Institute for Technology Assessment and  Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Kopernikus: SynErgie Cluster VI: Augsburg model region – models of organizational development with a view to fluctuating energy supply

Project description

The theoretical and empirical questions of the first phase of the SynErgie project as part of the ITAS research were related to the connection between technical and operational measures. The results showed that the organizational measures in the companies have so far remained in the realm of “business as usual,” i.e., very few organizational processes involving employees have been identified, although the companies partly play a key role in the emerging energy markets. The same applies to the results of the civil society platform Forschungswende in the Augsburg model region for the first research phase. Here, too, research has shown that although the companies play a key role in regional development in the Augsburg region with regard to the energy transition, this is hardly or not at all reflected internally – in the companies. Against this background, the overarching research questions for Phase 2 were developed together with Forschungswende:

  • How and under what conditions of the energy transition can the organizational structures of companies be mapped and changed?
  • How can a fluctuating energy supply be organized internally? How can the connection between technical measures and their effects on the operational organization be presented and, above all, (co)designed?
  • What type of entrepreneurial organization is suitable for implementing highly flexible external requirements internally?

The project addresses these research questions based on two case studies (in different sectors) using the method of design thinking. The aim is to integrate the knowledge and (work) experience, but also the willingness of managers and employees in the process design. This approach is based on the premise that participatory process design within companies can be highly innovative and should make an important contribution to the initiation of transformation processes in the companies.

The findings of the ITAS team (“Work & Technology”) so far suggest that models of “participatory technology and business design” are becoming increasingly relevant, also and especially with regard to visions of digitalization processes in different work contexts.


Dr. Bettina-Johanna Krings
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-26347