SDT Discussion Paper

The SDT Discussion Papers publish current research results of the Chair as well as contributions that were created in cooperation with other scientists. The series is also open to external contributions that relate to the core topics of the chair. A spectrum of findings from empirical research, from data analyses or contributions that provide an overview of the state of research under a practice-relevant question is published. The editorial staff of the chair decides on the publication of contributions after an internal review. The SDT Discussion Papers are published exclusively electronically in German or English. They appear at irregular intervals and are available for free download.

The contact to the editorial office takes place via the secretariat of the chair:

Sarah-Laureen Musalf
NB 1/30
Tel.: +49 234 32-28737

Operational Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic - SDT Discussion Paper Nr. 1

The most important thing in brief:

  • The business outlook for 2022 is assessed as positive by companies in the manufacturing sector compared to 2021.
  • In view of the pandemic situation, 10% of companies are facing a significant threat to their existence, especially smaller companies.
  • Although smaller companies are more threatened in their existence, adjustments to corporate strategies are not more frequent. Insourcing - as a possible strategic action - is motivated in about 17% of cases by the consequences of the pandemic (such as supply bottlenecks).
  • There were hardly any adjustments to the workforce in 2021. Only just under 11% of companies reported a reduction in the number of permanent employees, and just under 25% of reduced staff from the fringe workforce (mini-jobs, temporary work, work contracts). Fringe workers apparently act as a buffer for flexibility.
  • 17% of users of short-time work reduced staff from the core workforce due to the pandemic, 27% did so from the peripheral workforce. In existential cases, Kurz arbeit and staff reductions are used as complementary strategies


Read more here Corona Im Vg-studie 07-2022

A Glimpse Behind the (Pay-)Wall - SDT Discussion Paper Nr. 2

In the last three decades, digitalisation has not only contributed to a change in the organisation of sexual services, but also to the rise of platform-mediated sex work. Despite their relevance for sexual services, online platforms remain largely unnoticed by German sex work research. Therefore, this bachelor thesis focuses on the impact of the digitalisation and the platform economy on the working conditions of sex workers. Drawing on international research and using the example of content creators on OnlyFans, the working conditions are first presented and then analysed with a special focus on flexibilisation, dissolution of labour boundaries, and social risks. It becomes apparent that employment on an online sex work platform goes hand in hand with expanded scope of actions as well as new virtual dangers. On OnlyFans, a new level of emotional and relational work seems to be particularly important for the success of the sex workers. By combining research lines from the sociology of labour with findings from international research on digital sex work, this paper provides a starting point for further investigations by German researchers. Keywords: Sex work, digitalization, internet, Onlyfans, platform work, interactive work, emotional labour, dissolution of labour boundaries, flexibilisation, subjectification of wor

Read more here A Glimpse Behind the (Pay-)Wall

What Shapes Work on Online Labour Markets? A Systematic Literature Review- SDT Discussion Paper Nr. 3

This discussion paper analyses work on online labour markets and digital platforms using a systematic literature review and qualitative content analysis. Given a growing body of literature, the aim is to systematise the features and antecedents of platform work. To this end, 235 publications published between 2010 and 2020 are examined to pursue the following research questions: which dimensions of work are addressed by current studies? Which actors and institutions shape work, and in which ways? The article analyses the state of research on the factors influencing platform-based work and identifies causal relations as well as research desiderata. It offers a heuristic that systematises existing research results and relates them to each other. The findings show that platforms (as technical and organisational systems), customers and crowd work communities have a decisive influence on various aspects of work. The study contributes to a better theoretical understanding of platform labour

Read more here What Shapes Work on Online Labour Markets

Solidarity in the platform economy - SDT Discussion Paper Nr. 4

In the summer of 2021, the riders of the delivery service Gorillas in Berlin went on wildcat strikes. However, companies in the platform economy are usually characterised by an atomisation of the workforce. In order to understand the circumstances under which collective action by the riders was possible, qualitative interviews were conducted with 11 Gorilla's riders. Based on the Mobilisation Theory according to John Kelly, the interviews were analysed following Mayring. The interviews show that everyday support in this physically demanding job is perceived as an omnipresent and most important act of solidarity. The central basis for the establishment of solidarity are the warehouses, which provide a central location for community in everyday working life and create an environment that is more similar to traditional working models than those - typical of the platform economy - without a central place of work. In virtual networks, self-organisation takes place, for example in the Gorillas Workers Collective. Among other things, the subjective perception of problems in the workplace, cohesion, communication and the cultivation of social relationships outside the workplace, as well as an employee-friendly ideology of the riders were conducive to solidarity. All of these factors can be promoted by good leadership among employees. The main obstacles to solidarity were identified as high staff turnover, company countermeasures, insecurity among the workforce and heterogeneous employee priorities. The subjective perception of injustice was too low at the time of the interviews for it to be assumed that further collective action would be taken shortly after the study.

