Research projects at Karlshochschule

I see a department that views management from the cultural science perspective of performance and therefore proceeds in a manner that is multidisciplinary and integrates science. Performance is understood as a management concept here and is illuminated from very different points of view – e.g. sociological, esthetic, and ethical. I envision the terms “space” and “staging” being understood as aspects of performance and forming the starting point for scientific investigations.

So what do I think a contemporary Business Economics & Management department should look like? Naturally, it takes the content and methods of “classical” business economics into account, such as rationality principles or market concept formation. At its core, however, it scrutinizes the given concepts with a critical eye and assumes a perspective marked by culturalist and socio-theoretical considerations with respect to economics and management. I envision company actions being perceived in a different light in this department – embedded in a sociocultural context and incorporated in ethically grounded, discursive thought and action. This approach is also reflected in the department’s research topics.

SPIEL MIT! Social Participation and Intercultural Experiences - Lively Interaction in Thuringia

SPIEL MIT  is a two-year project (Nov. 2016 - Oct. 2018) funded by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and comissioned by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung) in the frame of the program "Social Cohesion through Participation" (Zusammenhalt durch Teilhabe).

The project´s main goal is tho increase the intercultural opening of sport clubs belonging to the Thuringian Sport Federation (Landessportbund Thüringen) and to support them in implementing this opening as a long-term strategy. To reach this goalfour interlinked working packages will be coooperatively carried out by the Karlshochschule International Unviersity, the Hochschule Karlsruhe für Technik und Wirtschaft, the Office for Intercultural Opening of AWO regional chapter Jena-Weimar (Coordinario) as well as the Thuringian Sport Federation.

The project will start analyzing the status quo regarding intercultural openness of Thuringia's sport clubs (current situation, activities and competences, outcomes and needs). Then further qualitative in-depth research will focus on four previously selected sport clubs and based on the acquired knowledge a consulting support system to increase intercultural competence and openness in sport clubs will be established. The project partners will assit the four selected sport clubs in the implementation of integration measures to stimulate intercultural learning and understanding among their members and to remove access barriers for people with a migration background to the existing sport activities. Based on both the status quo and the in-depth analysis these measures will be designed. After a year and a half cooperating with the focused clubs, success factors and necessary structures will be identified within the scope of a third analysis. Furthermore, the obtained information will be used to develop a good practice guide that can be applied by other sport clubs.

The main expected outcome is a greater awareness among clubs regarding the social participation of people with a migration background n the field of sport. Nevertheless, the consulting system as well as the predictable arising of network structures with other organizations in the social area of the focused sport clubs will ensure the sustainability of the project.

Partner:

AWO Kresiverband Jena-Weimar e.V., Fachstelle Interkulturelle Öffnung.

Hochschule Karlsruhe für Wirtschaft und Technik, Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissennschaften (Professur für Intercultural Communiaction, European Business Cultures).

Landessportbund Thüringen.

Rahmenprogram:

Zusammenhalt durch Teilhabe. Programm für bürgerschaftliches Engagement und demokratisches Handlen. Bundesministerium des Innern (Umgesetzt durch Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung).

Kontakt:

Helena Faust M.A., Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin hfaust(at)karlshochschule.de

Ideal Spaces Working Group

We would like to introduce "Ideal Spaces," a collaborative working group comprising of various academics from around Baden Württemberg and based at the Karlshochschule. Our core aim is to meet in order to discuss contemporary notions of space, and what this might mean especially regarding their development towards spaces such as cityscapes, logistic landscapes, hybrid cities and more. We consider "space" as immaterial and metaphorical space ranging from historical development to spatial management, an unfolding of imagination and promising new approaches on what is traditionally called conditio humana.

The working group was founded by Ulrich Gehmann, Desmond Wee, Matthias Wölfel and consists of members from Sweden, Greece, and other countries.

In the fall semester 2015 the meetings will take place on October 22, November 26 and December 17 from 9.30am till 12.30pm. Our intention is to invite students working on their master or Ph.D, but also anyone with real interest, willing to work in a team setting on critical topics. For more information, please browse our Ideal Spaces Working Group website: http://www.idealspaces.org

DIVERSE (Diversity Improvement as a Viable Enrichment Resource for Society and Economy)

Conditions: EU-funded project (Integration Fund), duration 18 months (Start: Dec 2013), 10 participating countries, coordination from the Catholic University of Milan (WWELL Research Centre), estimated total budget 900,000 euros.

