Reorganizing Industries

Industry, Technology and Society: Consequences of the Digital Transformation.

Industries are undergoing large scale transformations due to the opportunities and challenges presented by a new wave of digitalization. Examples include the introduction of cyber-physical systems, the increased self-organization of machines on platforms like the Internet of Things, and emerging ecologies of distributed innovation and digital fabrication. The central assumption of this working group is that these phenomena fundamentally shape and are shaped by contemporary organization(s), indicating a new quality of technologization in society. We investigate the reorganization of industries in three, partially overlapping areas:

In Models of Reorganization we are analyzing the orienting quality of models in digitalized industries (such as “Industrie 4.0”) and their implication for the organization of industrial production. We emphasise the material configuration and performativity of these models.

In industrialization of the living we are focusing on how bodies and body-parts are made (to) fit. We study how they are re/produced, surveilled and commodified in digitalized industries and what kinds of material and embodied forms of resistance emerge. We examine how the introduction of 3D (bio-)printing and automation are connected to the reorganization of regenerative biomedicine and the prosthetics industry, as well as the impact of self-tracking technologies on the entanglement of work, life and organization.

In configurations of digital innovation we are analyzing the emergence of new forms of distributed or “open” innovation and interrogate how they bring forward new constellations of actors. Here, our focus lies on the question of how these new forms of innovation are organized and scripted.

To gain insight into the recursive evolution of digitization and organization as well as their interplay with societal change, we conduct research on two conceptual levels. We examine newly constituted organizational fields and individual organizations within these fields. We engage in participatory research for studying and doing organization. We also communicate closely with engineers and companies, in order to study newly emerging objects of concern, practices and structures on both of these levels. Starting from this point, we work towards a theoretical framework building on both Science and Technology Studies and Organizational Theory.

Fast Facts

Year of foundation