Faculty members collaborate with companies and other institutions to address current challenges in practice and policy. Here we will present examples of a few research collaborations currently underway.
"Leezenflow" facilitates bicycle traffic
Together with the city of Münster, the Institute of Transport Economics is testing the innovative Leezenflow system. Leezenflow is an open-source green wave assistant that was developed especially for cyclists. The system displays the remaining time of the current traffic light phase by an expiring bar, which is colored either green or red, so that cyclists can see from a distance whether they have a clear path. This is intended to help them adjust their speed to cross the traffic light when it turns green, thus optimizing the flow of bicycle traffic. A natural field experiment in real traffic is used to analyze the effects of the Leezenflow system on bicycle traffic flow and safety. The results show that the Leezenflow system has statistically significant effects on bicycle traffic flow. The Leezenflow system decreases the number of cyclists who have to stop at red lights by 6.6%. Correspondingly, the percentage of cyclists passing through green lights increases. The data also indicate positive effects on road safety. The Leezenflow system can help urban planners promoting cycling for more sustainable mobility.
Scientifically sound implementation of employee surveys
The Business Management Group has been working with the family-owned company Ernsting's family from Coesfeld-Lette for several years. The chair team supports the company's employee survey, which is conducted every two years. The questionnaire is put to the test in a cross-functional dialog and carefully revised according to practical as well as scientific criteria. The collaboration, initiated by former doctoral student Dr. Alexandra van der Berg, served as the basis for a scientific article, which was published in 2022 in the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. Furthermore, Ernsting's family received an objective and professional evaluation and processing of the employee survey data for internal purposes. In this way, both partners benefit from the collaboration.
Research cooperation between LVM and the Interorganisational Systems Group
Knowledge workers are persons who use their acquired knowledge for problem-solving activities in which the solution path is completely or partially unknown.. Concentrated and uninterrupted individual work is crucial for the productivity of knowledge workers. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to find sufficient time for individual work. Especially for knowledge workers who are involved in several projects at the same time, it is a challenge to find a balance between teamwork and individual work. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the home office was a "refugium" for individual work. However, with the emergence of hybrid work arrangements, the home office has become a place for digital teamwork. Against this background, the Interorganisational Systems Group, in collaboration with LVM, conducts semi-structured interviews with staff and managers to find out when and how they engage in uninterrupted individual work and how this relates to phases of teamwork. The results show that using naturally emerging free time windows is often insufficient to fulfil individual tasks. Instead, employees must make themselves and others aware of the need for individual work and intentionally plan phases for individual work in their plans in addition to phases for teamwork. The digital calendar plays a central role in this context. It not only represents those phases in terms of time but also automatically sends signals to colleagues through status displays.