Partners: Catholic University Milan (Italy), University of Huelva (Spain), New University of Lisbon (Portugal), Karlshochschule International University (Germany), Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands), University of Waasa (Finland), University of Umea (Sweden), University of Lodz (Poland), University of Tartu (Estonia), Menedek Society for Migration (Hungary), Foundation for Research into Multi-ethnicity ISMU (Italy), three further not-for-profit organisations.

General aims and objects: The main aim of the project is to develop an innovative and effective model for integrating migrants from third countries (non-EU-citizens). This development will take place by adapting and improving the practice of multi-stakeholders concerned with the estimation and assessment of the potentials of these migrants for the host country - in regard to both social and economical aspects. One particular priority is the recognition of third country nationals' non-formal competencies and the relational connection between them and the institutions in the context of migration and integration, as well as organisations' diversity management practices and approaches. The intended results of the project include proposals for the public and for governments to increase civil participation.

Proposed programme of work:

  • Closing knowledge gaps. Initially, data collection will be carried out in parallel in ten EU-countries. Qualitative studies will empirically investigate a) which diversity management practices and approaches are being followed in profit-oriented and not-for-profit organisations, b) which instruments are in use for assessment and recognition of formal, informal and non-formal skills and competencies of third country nationals, c) the involvement of third country nationals in voluntary work and non-profit organisations. All of this data will be fed into a comparative analysis.
  • Improving recognition procedures. This component takes as its basis a synergetic dialogue between representatives of various stakeholder groups in order to develop a new approach to recognising the skills and knowledge of third country migrants. In particular, informal competencies that were acquired in their country of origin need to be considered. The result is a prototype and cross-country model to evaluate and recognise their knowledge, skills and other competencies. The countries participating here are Italy, Germany, Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands.
  • Applications and integration. Working together with self-organised migrant organisations and in individual countries with the institutions responsible for qualification recognition, the newly developed format will then be tested. In parallel, during the later phase, the analysis will focus on the participation of migrant third country nationals in voluntary associations and groups and the contributions this makes to an improvement in their civil participation (focus Italy and Netherlands).

Results and dissemination: Using participatory approaches, the project will develop an innovative, modern and practicable access to issues surrounding the practice of integration and competence recognition in European countries. The model and the concept will be presented and discussed in seminars and briefings. A long-lasting effect will be ensured by working together with partners from profit-oriented and not-for-profit fields, organisations who are involved in the practice, and from both civic and governmental sectors.

 

Karlshochschule International University, Karlsruhe, March 2014

Contact: Roman Lietz M.A., rlietz(at)karlshochschule.de

More information

Emerald Forest

This project does not involve a research project in the strict sense. However, the results are very interesting for university work. A team from seven different European countries – including our partner university in Valmiera in Latvia – is working on a management simulation game that is being tested at the universities and then continuously upgraded. The objective is to provide students with conditions in step with actual practice for acquiring management know-how and practice-related knowledge. The system being used is sufficiently complex to simulate multifactorial and realistic corporate contexts. Among other things, the instrument can be used to construct and operate an amusement park.
The project is being funded by financial support from the EU Commission. The direction for the consortium is at the University of Breda in the Netherlands.

Staging Strategies of Managers in the Financial Service Sector

This project – involving a combination of empirical work on the actual actions of managers in the financial service sector – has to do with the question of which representative means managers use to produce credibility, authenticity, the ascription of success, and assertive validity in presentations and discussions. The research is based on authentic materials and is conducted with qualitative and quantitative methods, such as with conversation-analytical sequence analyses and the analysis of visualization strategies. The project is led by Prof. Dr. Ekaterina Svetlova and Prof. Dr. Bernd Ankenbrand at Karlshochschule.

