Services focused businesses have become the backbone of our economy. About 75% of all those employed hold jobs in the service provision sector.
But how do innovation processes for services actually work? Which role do the information and communication technologies play, for instance, in the formation of standardised processes, in marketing or in client dealings? Which possibilities do politics have in order to enhance prosperity in this knowledge-oriented economy and society?In this combination we will frequently use the notion of live-long learning.But how do institutions keep their associates willing to learn? How can the associates be kept systematically assisted and qualified?
In addition we have the various economic dynamics of the different regions that are even more strengthened through demographic development and the structural changes, as well as the current financial crisis. The consequences for business processes are manifold and require a revision of all organisational levels. Next to intensive qualification struggles we have companies working much stronger together in networking in order to jointly use synergies and competences, to minimise risks and to stay flexible.
Also the topic of sustainability refers in equal measure to economy and society and requires a radical revision. Which responsibilities could and should businesses assume in a globalised world? How are win-win situations brought about with a change of the rules of the game in which sustainability aspects (e.g. new energy strategies) do not exist at the expense of economic interest and vice versa?
These questions remain to a great extent open and are controversially discussed. Together with our major, middle class and minor partners from industrial, services and public fields we are looking for new solutions.
The research activities of the Professorship are based on three pillars: core subjects which can be directly inferred from the above described trends, applications of the modern economic methods and the use of theoretically established concepts.
Currently the core subjects in focus are Tartarisation, Qualification, Innovation, Sustainability and the analysis of economically disadvantaged regions (Structural Change, Demography, and Migration). From that we can infer an array of interesting research topics that are interdisciplinary linked in order to get new insights. The question, for example, which is pursued by the Professorship, is which consequences for the further training and innovations capabilities of businesses are implied by a shift in the age structure. In another research project the innovations capabilities are analysed and strengthened through knowledge- and technology-focused new businesses of the university environment, also in order to give a boost to Lusatia - a region which is strongly influenced by emigration and the aging of its population. Other topics aim at a review of human resources by businesses and of the various career paths and qualification means that distinguish men and women.
This question determines the Choice of Method. At the moment the associates are using system-dynamic modelling, structural equation modelling, qualitative analyses and experimental methods in order to be able to better analyse the consequences of various developments and the cause and effect relations.
Also Theories are subject to trends. Exactly new institutional economic and evolutionary approaches as well as the theory of resources allow for an explanation aid for the current topics and developments. But the socio-psychological concepts and rather traditional organisational theories also help to practically and comprehensively analyse complex questions.