December 18th 2019

BWLO Insights: What does the team do besides teaching?

Insights into one of the department’s research projects on digitization

Besides short visits for meetings in the office, our students usually meet us in the evenings in webinars or on weekends during the on-campus sessions. One or the other might wonder how fill our working day in addition to teaching. Thus, I would like to tell you about two working days of our head of studies Maria Rabl, and myself, Julia Waldegger (research and teaching assistant at BWL Online).

At the conference "Interconnected Work Environments - the Digital Employee" in Mannheim, we were not only able to get interesting practical examples for teaching from Google, Bosch, SAP, Roche Diagnostics and other big players of digital transformation, but also to join academic discussions with other researchers. At the conference, the participants discussed topics such as human-machine relations, artificial intelligence, the necessary political framework for digital transformation, and the new world of work in digitized companies. Some companies are already lighthouses and demonstrate how to benefit from digital transformation. Katharina Krentz, Consultant New Work & Digital Collaboration at Bosch, reported on her experiences with successful virtual teamwork. Cawa Younosi, Human Resources Manager at SAP in Germany, focused on employee happiness at SAP. Initiatives at SAP include for instance a platform for dog sitting for employees.

At the conference, we presented the topic "Digital craftsmanship: cultural change as a success factor". Digital transformation does not only affect tech giants such as Facebook and Amazon or huge companies such as SAP or Bosch, but also small and medium-sized enterprises. After all, SMEs are the backbone of the Austrian economy. An exciting company project, which Maria Rabl, Christiane Aufschnaiter and I are working on currently with our company partner, was the base for our presentation. I can easily summarize the key statement of our presentation: In addition to a digitization strategy and a suitable IT infrastructure, companies also need a digital corporate culture to benefit from digitization. There is no point in implementing sophisticated digital tools in the company if the employees do not use them. A special challenge for craft businesses is time resources. In addition to day-to-day business, it is often difficult to find time for digitisation measures and to initiate the necessary change in the corporate culture.

After an exciting two days at the conference and inspiring keynote speeches from scientists, politicians and practitioners, we are now looking forward to passing on this knowledge to our students.

Further information

Information on study program: