The Department of Organizational Sociology and Innovation Studies at the University of Stuttgart (SOWI VI) focuses, with regard to both theory-oriented and empirical projects, on the organizational, sectoral and institutional change processes that accompany the development and diffusion of technological innovations. In particular, we investigate the interconnections between technological and social change as well as the associated transformation and restructuring processes in various economic sectors, on the internet and in other societal subsectors.
The focal points of our research include:
- Work on the political economy of the internet, which today is decisively shaped by the organizational and curatorial power of the big privately operated platforms;
- Studies on the readjustment and role of non-organized collectives and collective actors on the internet (such as social movements or project communities);
- Analyses of the socio-technical transformation of various media sectors through the internet and mobile devices;
- Projects on the transformation of the energy sector and the automotive industry, on the adaptive and strategic capacity of established companies, and on conflict configurations during periods of socioeconomic and technological upheaval;
- Conceptual work on organizational inertia, path dependencies and path breaks in the context of sustainable transformation processes;
- Theoretically oriented work on socio-economic and institutional change in modern societies through technology.
The department’s research is problem-oriented and follows an empirically grounded theory-building approach. In general, case-based research serves as an empirical basis for ensuing theoretical-conceptual consolidations and the identification of generalizable patterns and mechanisms of socio-technical change.