Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - RMZ

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | RMZ | Research Activities | Completed projects | KETAK - New Paths in University Medicine


(11/2020 – 10/2023)

Principal Investigators: Dr. Barbara Hendriks

The profound structural change of the German science system since the 1990s is the starting point of the present research project KETAK. In the course of a deepening formal hierarchization and standardization of processes with the help of new evaluation and management tools – prominently discussed under keywords such as “New Public Management”, “Economization” and “Financialization” – public institutions are rationalized in a way that they differentiate their management structures, expand the range of tasks, make strategic decisions and develop individual performance incentives to fulfill this new range of tasks. The economic logic of action has thus found its way into formal organizational structures, alongside a scientific logic, and opens up a new field of tension.
As a maximum care provider in the healthcare system and a flagship of basic biomedical research, university medicine in Germany faces particular challenges in this area: it combines the triad of research, teaching and patient care in a complex and tense way. Research and teaching are increasingly taking place in a highly competitive international environment dominated by the idea of excellence, while patient care is subject to intense competition for resources between functional and specialist areas within the university hospital and between different university hospitals. A stronger focus on financial metrics and measurable performance outputs reveals bureaucratization effects, contributes to work intensification in patient care and research, and overall encourages a shift in organizational focus to revenue relevant activities at the individual level.
In view of these rationalized control modes, the KETAK-project pursues the overarching goal of analyzing new forms of work organizations and their organizational and professional implications and effects. The integrated research and treatment centers (in German: Integrierte Forschungs- und Behandlungszentren (IFB)) and clinician scientist programs are exemplary for these new forms of work organizations. With the help of a multi method design – interviews, online survey, policy document analyses as well as observations – IFB and CSP are analyzed at different university hospitals in Germany and possible effects of these on the rationalized control modes are recorded and compared with each other. The project thus examines whether and to what extent the two organizational approaches can practically counteract rationalized control governance and its specific effects (e.g., an increasing condensation of working time).

Supported by Project Partner Practice Partner
Bundesministerim für Bildung und Forschung Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin