Implications of digitalisation for qualification, workplace design and employment in the sectors of health care and logistics – a comparative study

Team: Alice Melchior, Sebastian Schongen
Leader: PD Dr. Simone Haasler, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pollak
Scientific unit: Abteilung Wissenstransfer, Abteilung Dauerbeobachtung der Gesellschaft

Abstract

Digitalisation has engendered a profound societal transformation and presents one of the major challenges for the future of work. To better understand how socio-technical changes are socially and technically mediated, the project investigates the implications of digitalisation for qualification requirements, workplace design and employment in the sectors of logistics and health care. The objectives are to identify

  1. framework conditions for digitalisation at work;
  2. the role of the individual in the transformation process under aspects of interaction with technology;
  3. the restructuring effects of digital technology on work processes and skills profiles and related qualification requirements; and
  4. how organisations rationalise the implementation of digital technologies at the workplace and what this means for the deployment of human resources.

The sectoral approach is motivated by the insight that technological innovation affects different segments of the labour market to different degrees and in different ways, resulting in different implications for employees, but also for employers. Hence, the project develops differentiated sector- and domain-specific analyses to forecast future workplace and work process changes and related qualification and skill requirements for selected labour market segments. In addition, the comparative design allows for making conclusions at a cross-sectoral level, which can be contextualised in light of broader labour market and skilling trends related to digitalisation. By studying the digital transformation in health care and the logistics sector, two rapidly growing, but contrasting sectors are chosen that have been widely affected by digitalisation in the past years and will be further fundamentally restructured by digital innovation in the future. Still, human-machine-interaction in the context of digitalisation and the impact on skilling is under-researched from a sociological perspective for both sectors.

Methodologically, the project applies a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, and covers micro (employees), meso (firms, sector) and macro (labour market) level perspectives and analyses. The project forms part of the DFG Priority Programme “Digitalization of Working Worlds” that started in November 2020.

Runtime

01.11.2020 - 31.10.2023

Sponsored by

DFG

DFG Priority Programme SPP 2267 „Digitalization of Working Worlds“