Universität Bielefeld

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Current research projects


Work 4.0 - Solutions for the working world of tomorrow

Up to this point, the increasing digitisation and interconnectedness of work and production processes has been investigated from a technological point of view. In the scope of the joint project "Work 4.0 - Solutions for the working world of tomorrow", we investigate how the digital transformation affects the working world and the employees. Our focus is on small and medium-sized companies from East-Westphalia-Lippe (EWL). Due to a lack of specialists and higher risks when implementing a technology, these companies face specific challenges and are therefore not able to estimate the technology's influence on work organisation and design.
In the first instance, we examine the status quo of work 4.0 in EWL. For this purpose, we conduct an online survey as well as detailed analyses in several companies. We want to identify satisfying and motivating work conditions as well as specific job strains. Additionally, we look at current competency requirements in selected job areas and estimate their future viability. Based on this, we derive concrete supporting tools for digital change processes and test them in model projects.
Besides Bielefeld University, the joint project is realised by Paderborn University, the German Employee Academy at the Fennel Centre for Innovation [Deutsche Angestellten-Akademie Innovationszentrum Fennel], ScMI AG and OstWestfalenLippe GmbH; the project is coordinated by OWL Maschinenbau e. V. The joint project is part of the integrated concept of action "EWL 4.0 - Industry, Work, Society" ["OWL 4.0 - Industrie, Arbeit, Gesellschaft"] which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund for three years.


Prof. Dr. Günter W. Maier
Lisa Mlekus, M.Sc.