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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?

You can download the study, in German, for free here.

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.


Duration10/2017 – 09/2019
SupporterHans Böckler Foundation


Shirley Ogolla

Associated Researcher: Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Society

Former employees

  • Christopher Olk Christopher Olk
    Student Assistant: Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Kirsten Gollatz
    Former Associate Researcher: The evolving digital society
  • Vivien Hard Vivien Hard
    Former student assistant: Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Gesellschaft

Book contributions and chapters

Ogolla, S., Send, H. (2020). Konkurrent oder Komplementär? Herausforderungen und Potenziale beim Einsatz von Enterprise Social Networks im Kontext betrieblicher Mitbestimmung. In V. Bader, S. Kaiser, Arbeit in der Data Society Zukunftsvisionen für Mitbestimmung und Personalmanagement (pp. 131-149). Heidelberg/Berlin: Springer Verlag. Publication details

Other publications

Ogolla,S., Klöpper, M., Send, H., Straub, T., Hard, V., Grünenberg J. (2020). Digitale Partizipationsplattformen und betriebliche Mitbestimmung. Eine empirische Analyse des Einsatzes von Enterprise Social Software (ESS) in der betrieblichen Praxis, . Publication details

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

Send, H. & Olk, C. (2018). Emojis oder Empowerment: Anspruch und Realität von Slack und Co. t3n magazin. Publication details

Ogolla, S. (2018). Enterprise Social Networks: Empowerment oder Kontrolle? Publication details

Lectures and presentations

Konkurrent und Komplementär – Das Verhältnis betrieblicher Mitbestimmung und neuer Partizipationsplattformen
Arbeitsorganisation im Wandel. Denkfabrik Digitale Arbeitsgesellschaft. Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, Berlin, Germany: 10.12.2018 Further information

Shirley Ogolla

Surviving Social Media In The Workplace: A Kit
re:publica 2018. Station Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 03.05.2018 Further information

Shirley Ogolla


Welche Erwartungen haben wir an die Arbeitswelt von morgen?
Festakt: 100 Jahre International Labour Organization. Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales. ewerk, Berlin, Germany: 12.03.2019 Further information

Shirley Ogolla

Moderation of workshops and panels

Demokratische Partizipation
labor.a. Hans-Böckler Stiftung. Café Moskau, Berlin, Germany: 13.09.2018 Further information

Shirley Ogolla

Zukunftsdialog BMAS. Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales. Westhafen Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 10.09.2018 Further information

Shirley Ogolla