Visiting Fellows

Frank Kleemann

Frank Kleemann

Country of origin: Germany Visiting period:

September 2016 - January 2017


Background and Previous Experience

Frank Kleemann is a Professor of the Sociology of Work and Organization at the University of Duisburg-Essen, and he is currently chairing the section on the sociology of work and industry of the German Sociological Association (DGS). His research focuses on changes in the quality of work, employment, and labor relations triggered by new technologies and new forms of work organization.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Frank Kleemann held positions as a Visiting Professor in the Sociology of Work at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt/ Main and as a Lecturer in Industrial Sociology and Technology Studies at Chemnitz University of Technology, where he also received his Ph.D. in 2004.

Current Research at ILR

With the introduction of cyber-physical systems (CPS) in industrial production (discussed under the label of “industry 4.0” in Germany), Frank Kleemann analyzes the work dispositions of involved workers and the opportunities for co-determination of works councils and unions in terms of a participative implementation of CPS on the shop floor. A research project on the German case, funded by Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftliche Weiterentwicklung, will commence in December 2016.

Building on his previous research on crowdsourcing as a general means for organizations to integrate internet users’ unpaid work efforts, his current perspective is on crowdsourcing as a means for organizations to outsource tasks by drawing on new types of (paid) freelance labor mediated by internet platforms (“digital labor”, “cloud work”, “microwork”). Particualr attention is given to the means of collective representation of interests of isolated freelance workers.

Analyzing secretarial work as a prototypical form of female assistance work undergoing significant changes with regard to the quality of work (work intensification, more complex tasks, higher degrees of autonomy), he investigates the coping strategies of secretaries and ways of informal collective self-representation of interests at the level of the organization.

Frank Kleemann