Dr. Julia Boppert

Project Coordination



Digital Cooperation Systems in SMEs - Innovative Communication and Cooperation Processes in the Digital Working World


Communication and Cooperation Processes in Digitalisation

The digitalisation of the world of work is associated with a flexibilisation of working hours, work locations, work content, communication and cooperation. In recent years, a number of new IT-supported cooperation systems (Enterprise Collabration Systems ECS) have been established that bring together communication channels and supplement them with new functions that support the way project teams work. ECS are considered to have the potential to improve communication as well as basic work and cooperation processes without sufficient empirical research on conditions, benefits and consequences. The aim of the project is to investigate the selection, introduction processes and effects of ECS in SMEs on the basis of a longitudinal study. The result of the project is a model implementation of ECS in the participating companies, which will be documented in an empirically based practical brochure.

Aim of the research project

In the course of the present research project, an IT-supported cooperation system will be introduced in two medium-sized companies, tested and accompanied by labour, business and social science studies with regard to the selection, introduction processes and effects in the companies. In this way, the success factors for the sustainable use of the system are to be investigated, which can ultimately be transferred to other companies. The joint project is thus located within the framework of the call for proposals "Innovative and social SMEs" in the fields of action "3. working in the data network - shaping the digital world of work", "4. developing competences in the work process", "6. human-machine interaction for the new digital togetherness", as well as "7. tapping the potential of flexibilisation for employees and companies". In the course of the project, an ECS will be introduced at two SMEs, tested and accompanied by labour, business and social science research with regard to the selection, introduction processes and effects. The company's needs for ECS will be examined in detail using a multi-method approach and a suitable ECS will be selected on this basis. The introduction of the ECS is prepared and documented at the technical, work organisation and personnel levels. A final survey 18 months after the introduction of the ECS allows conclusions to be drawn about the effects on work organisation and personnel. The project contributes to the research of changes in communication and cooperation processes in the course of digitalisation. It addresses above all SMEs, for which this transformation represents a major challenge. The project results are prepared for broad application in the practitioner brochure and made accessible to experts and company representatives through industry workshops and a final conference.

Social added value

The research project contributes to researching the changes in the world of work in the course of digitalisation and addresses in particular small to medium-sized enterprises for which this transformation represents a major challenge. The results can be utilised by the partners involved in the project, but also by related companies and industries. In order to reach further companies already during the project period, the findings of the empirical accompanying research will be discussed promptly with representatives from companies and associations in an industry workshop and the results will be reviewed with regard to their practical suitability for the target group of SMEs and their transferability to other companies.

All information on the project and the project partners can be found here!