Research focuses

The research is related to three central fields of work:

  • The process analysis of knowledge exchange as well as the identification and evaluation of knowledge along industry value chains and supply chains
  • The design and commercialization of the derived communication processes and communication formats through specialist media

The optimization of communication designs via the situation-specific, task-specific and target group-specific processing of materials



I. Industry Value Chain and Supply Chains

The research focuses on the further processing of knowledge along industry value chains. The corresponding communications process extends from the emergence of knowledge to the application of research to concrete uses of knowledge in products and services. Key questions include:


  • What knowledge is created within individual industry value chains? How is it communicated at lower levels?
  • How can knowledge be systematically identified to support the search for applications or solutions to problems within industrial value chains?
  • What requirements exist regarding the preparation and application of knowledge according to experts and the associated community?
  • What contribution can the design of communication processes along the value chain make for innovative business skills?


II. Communication Processes and Communication Formats

This research field examines information and communication needs in companies and the associated requirements within specialist media management. Most prominent here are the economic model and the assessment of the competitive advantage that can be achieved via the use of specialist media.


The following questions may be of interest from a corporate perspective:

  • What information should companies implement regarding their specific problems?
  • Which media and formats can be used to illustrate relevant information in companies and give way to further processing?
  • How high are information costs? What information is relevant for competition? What streamlining potentials exist and what added value can result from them?
  • How must relevant information for products and processes in companies be further processed in order to add value?


The following questions may be of interest from the perspective of specialist information providers:

  • How can the proposed information be used in companies? Which business-specific processes are supported?
  • How exchangeable is this information – why and how?
  • Which technological developments are changing the use of information and what consequences are the results?


III. Information and Communication Design

On the one hand the research focuses on linguistic and communicative potential and the barriers to communication knowledge along the value chain. On the other hand it focuses on the design, production, and the reception of specialist media.


The first area focuses on cooperation and interface communication, interaction and knowledge exchange in teams, and advanced training and education.

Key questions include:

  • Which communication and information needs create tasks along the value chain?
  • Which strategies, formats, and media are suitable for a work-, target-group-, and media-focused depiction and communication of content (knowledge)?
  • How can communication problems (such as information deficits or barriers) be avoided?


Topics of interest regarding design, production, and reception of specialist media:

  • Which design concepts are suitable for specific contents and target groups? (communication design, media selection, multi-channelling)
  • How are specialist media perceived, used, and evaluated (nationally and internationally) by their target groups? (reception, usage, and evaluation research)
  • How can the production process of specialist media be optimized and assessed?

“Industrial communication” denotes communication processes along industrial value and supply chains. The focus is on the communication of information and services beyond the consumer market (as opposed to public communication). The “industry” framework focuses on specific sectors of industrial companies that distinguish themselves through their specific expertise, product applications, and markets (e.g. the construction industry, pharmaceutical industry and automobile industry).


The focus of research lies on the identification and evaluation of knowledge. The goal is to optimize the knowledge transfer as well as working processes and results and to generate new knowledge. The latter can lead to innovations in the form of marketable products or processes that help confer competitive advantages.


The research field of industrial communication is gaining increasing importance in the economy, as value-adding processes become increasingly complex. In addition, the work of participating companies has a more interdisciplinary character and they are looking to differentiate their expertise more and more.

Specialist media consist of all media including the documentation, distribution, and communication of subject-specific information to experts of a community (e.g. the scientific community, the developer scene, etc.).


Specialist media comprise electronic services such as data banks, online services or software, and printed media such as trade journals, catalogues, reference books, and further services and events. They support industry companies and their audiences (experts/professionals) in the execution of value-adding activities and are considered a competitive resource.