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SOEP-LEE2: SOEP workplace survey enters second round

Report of September 28, 2020

The SOEP Linked Employer-Employee (SOEP-LEE) survey was conducted for the first time in 2012 and is now entering its second round as SOEP-LEE2. In cooperation with the Institute for Employment and Labour Relations (IPA) at the Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg and funded by the Center for Digitization and Technology Research of the German Armed Forces (DTEC.Bw), two waves of SOEP-LEE2 survey data will be collected over the next four years. In SOEP-LEE2, as in its predecessor, dependent employees in the SOEP samples will be asked to provide contact information for their employer. Heads of human resource management or chief executive officers at each employer will be asked about fundamental aspects of organizational goals, environment, and structure. A key focus is on questions about personnel policy and labor relations. The linked individual and organizational data enables a variety of analyses, for example,

  • on (changes in) employment histories and social structures,
  • educational behavior, the use of human capital,
  • chances of achieving career goals,and work and life satisfaction.

One focus of the first wave of the survey will be on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted human resource management. Longer-term changes in labor relations in the context of ongoing digitization are an central theme of the survey.

The combination of individual, household, and employer data in this linked employer-employee dataset enriches the SOEP not only with additional variables but also with an additional data source. In addition, the project is intended to contribute to research on survey methodology, for example, dealing with the combined use of survey and Internet research to test the reliability of the data.

The project will start in November 2020. DIW/SOEP in Berlin and the Institute of Employment and Labour Relations (IPA) in Hamburg will each employ a postdoc and a PhD candidate to carry out the research. A specialist in market and social research will edit and process the data and take charge of transferring the data to the Research Data Center for Business and Organizational Data (FDZ-BO) at DIW/SOEP.

With this project, the Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Armed Forces in Hamburg is strengthening its research cluster OPAL (organization, personnel, labour, and leadership). With the overarching aim of investigating the “Change in Labor Standards for Improved Well-Being”, researchers at DIW Berlin, Technical University Berlin, WZB (Berlin Social Science Center), the University of Hamburg Business School and Faculty of Business, Economics, and Social Sciences, and the research cluster OPAL are working together to pursue longer-term perspectives for SOEP-LEE.