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Research Programme

The research activities of the Chair of Economic and Industrial Sociology focus on innovation and rationalisation strategies of companies and on their interdependencies with societal structural changes. Institutional theory approaches are the conceptual starting point of the analyses done at the Chair.

The research programme comprises the following main topics:

  • economic structural change and development trends of labour, 
  • corporate strategies and company networks caught between the potentially conflicting demands of  globalisation and regionalisation,
  • technological development and innovation processes and their interdependencies with organisational and institutional structures.


In the context of these subject areas, research activities at the Chair focus particularly on the development perspectives and the innovation strategies of companies from traditional industrial sectors that are characterised by a low research intensity (often also somewhat misleadingly called „low technology“).

Research projects are funded for instance by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), the VW-Foundation, the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation as well as the EU Commission. 

Within the scope of these projects, the Chair co-operates with a wide range of scientific institutions from other disciplines too, with companies and in particular also with foreign scientific partners.


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Prof. Dr. Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen
Tel.: 0231 755-3718