Digitization of Knowledge Work

The increasing digitization of society opens up new opportunities for the future design of jobs, the importance of which as a so-called "digital workplace" is becoming increasingly important. Hence, technologies (application systems and end devices) from the private environment are also expected at the workplace. At the same time, the use of new applications and communication media increases the amount of information that us generated and supposed to be processed in the work environment. Businesses are therefore interested in workplace concepts that enable employees to communicate knowledge efficiently or assist employees in filtering relevant data from this mass of information. Additionally, employees demand new working models, e.g. mobile work. In order to remain competitive and attractive long-term in the digital age, new approaches are needed to fulfill these requirements.
To address the presented tasks and changing requirements modern, individual work systems tailored to the task which support the knowledge workers in their work are required, e.g. through more efficient communication capabilities and supportive information processing mechanisms. Examples for this include Enterprise Social Software platforms or digital assistance systems. The aim of this research focus is the integration of these technologies and solutions into the knowledge work of industrial companies in order to provide design recommendations for the digitization of knowledge work.

Collaboration platforms for knowledge work
The use of application systems to support communication and collaboration in companies is not a new phenomenon. For more than twenty years, Groupware solutions have been used for internal collaboration. Expanding these systems through Web 2.0 and social software functionalities brings new, more comprehensive solutions, called Enterprise Social Software platforms. Especially in large corporations, a variety of Enterprise Social Software platforms are used simultaneously for different purposes. For employees, this results in an only slightly differentiated application landscape. The aim of this subarea is to integrate existing Enterprise Social Software platforms within an industrial enterprise and to make knowledge work more efficient.

Digital assistance systems
The current digitization of jobs is leading to an increase in communication channels and communication media and thus to an increase in digital information sources and data sources. Even now it is getting harder and harder to find content or to maintain its quality. With increasing digitization, this problem will further increase. One way to address this is through digital assistants that proactively and based on artificial intelligence filter and deliver content and information for users. The aim of this subarea is to investigate the use of digital assistance systems in knowledge work in order to identify application scenarios and design recommendations for these systems.

Currently worked-on questions

  • Enterprise Social Software platforms as tools for company-internal knowledge work in industrial companies
  • Application scenarios and design recommendations of digital assistance systems in knowledge work


Cooperation partner

  • Volkswagen AG