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project be/pe/so - human resource development in the social economy

1. Problem

About seven per cent German employees work in the sector of social economy. That is a total of more than two million people. Demographic change in Germany will have a deep impact, especially on this work sector and forces a big change in the human resource concepts of the stakeholders. The jobholders will become older and their numbers will shrink. The remaining employees will face a demanding and highly stressing work-life. As other economic sectors will also face a skilled worker shortage, the mainly non-profit sector of social economy will often loose the battle for skilled and well-trained personnel. At the same time, human resource (HR) management in this fields will have to deal with overstrained employees that are threatened by increased burdens, both physically and mentally.

2. Solution

be/pe/so is a three year research and collaborative project starting in May 2015 and ending in April 2018. Within the project the partners explore, develop and test tailor-made instruments of HR and organizational development. This will include four levels of action:

  • the employees,
  • the managers,
  • the top level management as well as
  • comprehensive inter-organizational structures (e.g., regional networks).

The project coordinator AGJF Sachsen e.V. and the partners Technische Universität Chemnitz, University of Applied Sciences Mittweida, AWO Kreisverband Auerbach/Vogtland e.V., and FAB e.V. Crimmitschau bring in their special expertise to develop usable tools for HR, career management, and health prevention. On the other hand they enable networking structures among regional cooperators. This will foster a translation, adaptation, and testing of approved HR tools for the sector of social economy. Examples of best practice will merge into for the social economy and will be fully available for a nationwide replication.


The TU Chemnitz analyzes the specific needs for HR development within the participating organizations of the social economy. Risk factors as well as protective factors are identified to foster health prevention. Furthermore successful career paths for the social economy are in the light of interest.The HS Mittweida analyzes conditions of organizations in the social economy and compares the data with data collected in other european countries. The project will be evaluated continuously.


The AGJF Sachsen e.V. developed together with the regional partners HR trainings for staff and managers (e.g.: further education, collegial consultation concepts) for skills development, career management and health prevention. The HS Mittweida also developed concepts and recommendations for cross-organizational cooperation networks.


The designed HR trainings for staff and managers are held by AGJF Sachsen e.V. and tested for usability and training effects. During the initial phase, all HR trainings are evaluated in terms of effectiveness and transfer effects by the TU Chemnitz. Moreover, the HS Mittweida will initiate and support cross-organizational cooperation networks. In addition, the TU Chemnitz initiates mentoring structures and helps the regional partners to establish such elements across organizational borders. Beyond the exemplary HR tools some further actions will address all employees on the individual level. Such actions will contain health prevention or knowledge management.

3. Publications regarding the project

Conference Paper 62. GfA-Frühjahrskongress, 02.-04.03.16 Aachen: André Körner, Stefan Uhlig - Berufswege und Personalentwicklung in der Sozialwirtschaft – Welche Kompetenzen brauchen Fachkräfte um lange, gesund und motiviert im Job zu bleiben? 18.01.16 (290 kb)

Fachartikel im CORAX - Fachmagazin für Kinder- und Jugendarbeit in Sachsen: André Körner, Carsten Kuniß - Kann die Kinder- und Jugendhilfe den rasanten Veränderungen standhalten? Ein Blick auf die Beschäftigten in sozialen Organisationen 15.05.16 (3666 kb)

4. Links