The Digital Transformation of the Workplace

 

“The junior professorship is an outstanding opportunity to expand my previous research in a unique environment and to benefit from an excellent academic and professional network,” says Christian Meske. Since October 2017, the 34-year-old has been junior professor of information systems—digital transformation and strategic information management at Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF). Meske studied business administration at the University of Potsdam and received his doctorate from the Department of Information Systems at the University of Münster. He then became a postdoctoral research associate and coordinator of the German Research Foundation’s User-Centred Social Media graduate school at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Meske’s career also includes periods as a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney Business School and Florida State University.

His current research focuses on topics such as the digital transformation of the workplace, new collaborative technologies, and digital nudging. “Digital nudging describes a subtle way of using design, information, and interaction technology features to steer user behavior in digital environments without limiting individual freedom of choice.” Meske’s work in this area is interdisciplinary and involves collaboration with, among others, professors of informatics, behavioral economics, and occupational psychology from Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Meske also studies the interdependency of technological and organizational influences in the area of information systems. “For example, we look at the use of company-wide enterprise social networking to connect employees across departments and hierarchies and analyze the ensuing influence of these online networks on off-line interactions and company structures.” Equally significant is Meske’s research into how management can use digital leadership to effectively guide transformation processes. This also means, especially for knowledge-intensive companies, developing an understanding of how technology-induced processes of change influence the active participation of those affected by the transformation. For instance, a current research project on the role of self-determination (self-determination theory) highlights the significance of autonomy, competence, and connection for knowledge workers in digital work contexts.

“The ECDF offers professors from different fields an outstanding environment for the pursuit of interdisciplinary research on the digital future. The resulting network doesn’t just help us see the bigger picture thematically and methodologically; it also has the rare and practical advantage of helping us find project partners for empirical studies quickly and directly. With its thematic focus, the involvement of outstanding scientific institutions and the right companies, the ECDF is a unique network that is crucial in promoting Berlin’s and thus Germany’s visibility as an excellent place for research.”