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Survey on dissemination and impact of digitalisation and change in employment in the world of work

Project number: F 2444 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) / Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung GmbH (ZEW) Status: Completed Project


With digitalisation and work 4.0, science and society are currently discussing two key words, which describe the systematic change in the working world by new technologies. The high presence and controversy of this discussion are in contrast to the comparatively little data providing reliable information on which areas of the working life are substantially changed and by which specific technologies.

In the project "Survey on the dissemination and impact of digitalisation and change in employment in the world of work", data on the degree of dissemination, application fields and effects on employees and work organisations in Germany was collected and analysed. To this end, we designed a questionnaire in cooperation with the Institute for Employment Research (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, IAB), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (Bundesistitut für Berufsbildung, BIBB) and the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung, ZEW). Umfragezentrum Bonn carried out the survey with more than 8.000 participants using computer-assisted telephone interviews.

The data show that digitalisation is less of a homogenous trend with universal effects on employees. Rather, it subsumes a multitude of developments that affect branches, organisations and workplaces in different ways. Follow-up projects will analyse these developments using the gathered data. The results will offer a basis for discussion on the design of humane working conditions in the age of digitalisation.
The project was supported by the interdisciplinary social policy research funding network of the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS).

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