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Expertises for Field of Action 2

Prof. Fritz Boehle: Introduction to the expertises of the Field of Action “Management of Uncertainty – A Key to Fostering Innovation”

You can download the introduction here: Introduction Boehle (english)

Prof. Fritz Boehle: "Uncertainty and Insecurity in Complex Systems of Industrial Production"


One characteristic of industrial production is the scientific and technological mastery of nature. This is founded on the belief that the progressing scientific permeation of nature facilitates the transformation of uncertainties inherent in natural processes into certainties and based on this to mechanize – and finally automatize – production processes. But the further Science and Technology progresses the clearer become the limitations of scientific and technological control. Imponderabilities remain, and new ones arise on always new levels. In particular, this shows in complex technological systems. In order to overcome these imponderabilities, human work remains indispensable. Current surveys show that most of all such human skills and methods of operation are important that have rarely been taken note of in the past. Examples encompass sensual and bodily experiences, intuition and implicit knowledge as well as a dialogical-explorative method of work. The concept of “experience-based subjectivating action” introduces these methods of operation into the latest systematic scientific approach analyses.

You can download the complete expertise here (german): Expertise_Boehle.pdf 290kb

Dr. Harald Wolf: "Planning the New. Coping with Uncertainty in Product Innovations"


Dealing with Uncertainty concerning product innovations comes in two flavors: One, the constant search for, resp. the confrontation with strong uncertainties (inventions, new products), and two, the simultaneous attempts at organizing and controlling.
Organizations find it difficult to deal with Openness and Indetermination (read: creative action) without at the same time containing and controlling it. This article tries to resolve notions in the context of Product Innovations and Uncertainty, sketches domination concepts and security fictions when accessing the New and points out critical voices from organizational theory and innovation research. Additionally, empirical findings from the author’s own research (“increasing pressure to regulate” and the example “Inventing”) are depicted. Finally, the article advocates more regardfulness, trust and autonomy instead of “Risk Management” when dealing with Uncertainty.

You can download the complete expertise here (german): Expertise_Wolf.pdf 280kb

Prof. Sibylle Peters: "Uncertainty/Insecurity as a Potential in Project Organizations"


Knowledge-based work structures, same as knowledge-based qualification and competence structures become (increasingly) important. They demand more attention, as they are created especially in project structures and processes, by organizations delineated synonymously to project management. In other words, these structures emit impulses towards an adaptation to environmental-dynamic processes. Hence, skills, too, are increasingly developed inside these structures, often in an informal way. New systems react to these developments with ever more professional and high-tech subsystems. Project management thus stands for the innovative processing and development of knowledge-based work structures. The focus of processing here lies solely on the organization and its structures. The organization is the base for projects and the specific rules drafted for project management. Thus these structures also define the rules of knowledge-based learning, working and also of certain manners of competence development which, however, are not yet considerable in project management regulations due to formalization of the rules. This is to say that knowledge-based work and skill requirements and options of efficiency and effectivity are filtered by project management, while highly disregarding possible developments in Human Resource and Staff Development. In this paper we assume that only an identification of possible limits to predicting processes and structures in project management can hint at what sort of knowledge and experience could facilitate knowledge-based learning. This paper looks for indications what developments and control mechanisms can allow for new specific requirements and success factors for Learning From Project Management Structures in order to derive a platform to sense and appreciate “soft” structure elements and aspects of social systems to cope with uncertainty. Such identification can facilitate to seize potentials from beyond technical regulations.

You can download the complete expertise here (german): Expertise_Peters.pdf 280kb

Johannes Sauer: "Uncertainty Management and Learning"


Management of uncertainty implies the design of learning. The more uncertainty and insecurity there is the shorter learning loops have to become. Education is a necessary prerequisite to facilitate the design of shorter learning loops. Still, in the face of growing change dynamics, education and qualification are ever less sufficient to cope with and master uncertainty. Here, skill development and learning-friendly structures are in demand. In examples from the educational systems this paper points out the contribution of qualification and education to a successful management of uncertainty. At the same time it becomes clear that successful management of uncertainty calls for a new learning culture and a new understanding of further education.

You can download the complete expertise here (german): Expertise_Sauer_DOC.pdf 270kb

Prof. Martin Elbe: "Uncertainties in Work Biographies: Dependence on Institutions"


This expertise thematizes the changes in the action-determining institutions of the World of Work and examines in how far these changes interact with risks and opportunities of the working population through the course of their lives. Special emphasis is placed on the individual work biographies, the constructions of meaning and the different options for action arising from a growing sense of uncertainty.

You can download the complete expertise here (german): Expertise_Elbe.pdf 560kb

Judith Neumer: " Coping with Uncertainty in Work and Organizations - New Research Approaches Between Possession and Palsy"

The current study argues theoretical concepts and approaches toward coping with uncertainty in work and organization. Starting from the first programmatic considerations of neoclassical Decision Theory, past as well as current approaches on decision-making and acting under Uncertainty conditions are presented and discussed.
To this end, the study takes an interdisciplinary perspective; it encompasses concepts from organizational theory, sociology, musicology and management theory. The plenitude of theoretical contemplations then is classified into a conflict area consisting of theses on “Mastering Uncertainty”, “Impotence in the Face of Uncertainty” and “Coping with Uncertainty”. This approach proves sensible, as it clarifies the specific differences between past and new approaches (“Mastering” and “Impotence” on the one hand, “Coping” on the other). The goal of this study is to deliver a structured overview on existing perspectives and so to shed light both on the historical-theoretical development and on the current state of research on “Dealing With Uncertainty”.

You can download the complete expertise here (german): Expertise_Neumer.pdf 400kb

Stefanie Stadelbacher: "Organizations and Risk in Late Modernity"


This paper documents the current approaches in international discourse on ‘organizations and their dealing with risk’, ‘uncertainty’ and ‘insecurity’. These topics are main components of the Field of Action “Management of Uncertainty – Key to Innovation” within the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) R&D program “Working – Learning – Developing Skills. Potential for Innovation in a Modern Working Environment”.  As a contribution to this research program, this expertise depicts internationally discussed problems and above all approaches of organizational and risk research. It is based on the special edition ‘Organizations and Risk in Late Modernity’ of the journal Organization Studies (30/2&3).

The expertise begins by sketching modern notions of risks and their organizational processing as a background for post-modern change of perspectives. Post- or rather late modern approaches are characterized by a different notion of risks. On the other hand, connected to this there are various alternative proposed solutions for dealing with these ‘new’ risks. The sketch of the approaches discussed subsequently in the special edition is laid out as follows: First, the concepts are theoretically developed as they are introduced in the contributions, especially by the received authors themselves. In a second step, the theoretical discussion or, as the case may be, the concrete empirical application of the concept are illustrated by means of the individual journal article. The aim is to elaborate the current paradigms on ‘Management of Uncertainty’ and thus to render visible possible gaps in theory and research when compared to the discussion in Germany.    

You can download the complete expertise here (german): Expertise_Stadelbacher.pdf 1.4 mb

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