Research

 

Our Research Profile

Our chair focuses on interdisciplinary and empirical work which is especially characterized by its relational-sociological approach. The leading question here is how heterogenic processes of technical, social or human kind are connected and connectable on different aggregation levels (micro – meso – macro). Network science takes a key position in this process and is effectively combined with other research methods.

 

Socio-Technical Innovations

Our research regarding Sociology of Technology is guided by our belief that technical innovations are always social innovations as well. Social and technical changes inextricably go hand in hand, which is why we generally speak of socio-technical innovations. We see it as our task to gain scientific and multidimensional insight into the manifold interdependencies between social agents , society and technology in order to add this knowledge to technical research and development early on. We want to infuse this expertise in a target group- and application-oriented way for the purpose of supporting innovation processes. Our team possesses a rich methodological-conceptual pool of experience which helps us to anticipate and study challenges regarding socio-technical innovations. Our expertise isn’t limited to particular technologies. On the contrary, it can be applied to a wide variety of issues due to its focus on the relationship between social actors, society, and technology. In order to enhance interdisciplinary research projects with our techno-sociological expertise, we draw on our wide range of methodological and conceptual tools to engage thoroughly with the technical innovation under study and its specific challenges.

 

Organizational Processes

Our research regarding Sociology of Organization perceives organization as a process which couples diverse processes within the environment of organizations with our own. By anology to socio-technical processes, our research focuses on studying the logic of couplings, possible obstacles, and strategies which make organizations successful in the particular environments they are embedded in. From a societal perspective, organizations appear as accelerators, multipliers, refiners and coordinators of social processes which would otherwise take much longer, occur less often and be less precise and specialized. From a network perspective, organizations appear as a structural, cultural and dynamic construct whose inner and outer (id est from and to the outside) relations are researchable via quantitative and qualitative network analysis. Social actors take certain positions within an organization, are exposed to specific ‘regional’ influences and are only capable of influencing ongoing processes in a certain way.

 

Research Focus

Our main research focus, which results from successfully concluded and currently running research projects, is:

  • Datafication/Digitalization
  • Resilience/Sustainability (regarding technical and social innovations)
  • Energy/Materials

With help of our scientific and industrial partners, we realize techno- and organizational-sociological research projects in all of our research fields. However, the datafication and digitalization of all areas of life is currently the most defining aspect of our research. You can gain insights into our current and concluded research projects in the “Projects” section of our homepage.

Furthermore, we publish our research results in conference transcripts, scientific journals, science books, at symposiums, and in our working papers. You can find a selection of our publications in the “Publications“ section of our homepage.