Read more here Solidarity in the platform economy

Informal communication in hybrid teamwork - SDT Discussion Paper Nr. 5

Hybrid teamwork generates numerous social effects that can lead to problems in team relationships. For example, it can easily go undetected in the team that different understandings of tasks exist among members. Suddenly, major misunderstandings emerge that lead to conflicts. Thesis of the study is that reduced informal communication causes such effects. In research, little is described about effects of hybrid work on team relationships. In order to make a contribution to this, the study investigates the two questions: What is the impact of online communication on informal team communication? How can the effects of hybridity on teamwork be favorably influenced in terms of communication? The study takes a communication science perspective and focuses on interpersonal communication. The aim of the paper is to highlight the importance of informal communication for successful hybrid work. Gerold Ungeheuer's communication theory is chosen as the theoretical approach. Communication is understood as a symbolically mediated social action. The concept of communication is combined with insights from work science, organizational sociology, and organizational psychology. The empirical work is done via qualitative interviews. Results show that reduced informal communication can lead to serious conflicts. Documentation is of very limited use in preventing misunderstandings. Tools to promote informal communication are insufficient. Specific skills are needed to promote informal communication in hybrid teamwork and to prevent or resolve problems. Specific recommendations for hybrid teamwork are made available in six handouts and two checklists. For the future, it is necessary to combine communicative competencies and digital solutions.

Read more here Informal communication in hybrid teamwork

Information for Authors

1.Formal requirements for all contributions:

Only unpublished manuscripts

The submitted manuscript may not be published in exact form in any other publication or offered elsewhere at the same time. We also ask for original contributions that are not yet publicly available. The series and all individual contributions contained in it are protected by copyright. Any use outside the narrow limits of the copyright law is prohibited without consent. This applies in particular to duplications, translations, micro-films and storage and processing in electronic systems.

Spelling and readability

The SDT Discussion Papers attach great importance to a generally understandable language and an appealing language style. If possible, technical terms should be explained in the text and the new German spelling according to the recommendations of the Dudens applies. The editorial team recommends gender-appropriate language. For more information, please refer to .

Titles and section headings

Short, preferably one-line title (maximum 80 characters) and concise section headings (maximum 50 characters) for structuring the text.

Tables and illustrations

Must be meaningful on its own, that is, from the heading, table header, citation and footnotes all the necessary notes should emerge.

  • Tables: Can be created in Word or Excel and must be formatted in cells. Please do not use tabs or spaces to separate the cells.
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Page count

Please include page numbers in the manuscript.


Authors receive the proofs of their contribution to the error correction. More extensive content or editorial changes can no longer be taken into account at this time.


Please format them in italics, not bold.


Abbreviations, such as or sometimes, should generally be avoided. Please write out the abbreviations of institutions or similar in full when used for the first time and put the corresponding abbreviation in brackets.

Author and author details

(Name, academic title including discipline, function, institution/location, designation of up to three main areas of work, e-mail address) In the first position, the main author is mentioned, and the other authors are listed below. Ordered according to the amount of the contribution to the contribution.


In addition to the manuscript, please tag the article.


2. Information for essays and current research papers

Authors: The text begins with an introduction/teaser (maximum 750 characters including spaces) and is intended to dictate the discussion context of the article. A summary in German (maximum 1,200 characters including spaces) and English (including an English title) must be attached to the article. In addition, an outline overview facilitates editorial work.

Citation: It is quoted according to the "APA" system:

Footnotes: should only be used sparingly if they are necessary as a content supplement or commentary.

The bibliography is sorted alphabetically by author name and, if necessary, by author*in by year of publication (ascending). In case of multiple authors, all names must be specified in the bibliography. For articles from anthologies or journals, the page numbers are given in full. For journals, the year numbers (vol.) and the issue numbers (issue) must be mentioned.

If the literature cited in the text has been published in multiple forms, journal and anthology publications are preferable to working and discussionpapers (usually published at an earlier date)