Research Topics

The Chair for Organisational Studies is currently working on the following research topics:

How to manage the digital change: the impact of digital fluency

#DigitalChange #TechSavvy #NewWork: digitalisation is a rising mega trend changing the way we live, communicate and especially the way we work. This rapid transformation represents a promising opportunity, but, at the same time, a significant challenge for organisations. We, therefore, focus our research activities on competencies which may enable organisations to successfully manage the digital change. One such competence is, in our opinion, digital fluency – the ability to reliably achieve desired outcomes through use of technology. In addition to the conceptualisation of digital fluency, our research targets key drivers of digital fluency and its impact on employee performance, health or agility among others.

Scientific Publications

Zimmermann, S. & Kunze, F. (in press). Digital Fluency – eine Metakompetenz der Zukunft. In K. Schwuchow & J. Gutmann (Hrsg.), HR-Trends 2019. Strategie, Digitalisierung, Diversität, Demografie. Freiburg: Haufe

Temporal Dynamics of Work Team Diversity (DFG-project)

A new research project in the research area of team diversity deals with the inconsistent findings of field research concerning team processes and outcomes. We argue that this is caused by dominant static research designs that used cross-sectional data, effects of team diversity might, however, very likely depend on whether diversity in a team is stable or varies over the time course. The research project consists of a mixed-method design in three phases (1.panel data analysis; 2.qualitative interviews with selected extreme cases (teams); 3.quantitative testing of contextual hypotheses).

Further information

Scientific Publications:

Reinwald, M., Kunze, F. (in press): Being Different, Being Absent? A Dynamic Perspective on Demographic Dissimilarity and Absenteeism in Blue-Collar Teams. Academy of Management Journal

Management of the demographic change in organisations

Demographic change is one of the key challenges for public and private sector organizations. Our research therefore focuses on the performance implications of an increasing average age and increasing age diversity of workforces in organizations. In order to better understand the relationship between the changes in age structures and performance variables, we examine in particular the age images and identities in organizations and the emergence of age stereotypes and discrimination. In addition, we also seek to find targeted leadership and human resource management interventions that will shape demographic change positively.

Scientific publications

Kunze, F ., Menges J. (in press): Younger supervisors, older subordinates: An organizational-level study of age differences, emotions, and performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Kunze, F., Raes, A., Bruch H. (2015): It matters how old you feel -­ Organizational-­level antecedents and performance consequences of relative-­subjective age. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(5), 1511‐1526.

Kunze, F., Boehm, S., Bruch, H. (2013)Organizational boundary conditions to prevent negative performance consequences of age diversity. Journal of Management Studies, 50 (3): 413-442.

Kunze, F., Boehm, S., Bruch, H (2013). Age, resistance to change, and job performance: Testing for a common stereotype. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 28 (7/8): 741-760.

Kunze, F., Boehm, S., Bruch, H. (2011). Age diversity, age discrimination, and performance consequences - a cross organizational study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32(2): 264-290.Kunze, F., Boehm, S., Bruch, H. (2011).

Publications for practitioners

Kunze, F. (2013). Von Altersvielfalt in der Verwaltung profitieren. Innovative Verwaltung, 4: 11-13.

Kunze, F. (2013). Altersdiversität und Unternehmensleistung – neuste wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse. Personal Quarterly, 3: 30-35.

Bruch, H., Kunze, F., Boehm, S. (2010). Generationen erfolgreich führen. Konzepte und Praxiserfahrungen zum Management des demographischen Wandels. Gabler: Wiesbaden.

Kunze, F. (2013). Werte der Digital Natives Führungs- und Anreizsysteme angemessen gestalten. Zeitschrift für Führung und Organisation, 82(4): 332-336

Effective leadership for individuals and organisations

Another focus of our research is on how to design effective leadership behavior for individuals and organizations. In addition to investigating what good leadership behavior looks like for individual employees, we are particularly interested in understanding how organizational units and/or entire organizations can be managed effectively. This shows that an individual differentiation of leadership behavior on the individual employee is rather counterproductive and that a collective leadership behavior should be strived for. The main focus of our research is on what effects these different forms of leadership behaviour have on processes, performance and entire organizations and how fair and differentiated leadership behaviour can be designed.

Scientific publications

Kunze, F., De Jong, S., Bruch, H. (2016). Consequences of collective‐focused and differentiated individual­‐focused leadership – Development and testing of an organizational-­level model. Journal of Management, 42(4), 886-914.

Publications for practitioners 

Kunze, F., De Jong S. (2014): Transformationale Führung: Empathie kann Gruppenleistung gefährden. Personal Quarterly, 2, 34-40.

Kunze, F., Boehm, S., Bruch, H. (2010). Generational leadership : How to manage five different generations in the workforce. In S. Kunisch, S. Boehm, M. Boppel (Hrsg.): From Grey to Silver: Managing the Demographic Change Successfully. Springer Verlag: Berlin.

Evidence-based Human Resource Management

We are also conducting general research on how effective personnel management measures can be designed in organizations. Here, it is important to prove the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of personnel management measures in organizations using current quantitative methods (quasi-experiments, survey studies in companies). In this way, a valid empirical database is to be created as to whether specific personnel management measures should be continued or adapted. In connection with our other research areas, we are particularly interested in how personnel management measures should be designed in the course of demographic change and a generally increasing diversity of the workforce.

Scientific publications

Dejong, S. ; Kunze, F. ; Bruch, H.(in press). Organizational Consequences of Asymmetries in Task Dependence: The Moderating Role of HR Practices. Human Resource Management Journal.

Boehm, S., Kunze, F., Bruch, H. (2014). A spotlight on age-diversity climate – how age related human resource management practices might lead to organizational performance. Personnel Psychology, 67(3), 667-703.

Publications for practitioners

Kunze, F. (2013): Strategisches Personalmanagement in der öffentlichen Verwaltungen im Zeichen des demografischen Wandels. Verwaltung & Management, 5: 268-273.

Kunze, F., Leicht-Deobald, U., Lins, N, Bruch, H. (2012). Evidenzbasierte Evaluierung und Steuerung von Teamprozessen in einem Automobilkonzern. Personal Quarterly, 4, 22-25.

Kunze, F.; Bruch, H. (2012): Aktives Demografiemanagement. Zeitschrift für Führung und Organisation, 81(6): 397-402.

Integration at Work

How well migrants are integrated into society depends not least on labour market integration. This is why we are interested in short and long-term integration of foreign apprentices in the workplace. We are particularly interested in the long-term successful completion of training and in follow-up contracts. In order to explain these results, we analyse how they are influenced by organisational factors such as recruitment processes and socialisation tactics, individual characteristics such as language skills and social ties as well as school factors such as coaching and business cooperation programmes. A survey of approx. 2,600 trainees throughout Germany in the form of an app-based survey with multiple surveys over the entire training period of 3 years is planned.