Fields of research

Research area A: Media

As technical devices, media are agents of digitization; at the same time, as organisations they are subject to precisely this development. Within the research area “Media”, doctoral students examine public communication transmitted by mass media as well as the actors and institutions involved. The public sphere constituted by the media is also the focus of the doctorates’ research. The term media thus incorporates both direct public communication between individuals, groups and organisations as well as journalistic mass media.

Research area B: Economy

Economic digitization not only resulted in large corporations overtaking traditional industries (e.g. Google, Microsoft, SAP, etc.), but it also alters the world of work fundamentally. Relationships between formalised and informal work processes change (cf. Schulz-Schaeffer/Funken 2008) as well as forms of cooperation and communication (cf. Böhle et al. 2008). For example, new virtual networks evolve, and production chains based merely on the Internet are designed.

Research area C: Science

The consequences of new forms of (mass) communication are not only subject of scientific research; in fact, they affect science and its ways of communicating. Networkbased publication and research strategies as well as better access of lays to expert knowledge on the Internet are only two of many examples of how digitization changes science – effecting the development and maintenance of trust. Digitization directly influences science communication and the actors and organisations involved in this process.

Research area D: Sports

Quantifying and comparing athletic performance with means of statics and new technology is one effect of digitization in sports. Regarding the increase in public selfportrayal of athletes and sports organisations as well as sports websites and online forums, there exists a large gap of research – in particular when it comes to the aspect of trust communication.