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Completed research programsInnovation and Organization

Completed research programs

Research Unit:
Innovation and Organization

The Research Unit

The Research Unit on "Innovation and Organization" focuses on the willingness and ability of organizations to create, adopt, develop, and implement new ideas in selected social and technological spheres of innovation. The research program will empirically explore the various phases of innovation processes and different patterns of organizational action and response. It centers on four topics in the medium-term.

Mobility and Transport
The project group on Mobility studies societal, organizational, and political aspects of physical mobility and the interactions between these dimensions.  Some of the main issues are:

  the future of the “vision of mobility”: Innovative forms of mobility with different and possibly new kinds of vehicles in the context of new demands on organizational change and organizational learning in the global automotive industry.
  causes and consequences of changes in organizations, political regulation, and user demand in present and future public transport in Germany and abroad.
  the sociology of transport: systemic links between modernity and mobility, including the change in demand and the entrepreneurial reorganization of leisure travel in a global perspective.

Internet Governance
The Internet is a transnational communication infrastructure with a weak coordination center.  The innovative dynamic of the Internet stems from its decentralized structure.  The topic of Internet governance, an area of growing international interest, concentrates on change in the technical and administrative regime structures of the Net.  The chief research issues include:

transnational forms of consensus-building, decision-making, and representation in the administration of the Net.
  the connection between the setting of technical and social norms in the Internet and in the Knowledge Society.
the future of intellectual property in the digital age.
Organizational Learning and Culture
The globalization of the Knowledge Society requires organizations to be capable of creating, acquiring, and using knowledge both locally and transnationally.  In order to understand these processes, researchers must inquire into cultural and political dimensions of organizational behavior and knowledge distribution that have received little attention to date.  Among the themes for study in the coming years are:
  processes for creating new knowledge and sharing tacit knowledge.
  means of improving the ability of multinational corporations and other organizations to tap into cultural diversity.
  roles of different types of boundary-spanning units or actors in organizational learning processes, particularly in relation to the knowledge and interests of diverse stakeholder groups.
Knowledge Transfer and Networks
The differentiation and specialization of organizations in the public sector coincide with a rise in the salience of interorganizational exchange relationships. Multiple public-private cooperative relationships are emerging with the objective of generating social, process, and product innovations. Among the principal topics for study are:
  the impacts on innovative potential of structural patterns in networks that traverse sector and organizational boundaries.
  the processes whereby knowledge and ideas are shared, created, and implemented in order to solve problems and develop competencies.
the ways in which problems of legitimization are resolved in new forms of participation.

The research in the unit on Innovation and Organization will explore the connections between the four topic areas outlined above. For example, studies will look at issues of learning and culture in the transformation processes of the automotive industry and will compare processes of knowledge-sharing in the Internet and in other organizational forms. The ties to the research unit on "Internationalization and Organization" lie primarily in the areas of “service intermediary organizations and knowledge” and “transnational logistics network facilitators.” The connections with the studies by the working group "Knowledge, Production Systems, and Work" are in the complementary theoretical approaches to issues of governance in the Internet and in transnational corporations.

Acting Director
> Prof. Dr. Ariane Berthoin Antal

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Last change: January 2008