the organizational member, the organizational actor, and the organizational field into consideration. Thereby, we will also focus on how organizations manage the differences between identity elements at the member and the corporate levels. Second, by explicitly considering the roles of firm- and cluster-level history in identity construction, we will contribute to the literature on organizational identity. Moreover, we will analyze the role that radical institutional change plays in identity construction by comparing firms from eastern and western Germany. The research project’s findings will allow a more comprehensive understanding of the elements that constitute organizational identity, the ways in which contextual factors such as firm history and organizational-field history affect these elements and their combination, and the extent to which organizations and their members actively frame and utilized history in constructing their identities. Our results will be relevant for political decision makers and society at large as we improve the understanding of identity crafting and the relevance of clusters in this context