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Forschungs- und Beratungsstelle Arbeitswelt - Working Life Research Centre (FORBA)

 Contact details
Contact personMag. Georg Adam
FORBA Board Member 
StreetAspernbrückengasse 4/5 
Address 1020 - Vienna (Austria) 
Phone0043 1 21 24 700 
 Organisation details
Employees (in Depart.)11-25 
Organisation TypeResearch Organisation 
 Research Focus

 Fields of activities:
» Cultural studies
» Gender and sexuality studies
» Urban studies
» Sociology
» Other social sciences

 Brief description of your activity focus
As an independent research institute FORBA wants to add to the knowledge available on work and employment and to provide policy advice.

 Details about Expertise / Competences / Technologies
Research at the institute specialises in issues of work and employment. Within this clearly defined profile, it covers a broad range of topics and activities.

FORBA’s research areas deal with the micro level of the individual, social interaction and working conditions and the meso level of the organisation or network as well as with the macro level of the labour market and global economy. Research practice at the institute relies on a series of qualitative and quantitative methods. Special features of research at FORBA include its multidisciplinary character and openness to many forms of cooperation. Although grant-funded academic research currently predominates, the institute’s strengths also include contract and policy-consultancy research.

FORBA´s research areas:

Industrial relations and co-determination:
The labour market actors (labour, management, trade unions, state, etc.) are embedded in institutional structures that shape the relationships between these actors. The research area ‘industrial relations and co-determination’ addresses issues of regulation of these relationships and participation at an individual, sectoral and international level. The research is focused on the following topics:
- Company and external co-determination
- Analysis of national institutions and industrial relations practices
- International comparison at sectoral level
- International collective bargaining
- Practices of European Works Councils
- Development of international framework agreements

Information system design and data protection:
The continuing digitisation of work also raises questions about technology design and data protection. In research, we investigate this on the basis of various questions. Research topics include:
- Holistic reflection of the operational IT landscape and the evaluation of data protection, data security and information protection
- User-friendly design of technical systems
- Investigation of operational procedures and analysis of data protection requirements
- Development of framework conditions for the fulfilment of data protection obligations
- Socio-political and operational effects of ongoing digitisation

Labour market, working time and qualification:
Today’s employment relationships, working time models and qualification patterns are highly differentiated and, in many areas, still segregated according to educational qualifications or gender etc. For the long-term preservation of the ability to work, vocational (further) education is an indispensable condition. Topics of this research area include:
- Employment relationships and working time models
- Precarious forms of employment and unemployment
- Inequality concerning employment and life chances
- Formal and informal education and (vocational) training
- Transition from education to occupation, e.g. interns, ‘early school leavers‘

Occupationan health and health of the elderly:
In this research area we focus on the topic of health in the context of working life, retirement and ageing. All these issues become even more virulent as societies age. Main points of interest include:
- Mental and physical stress at the workplace
- Work and ageing, models of age-appropriate work
- Transition from employment to retirement
- Access to health care and (nursing) care
- Quality management and development in the care of the elderly

Sustainable worlds of work and life:
Sustainability as we understand it is aimed at the future viability of work and the way of life. How does employment have to change to meet the demands of sustainability? Which forms of work and life are climate-friendly? When are organisations resilient? What comes after the labour society?
Research topics include:
- Trend research and prospective studies, e.g. the consequences of digitisation of work
- Cooperation, social capital and resilience in organisations
- Sustainable work beyond paid employment
- Social integration through volunteer work, neighborhood networks, etc.
- ‘Next Society’ – post-growth, post-work, degrowth, transition

Work and organisation:
Organisations and their actors influence how current and future work is done. In our research, we look at organisations in a double sense, as work organisation and as a social entity. This research area focuses on the transformation of work and employment and its impact on working and living conditions.
Research topics include:
- Work organisation and working conditions in different sectors and occupational groups
- Quality of work and employment
- Digitisation and automation
- Relocation of production and service processes
- Project work, inter-company cooperation and value chains

Work, gender and social security systems:
This research area focuses on questions regarding the relationship between paid work and (unpaid) reproduction work. It looks at how work is shaped in terms of time, as well as at the living situation of women and men and their social protection. Topics include:
- The relationship between employment and reproduction work, gender segregation
- Compatibility of work and caring responsibilities
- Occupational biographies of men and women and social protection (for examp childcare benefits, parental part-time work, pension regulations)
- The situation of caring relatives
- Time out and part-time arrangements against the background of the (nursing) care of relatives
 Research Activities

 EU Framework Programme related activities:

 Project participation
Project #1
Project TypeH2020
Project TitlePlatform Labour in Urban Spaces: Fairness, Welfare, Development
Project websitehttps://project-plus.eu/
CoordinatorUniversity of Bologna
Project #2
Project TypeFP6
Project TitleSocial Innovation – Empowering the Young for the Common Good
Project websitehttps://www.forba.at/forba_projekt/society-social-innovation-empowering-the-young-for-the-common-goo
CoordinatorBettina Haidinger
Project #3
Project TypeFP6
Project TitleWork Organisation and restructuring in the knowledge society
Project websitewww. worksproject.be
Project #4
Project TypeFP6
Project TitlePrivatisation of public services and the impact on quality, employment and productivity
Project websitewww.pique.at
CoordinatorJörg Flecker / Christoph Hermann
Project #5
Project TypeFP6
Project TitleSocio-economic change, individual reactions and the appeal of the extreme right
Project websitewww.siren.at
CoordinatorJörg Fledker
Project #6
Project TypeFP6
Project TitleUndocumented workers transitions: compiling evidence concerning the boundaries and processes of change in the status and work of undocumented workers
Project websitewww.undocumentedmigrants.eu

 International and national projects beyond EU Framework Programme
FORBA has been coordinating and conducting numerous national and international research projects covering a broad range of topics, methods and activities since 1991.

To view all of our research activities please visit our website:


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