The New Art of Leadership

The project “The New Art of Leadership” involves a long-term and broad-based publication undertaking that has already compiled more than half a dozen topically focused volumes in collaboration with Symposion Publishing in Düsseldorf. A broad bundle of perceptions together reflects the methodological pluralism and the multiperspectivity of the approach: One perceptional emphasis of the project is the convergence that occurs between project management and the (strategic) management of organizations, which, for instance, can be seen in the terminological specification of terms such as “project-based management,” “project-based company”, and “project company.” The increasing dominance of project management methods in everyday operations not only changes management as such, but also the structure of the different organizations themselves as well as the working environments in these organizations (cf. Tom Peters: “All blue-collar work is project work”). In another convergence dimension, it is possible to discern an increasing (strategic) adaptation between organizations of very different origins that are converging – according to one hypothesis – in a “project economy.” Another perceptional emphasis of the project is the phenomenological reconstruction of the cultural imprint of leadership.
Current publication: Becker, Lutz/Hakensohn, Holger/Witt, Frank (ed.): Führung, Verantwortung, Nachhaltigkeit [Management, Responsibility, Sustainability] (working title). To be published at the end of 2009 by Symposion Publishing, Düsseldorf.
The project is being led by Prof. Dr. Lutz Becker at Karlshochschule.

The Acquisition of Intercultural Skills in University Education

Intercultural skills are considered to be among the key qualifications of both young and older employees. However, in times of increasingly rapid coalescing of the global economy, the significance of this qualification will continue to grow. The assumption that cultural differences will eventually go away cannot be affirmed. Against this backdrop, it is the responsibility of the universities to encourage their students to develop these skills accordingly, expanding and improving them with the aid of scientific methods. Skill measurements are used, as are the approaches of experience-based learning and the systematical preparation and post-processing of stays abroad. The cognitive interest seeks the improvement of these methods and the analytical reconstruction and evaluation of aspectual connections when acquiring intercultural skills.
The project is being led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Müller and Prof. Dr. Cordula Braedel-Kühner at Karlshochschule.


Completed projects in 2013

Touring Consumption 2013

In a world that is increasingly diverse and complex, the need for an innovative understanding of the resulting dynamics is pressing. The communities are growing together with remarkable new dimensions of multi-ethnicity, demographies are changing, new challenges are arising for leaders in organizations, political institutions, and for societal groups of any kind.

The consensus narrative of the society changes and we need, probably, to learn new languages to describe and to explain it. The present conference deals with diversity, a poly-functional notion for the description and analysis of these complex dynamics. Among the multiple usages of the notion, as well as on the edges of it, the conference will pronounce three major goals: First, it aims at sounding and differentiating the theoretical state-of-the-art in relation to diversity. Secondly, we want to establish a methodological grounding of diversity as a social reality, which is constituted by and within communicative action. Third, there is a strong need for empirical analyses that show the qualitative dynamics of diversity in different societal domains, i.e. organizations, urban environments, companies, etc.

The layout of the conference is designed both for researchers and for practitioners. We want you to meet in arenas of discussion, to create the interactive encounters that are needed for development. Our task is to find synergies and an innovative treatment of the notion. Diversity is not a set of criteria for nailing social differences; it is an integrating momentum of life.

 

 

Grundtvig didactic partnership: „Age-related Leadership – workshop for Managers who lead elder employees“

Demographic change is a challenge. In many European countries the working population is decreasing due to an aging workforce. Karlshochschule invited several partners to participate in a “Learning Partnership” to develop tools for enhancing the work ability of an aging workforce.
In the final stage, on the 11th and 12th of April 2013, ten managers from Germany, Italy, Finland and Switzerland visited the Karlshochschule Management Institute to take part in an intensive training program addressing the issue of age-related leadership. The “Age-related Leadership Workshop for managers who lead elder employees”, developed and conducted by the Management Institute and three further partners, formed an effective conclusion to the partners’ two-year research project, part of the European Commission’s “Grundtvig Programme”.
It was the project’s goal to develop a training concept that familiarizes managers with the topic of age-appropriate leadership and equips them with a novel sensibility towards elder workforces. Ultimately, this knowledge is intended to enable them to approach said elder workforces with a reflected sense of leadership. The relevance of such competences is made clear in the description of the project on the Fondazione Istud’s “Research activities” page:
“To keep employees healthy and trained in their working life is one precondition that managers have to support. Therefore, companies and managers need to understand how to handle the aging workforce. Studies have shown that leadership is the only significant factor that improves the work ability of older workers. Therefore it is important to train managers to lead older employees; concepts for “age-related leadership” are needed.”
On the basis of extensive preliminary research that included a mass survey answered by 755 managers from the participating countries, the four institutions compiled a thorough analysis on age-related leadership as well as the significance and handling of age perceptions. The research project combined sociological, psychological, managerial, leadership and occupational health oriented perspectives, allowing the partners to examine the various issues connected with the subject from the most different angles.
Finally, the workshop in April in turn allowed its participants to analyze age-related leadership from different cultural viewpoints and develop novel concepts for their own companies. The trainers from the four partner institutions combined theoretical knowledge with practical application, additionally introducing the method of a learner’s portfolio. This portfolio, a collection of questions and exercises adjusted to the day’s teachings, offered the chance to note down various impressions and ideas, as well as to critically answer nine key questions on one’s opinions and companies.
Overall, the research cooperation bore fruit on many levels and constituted an intricate learning experience for all parties involved. A compilation of all results can be found here.

