Dr. Evi Kneisel

Project Coordinator



Innovative Knowledge Spaces - Knowledge Transfer and Knowledge Generation in Virtual Teams


Initial situation

Due to current economic and social trends, e.g. globalisation, digitalisation and knowledge intensification of markets, SMEs are confronted with radical changes (Astor et al. 2016; Bäumer/Pawlowsky in press; Welter et al. 2014). Examples include dynamic and uncertain market developments, an increasing knowledge intensification of services, and the dissolution of boundaries and virtualisation of the working environment (Cordes/Gehrke 2015; Garrel/Vorbröcker 2016). To remain competitive in this volatile environment, companies must react quickly and flexibly to changing requirements and anticipate changes promptly (Ludwig et al. 2016; Schulz/Riedel 2016).

Aim of the research project

A holistic approach that takes into account all three components (people, technology and work organisation) for improving knowledge transfer and knowledge generation in virtual teams requires that information technology solutions (e.g. innovative virtual collaboration tools), innovative teamwork concepts (e.g. mental team models) and new knowledge transfer approaches (e.g. transactive knowledge systems) go hand in hand. In order to realise the common project goals, an interdisciplinary bundling of the behavioural science research activities of the Chair of Human Resources and Leadership of the TU Chemnitz with the information technology research focus of the FOM University of Applied Sciences Kassel, Chair of Business Informatics, as well as the practical experience and the need for action of the SME partners is necessary. For the implementation of the project, a solid fund of empirically supported and theoretically derived concepts from own preliminary work and from the current state of research will be used. This requires the increasing use of agile forms of work organisation. One form of work that is particularly widespread in the service sector, the most important economic sector in the Federal Republic of Germany, and which plays a central role in the associated companies Pumacy Technologie AG, Sycor AG and CTI Consulting GmbH (joint partners), is collaboration in spatially distributed teams (virtual teamwork). The use of distributed (virtual) teams makes it possible to react quickly and agilely to market conditions and to operate across company and national borders (cf. Friedrich 2016). At the same time, workers can be employed who would otherwise not be able to participate in working life due to their family situation.

Social added value

The catalogue of measures for the optimisation of knowledge transfer in virtual teams, which was created and evaluated within the framework of the project, can be used directly, so that the project results can be directly connected to the economy. In numerous preliminary discussions, the practical side signalled massive interest in the approach pursued in this project. Talks have already been held with multipliers such as the ITNetzwerk e.V. and the Gesellschaft für Wissensmanagement e.V. (Society for Knowledge Management). They are very interested in making the results of the project available to their member companies. Both organisations focus their work particularly on small and medium-sized enterprises. The network partners Pumacy Technologies AG, Sycor AG and CTI Consulting GmbH will implement the developed measures and act as multipliers to complement the consulting and training services.

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