The layer structure of the Schumpeter Centre

The Schumpeter Centre focuses on the dynamics of change on the societal level fostered through technological and social innovations, the massive entry of emerging markets and developing countries into the worldwide division of labor, as well as migration, ageing of the society, or the conflict between processes of regulation and deregulation.  Although technological processes will not be in the center of the analysis, they are not be ignored, because they both have a huge impact on society and are significantly fostered or hampered through the organization of societies.

These dynamics have consequences that go far beyond the economic sphere (keyword: benefits of allocation through globalization, which are actually quite well investigated). Distribution effects and their social, societal and legal consequences are increasingly relevant. That said it is necessary to look at those changes from more than one perspective.

The theoretical and conceptional basics for a complete understanding of these dynamics are missing in many areas. Furthermore, suggestions and strategies for implementation; methods and approaches to an accompanying, theory driven, evidence based research are lacking. The Schumpeter Centre shall help to fill this gap. The challenge – but also the chance – is to make use of the existing expertise in the social sciences of the FSU..

Thus, the Schumpeter Centre is an attempt to meet new challenges facing universities in the 21st century. As societies change and seem to be increasingly complex, science must seek for new approaches that bridge differences between disciplines. In Thuringia, for example, the government, in particular the Ministry of Economy, Science and the Digital Society (TMWWDG) identified the topics knowledge transfer, “Innovation East”, and digitalization as the main challenges of the state. Those topics are linked directly to the interdisciplinary nature of the Schumpeter Centre.

Below this upper level, which can be summarized best with the keywords social, societal, economic and political processes of change, the Schumpeter Centre identifies umbrella-topics, i.e. topics cluster on a second level. To name a few:

  1. (European) migration processes, the change of the idea of a national state and the accompanying Europeanization on political and institutional level and their problems;
  2. The changes of the labor market, labor relations and interacting organizational change;
  3. Attempts to install new ways of collaboration between state and private actors that help to master the societal change.

Many researchers at the FSU from different disciplines are already involved in a variety of activities with respect to these three research areas. The Schumpeter Centre still offers an ideal ground to recognize and implement possible synergies. There is always potential for colleagues to join existing initiatives or initiate research projects with others themselves.

On a somewhat more concrete level, the following list of projects shows that change has attracted the scholars at the FSU before the Schumpeter Centre was founded:

  • The change of safety/ safety markets, new vulnerabilities and resiliencies; e.g. a project on security policy, that is basically a public good, but is questioned more and more due to more and more private demand for individual safety; or the change of voluntary engagement in organizations of civil defense;
  • Changes in working environment, team work and leadership;
    • e.g. a projects concerning the demand of skilled personnel,
    • the internationalization of the working environment seafaring,
    • or the change of work relationships in super markets
  • Organizational change, management and HRM, digitalization;
    • g. projects dealing with the tension area between multinational enterprises and regional governance,
    • or innovation dynamics
  • Urban change and labor markets, migration, e.g. a project about the impact of (international) mobile workers for the labor markets in ageing societies
  • Business related and economic innovation dynamics (also Innovation East), e.g. a project concerning the development of a new measurement for innovation with the help of different approaches
  • Generation of knowledge/ knowledge transfer, e.g. a project about the transfer of knowledge between universities and enterprises through possibly circular mobile skilled workers through creation and usage of networks

Needless to say that there will always be research topics concerning change that cannot be matched with one of the above mentioned research fields. Therefore, there is explicitly the potential for scientists to include these in existing or new clusters according to the preferences of the respective scientists. Single projects can nevertheless still stand on their own as well.