Competing and complementing – The relation of Co-determination and new participatory platforms within companies

In our project “Competing and complementing – The relation of co-determination and new participatory platforms within companies” we do research on workers participation on digital platforms by examining new forms and processes of employee participation online.

In Germany co-determination defines a set of employee rights including the possibility of actively participating in the shaping of their working environment. In the context of digitization, numerous companies are introducing digital platforms that are intended to strengthen the participation of employees by using e.g. Enterprise Social Software.

To which extent are the structures and processes of the co-determination shaped by the increasing use of digital company platforms? What is the outcome regarding participation and collaboration of employees and specifically for works councils?

In the context of globalization, decentralization and new production systems this development is part of the growing importance of company-specific organizational cultures and heterogeneous company participation practices.

Using a multi-method approach, we identify the potential of employee participation in digital platforms on the software and feature level. Further we plan to highlight the relationship between the works councils and these platforms and to draw up recommendations for all stakeholders.



With our project we aim to contribute to the debate of Work 4.0 by being part of the research network Digitalisierung, Mitbestimmung, gute Arbeit and sponsored by the Hans Böckler Foundation – the institute of the German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB). The project at HIIG is being implemented in close collaboration with the Forschungszentrum Informatik (FZI Research Center for Information Technology) in Berlin.


Duration 10/2017 – 09/2019
Supporter Hans Böckler Foundation
Research Team
Conference contribution and other activities
Research Team


Other publications:

Ogolla, S. (2018). Employee Empowerment or workers’ control? The use case of Enterprise Social Networks, . . Publication details

Olk, C. (2018). Warum Social Collaboration nicht ohne Partizipation funktioniert, . . Publication details

Olk, C. (2017). Mitbestimmung auf Allgäuer Art, . . Publication details

Conference contribution and other activities

Lectures and Presentations:

Surviving Social Media in the Workplace: A Kit
re:publica . re:publica, Berlin, Germany: 03.05.2018

Shirley Ogolla

Der Algorithmus als Boss
tazlab "Wie wir arbeiten wollen" . taz Tageszeitung. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany: 21.04.2018

Shirley Ogolla