The project is led by Prof. Dr. Cordula Braedel-Kühner at Karlshochschule.


    •    This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
    •    This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Completed projects in 2012

Re-Thinking Diversity

In a world that is increasingly diverse and complex, the need for an innovative understanding of the resulting dynamics is pressing. The communities are growing together with remarkable new dimensions of multi-ethnicity, demographies are changing, new challenges are arising for leaders in organizations, political institutions, and for societal groups of any kind. The consensus narrative of the society changes and we need, probably, to learn new languages to describe and to explain it.

The present conference deals with diversity, a poly-functional notion for the description and analysis of these complex dynamics. Among the multiple usages of the notion, as well as on the edges of it, the conference will pronounce three major goals: First, it aims at sounding and differentiating the theoretical state-of-the-art in relation to diversity. Secondly, we want to establish a methodological grounding of diversity as a social reality, which is constituted by and within communicative action. Third, there is a strong need for empirical analyses that show the qualitative dynamics of diversity in different societal domains, i.e. organizations, urban environments, companies, etc. The layout of the conference is designed both for researchers and for practitioners.

We want you to meet in arenas of discussion, to create the interactive encounters that are needed for development. Our task is to find synergies and an innovative treatment of the notion. Diversity is not a set of criteria for nailing social differences; it is an integrating momentum of life. Das Projekt wird an der Karlshochschule geleitet von Prof. Dr. Cordula Braedel-Kühner und Prof. Dr. Andreas P. Müller.

Completed projects in 2011

Branded Spaces

The brand phenomenon in society and the economy has become a significant topic both in science as well as in practice. However, it can be observed that brands undergo extreme transformations and are constantly occupying new fields. In particular, space becomes more and more significant in the process. While it used to be the case that brands were primarily experienced in two dimensions, they are increasingly expanding into three dimensions. Even in virtual spaces (social media, clouds, etc.), which came into existence only recently, brands can no longer be dispensed with. In this context, the following questions arise: How are brands staged in the space? How are different types of branded spaces structured? How does real as well as virtual space change the brand perception for stakeholders? How are branded spaces planned, organized, and marketed? Where are the opportunities and risks for brands in the space?

The project is being led by Prof. Dr. Louise Bielzer and Prof. Dr. Stephan Sonnenburg at Karlshochschule. In September 2011, an international conference on the topic “Branded Spaces” took place at Karlshochschule. A volume on branded spaces will be published by the Springer VS publishing company.

 

Operating Sports and Event Facilities Management Challenges and Action Options

Given the understanding of space as infrastructure and as a framework for staging sports and other events, specific management challenges for operating various types of sports and event facilities were the focus of the project. The objective was to analyze and classify the challenges to the management of sports and event facilities, such as multipurpose halls, ice rinks, swimming pools, etc., represent the action options, and evaluate them against the backdrop of the demands of the various stakeholders of these facilities.
Current publication: Bielzer, L./Wadsack, R. (H.) (2011): Betrieb von Sport- und Veranstaltungsimmobilien. Managementherausforderungen und Handlungsoptionen. [Operating Sports and Event Facilities. Management Challenges and Action Options.] Frankfurt/Bern: Peter Lang.
The project was coordinated by Prof. Dr. Ronald Wadsack (Ostfalia University for Applied Sciences, Salzgitter campus, Institute for Sports Management) and Prof. Dr. Louise Bielzer, Director of the Trade Fair, Convention, and Event Management Degree Program at Karlshochschule International University.