Doctoral studies

Communication of Leaders in Lean-Oriented Production Companies

In times of economic uncertainty, manufacturing companies in Germany must adapt particularly quickly to new requirements for efficient processes, cost-effective products, and customer-friendly features in order to survive in volatile markets. The Lean Management Approach first originated in the 1950s in Japan as an engineering-based concept regarding efficiency increase. Today this approach is very widespread and well-established among many production companies in Asia. Although it is famous in Germany as well, certain difficulties remain regarding the implementation of its principles in Western companies. Why is it that a successful concept whose implementation brings proven benefits cannot be fully realized in Germany?


One reason may be that the Lean Management Approach assumes a different understanding of the role of managers as well as varied communicative requirements from what we have learned in our culture. Additionally, it requires a different incorporation of the human capital of a company than the incorporation that is currently practised here. The current state of research and the subsequent approach thereof consider and do not sufficiently describe the role of communication and leadership processes. Main objectives of the work include a description of the role of communication in the Lean Management Approach, the representation of communicative management tasks, and the development of a communications model for the Lean Management Approach.


Doctoral Candidate: Kirstin Marso-Walbeck

(See also Instructional and Research-oriented Textual Linguistics and Technical Communication)


Success Factors of Specialist Media. A user-oriented investigation.

In most sectors professional activities take place in highly knowledge- and communication-intensive working contexts. The knowledge gained in working processes is deemed a major competitive factor in industry and science – it is a requirement for innovation and added value in modern knowledge societies. Due to the establishment of electronic information and communication media the market for specialist media is going through changes. Newly developed (supported electronically) forms of specialist media are not always successful immediately in that they are being used and accepted by professional users. What actually decides if (innovative) innovative specialist media are used and appreciated by professionals?  Which circumstances allow specialist media to become successful?


The thesis deals with specialist media as means of information and communication as well as their factors of success in professional contexts. It examines the question of when and why professionals evaluate specialist media positively (or negatively). The “when” and “why” refers to the conditions under which certain features of specialist media are relevant for professionals as well as to the standards by which they will be measured. The thesis aims to gain hints to the successful design of innovative (digital) formats by evaluating existing forms of specialist media. The investigation is based on empirical surveys of specialist media evaluations and is carried out exemplarily by the professional groups of three domains: architects, lawyers and doctors.


The results of the investigation point to potentials in digital formats of presentation that are to be used in the design of new and innovative forms of specialist media.


Doctoral Candidate: Bita Fesidis

(See also Instructional and Research-oriented Textual Linguistics and Technical Communication)

ISBN: 978-3-86359-106-9, Apprimus Verlag


Community Management from the Perspective of University-Related Engineering Research Institutions

Cooperations between industry and science bring advantages to both sides. However, the established target systems are flawed when it comes to interactions. With that in mind, it is essential for the innovation state Germany for industry and science to move closer together. An intermediary – with access to both communities and thus with a basic understanding of both systems – should support this process.


Starting position was the question of to what extent a university-related engineering research institution has the necessary qualifications for this task. A closer look at the obstacles disturbing the interactions between both communities reveals that they cannot be overcome by well-known management approaches. According to the requirements, a model for community management has been defined from the perspective of a research institution. Three central parameters for the cooperation between scientific and business communities have been identified. Another key aspect of the model are the conditions a research institutions has to fulfill for the successful use of the necessary mechanisms of action. The model is based on the fact that a research institution is only able to reach the higher levels of the mechanisms of action in a gradual manner. In addition, the institution needs to exhibit an affinity to industrial cooperations.  


The thesis contributes to the debate on “rigor & relevance” and provides guidance for the management of university-related communities.  It offers opportunities for the design of further measures regarding interaction and thus facilitates the expansion of long-term potentials for success for the interaction between community participants and research institutions


Doctoral Candidate: Christian Haag


ISBN: 978-3-86359-114-4, Apprimus Verlag