The digitalization of the public administration is one of the most urgent political priorities in the new decade. After all, e-government (electronic government) is seen as the key to digital progress in the society and as a central parameter for accelerating administrative procedures and achieving greater citizen-friendliness. However, Germany's performance in this respect has not been very promising so far. Important reforms such as the Online Access Act (2017) and the Register Modernization Act (2021), as well as the e-government laws of the Länder, are hence intended to promote digitalization at the federal, state, and local levels.
The project looks at the transformations in the public administration as a result of digitalization and automation and analyses the effects on employees and administrative processes. The focus is on the performance-related, organizational and personnel changes as well as the opportunities for co-determination in the administration.
Methodologically, the project is based on (1) secondary analyses of administrative digitalization; (2) 12 case studies in selected municipalities, which are intended to provide more detailed insights into the concrete interrelations of digitalization "on site"; (3) a standardized administrative survey on the effects of digitalization in the fields of study in all German municipalities with over 15,000 inhabitants, the addressees of which are the heads of the authorities and the staff councils; allowing us to obtain a broader overview of the effects of digitalization and to assess the case study findings and examine their generalizability.
The project is being carried out jointly by the Ruhr University Bochum and the University of Potsdam. At the University of Potsdam, Moritz Heuberger and Liz Wehmeier are responsible for the project. The research is supported by funds from the Hans Böckler Foundation.
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