Kathleen Warnhoff

Kathleen Warnhoff
Heike Schäfer


k.warnhoff [at] googlemail.com
Former Scholarship Holder des Promotionskollegs

Research fields

Labor and Labor Market
Sociology of Work; Digitalization of industrial work; Approaches to work that promotes learning


Kathleen Warnhoff is a PhD student at the Institute of Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin. She is conducting research on the unequal distribution of opportunities for work-related learning in the context of Industrie 4.0 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Martin Krzywdzinski. The qualitative study examines the conditions under which industrial employees learn and why it is necessary to shape work in a way that promotes learning.

until July 2022

Research associate and Hans Böckler Foundation scholarship holder at the doctoral program "Good Work: Approaches to Shaping the Working World of Tomorrow" at the WZB under the direction of Prof. Dr. h. c. Jutta Allmendinger Ph.D.

Jury member in the university competition "Show me your research" as part of the Science Year 2018 on working worlds of the future

Since 2013
Lecturer at various Berlin universities;
University of Applied Sciences, Design Academy Berlin, Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin.

2009 - 2013
Education marketing

2003 - 2009
Study of business communication (B.A. and M.A.)

Ausgewählte Publikationen und Vorträge

Warnhoff, K. "Berufliche Aufstiege in der digitalisierten Produktionsarbeit?" Beitrag in: Birgit Blättel-Mink (Hg.) 2021: Gesellschaft unter Spannung. Verhandlungen des 40. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie 2020 (peer reviewed).

Warnhoff, K.; de Paiva Lareiro P. "Implementing Industry 4.0: Challenges for German Companies regarding Work-Integrated Learning" Vortrag auf IV. ISA Forum of Sociology, Porto Allegre, (BRASILIEN/BRAZIL): Challenges of the 21st Century: Democracy, Environment, Inequalities, Intersectionality; RC 30 Sciology of Work; Limits to Digitization on Work? 26.02.2021 (virtuell)

Warnhoff, K. (2021): "Arbeit der Zukunft lernförderlich gestalten. Wie menschliche Kompetenzen mit der Digitalisierung wachsen können". In: WZB-Mitteilungen, H. 171, Online-Supplement, 18.03.2021.

Warnhoff, K. (2020): "Neue Muster der Qualifikation. Empirische Befunde aus der Industrie." Vortrag auf der 40. Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS): Gesellschaft unter Spannung; Ad - Hoc Gruppe Verändert Digitalisierung am Arbeitsplatz die Ungleichheitsstruktur? Alte und neue Spannungslinien am 14-18.9.2020 in Berlin (virtuell).

Warnhoff, K.; de Paiva Lareiro, P. (2020): "New inequalities with implementing ‘Industry 4.0’? Challenges for German industries regarding work-integrated learning". Vortrag auf der Tagung Disrupting technology: contextualising continuity and change in technology, work and employment",  ‘CERIC’ University of Leeds am 16./17.1.2020 in Leeds (UK).

Warnhoff, K.; de Paiva Lareiro, P. (2019): Skill Development on the Shopfloor: Heading to a digital divide? 2nd Weizenbaum Conference on the subject of “Challenges of Digital Inequality: Digital Education, Digital Work, Digital Life”, 16/17th of May 2019 Berlin. https://doi.org/10.34669/wi.cp/2.23 .

Warnhoff, K.; Krzywdzinski, M. (2018): Digitalisierung spaltet. Gering qualifizierte Beschäftigte haben weniger Zugang zu Weiterbildung. WZB-Mitteilungen Heft 162, S. 58-60.

Transfer of scientific knowledge into the public sphere

For Kathleen Warnhoff, the focus is on regular dialog with political, economic, scientific and creative actors on the topic of "digitization and learning".  A multifaceted transfer to the public has emerged during the doctoral period.

Kathleen Warnhoff
Heike Schäfer


k.warnhoff [at] googlemail.com
Digitales Lernen
Alena Butusava/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

# Shaping work in a way that promotes learning in the future!


How can the work of employees be designed for the future in the age of digitalization? The results of the study, which was conducted as part of the doctoral thesis, show the effects of learning resistance in the process of digitization.


The article in the WZB publications shows that learning plays a major role in the process of work in the context of Industry 4.0 and the design of employees' working conditions in a way that promotes learning.

VR-Anwendung: Subjektive Erlebnisse zur Diskriminierung; Abstiege
Infoklasse UdK

# Behind closed doors


Kathleen Warnhoff developed a digital application together with pychologist Esther Kroll and two designers from the UdK as part of the interdisciplinary collaboration in ViSoP.

Subjective experiences of exclusion can be experienced in simulations on VR glasses entitled "Behind Closed Doors".  In combination with statistics, it becomes clear that these are not isolated cases. Behind every number is a lived experience of discrimination.

Expertendiskussion zur Zukunft der Arbeit
SPD Rheinland Pfalz

# Digitization: Tomorrow's employees?


Kathleen Warnhoff discussed with experts from politics, industry and the public about the digitization of work. She drew attention to current problems in learning in the transformation process from a scientific point of view...


A recording of the entire discussion in German is available on Facebook: A Future of Work without Learning? [ger/frz]



Digitalisierung durch die rosarote Brille

# Digitization through rose-tinted glasses [2018-2019]


A Change of perspective to discover the opportunities and risks of digital technologies in the workplace. Has been exhibited at:

Symposium: Good Work in Brandenburg - Politics and science in dialogue [2019]

Event: Marktplatz Aktuell; Siemens [2019]

Event: Long Night of the Sciences; Social Science Center Berlin [2018]

Event: Labor.A; Hans-Böckler-Foundation [2018]



Interdisziplinäres Transfer mit Esther Kroll und zwei Designerinnen der UdK Berlin

# Interdisciplinary collaboration


Kathleen Warnhoff developed innovative formats on the topic of digitalization and discrimination with an educational approach in an interdisciplinary project collaboration. The goal is to make scientific issues accessible to a broad audience and to encourage reflexive learning.


The project "Behind Closed Doors" was nominated at the international Falling Walls Conference in 2021 and presented as part of Berlin Science City Event.

Interview with Esther Kroll in the context of the Falling Walls Conference

Radiowerkstatt in Berlin

# Learning for the future of work



Kathleen Warnhoff reported on her current research at the radio workshop. The format is a cooperation with ARD.ZDF medienakademie and Radio France and is organized every year by (DFJW) for young journalists from Germany and France.

To the Posting - OFAJ Le monde de travail demain 2018 / DFJW Zukunft der Arbeit