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Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann

Funded by: Hans-Böckler-Foundation

Granted project volume: 140.270,00 €

Run-time: 01.11.2021 - 30.09.2023


The digitalization of public administration is one of the most urgent priorities of politics. This is because e-government is seen as a central adjusting screw for speeding up administrative procedures and achieving greater citizen-friendliness. 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 therefore intended to advance digitalization at the federal, Länder and municipal levels.

Main research question:

How do working conditions and processes, organizational structures, job profiles, opportunities for co-determination and interactions with citizens change within public administrations as a result of the digitalization and automation of administrative processes?

The main research question investigates:

Performance-related, organizational, personnel and participation-related changes will be explored. To this end, administrative areas that are already more advanced on the path to implementation will be looked at: municipal building administration, motor vehicle services, tax administration with a focus on electronic tax returns and parental services around the birth of a child.

Research objective:

Methodologically, the project is based on (1) secondary analyses of administrative digitalization; (2) 12 case studies in selected municipalities, which are intended to provide closer insights into the concrete impact contexts of digitalization "on the ground"; (3) a standardized administrative survey on the effects of digitalization in the study areas in all German municipalities with over 15. 000 inhabitants, the addressees of which are the heads of the authorities and the staff councils in each case, in order to obtain a broader overview of the effects of digitalization and to be able to classify the case study findings and examine their generalizability.