(updated on January 26, 2018)

Initial Project Description as of September 2017

The project's primary objective is to foster the integration of refugees into the working world. In order to reach this end, the project is designed to provide a forum for interaction between refugees, executives of several well-known companies in the Bonn area, students of the Alanus University in Alfter, volunteers that work at the association called Ausbildung statt Abschiebung, and researchers employed at the Deutsche Institut für Erwachsenenbildung.
From a scientific point of view, we are trying to gain insights into both problems hindering as well as benefits resulting from the integration of refugees into the German labor market; in particular, we want to heighten general awareness of the difficulties involved in the process of integration. We would like to draw attention not only to the refugees, but also to the recruitment process and to existing measures to prepare refugees for their application process. In concrete terms, we intend to familiarize three smaller groups of refugees with the application process in Germany by helping them to realistically assess their own competences for the labor market, prepare their application documents accordingly and familiarize them with parts of the application process through role-playing. We will work together with the association Ausbildung statt Abschiebung  - in short, AsA – and draw from their programs designed to help refugees find employment. We will also work together with the Deutsche Institut für Erwachsenenbildung: the role-plays will take place and be recorded on the premises there. After a computer-aided analysis of the students of the "phase" (Philosophy, Arts and Social Entrepreneurship1) the results are presented on the DIE website.
Role-playing analyses are largely carried out using phenomenological and hermeneutic methods.


What the project aims to achieve

The fact that this project brings together business, science, education, young students and refugees means that it promises to have a strong disseminator effect.

First off, a group of 15 refugees will be made familiar with the application procedure and will draft their own application documents in digital form during the project. The Alanus students – by way of their involvement in workshops and role plays – will gain a thorough understanding of the refugee’s situation in Germany and become familiar with the local labor market and application procedures currently in vogue. Through the direct interaction, managers will gain an understanding of both the hurdles facing refugees but also possible benefits resulting from successful integration. These findings will be passed on to the business community and will certainly bring about changes in the way some executives deal with refugees. Since some of our educational measures will be evaluated in co-operation with Ausbildung statt Abschiebung (AsA) and the Deutsche Institut für Erwachsenenbildung, we will be able to provide food for thought regarding the effectiveness of these educational measures. This should not only provide important feedback for the association AsA, but will be reflected in further research undertaken by the Deutsche Institut für Erwachsenenbildung.




The Kick-Off Event with Managers on the 20th of September, 2017

 Rerpesentative from the following regional companies did representations on the kind of positions they have and what their application process looks like: Deutschen Post,  Care Concept,  Fahrrad Hangelar Mitte,  Hotel zur Post,  Kartonagenfabrik Andreas Gemein,  B&R Maschienenbau and the Stadt Bonn.


The Kick-Off Event with the Refugees on the 27th of September, 2017


 The Association Ausbildung statt Abschiebung was represented at the meeting, and they were also quite helpful in establishing contacts to many refugees.


 Application training on October 12, 2018



Practicing the Role Plays on October 26, 2017



First Academic Discussion with the Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung



Actual Role Plays at the Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung




Method Workshop - Preparation for Poland Project


In the May and June of 2013, a group of four students (two students with a Spanish background and two with a German background) took part in a brief project to further develop the phenomenological and hermeneutical methods for use in a larger project that was already in the planning (the Poland Project). The area of application in this particular project was Spanish-German intercultural communication with an interest in disclosing some essential  - and especially incongruent - cognitive schemas underlying the interpretation of gestures and facial expressions.

The workshop was very productive in helping to produce a list of core texts from esp. Husserl, Heidegger and Gadamer that should be read by students interested in employing phenomenological and hermeneutical methods in areas where introspective research. These texts were made available to the participants in the Poland Project.

From January 9 through the 13, 2012, a workshop took place at the CUAS in Cologne Germany geared towards developing a set of phenomenological and hermeneutical methods that could be used in research on intercultural communication.  The workshop was attended by an international group of scholars, a group of 4 business women employed by German and international companies and organizaitons based in the Cologne/Bonn area, and by a group of international students. The workshop was segmented into two halves. On January 9 through 11, the team of scholars met to begin the process of adapting the phenomenological and hermeneutical methods such that they could be applied in a role playing setting to get at the meaning of body language and gestures in intercultural job interviews. On January 12 and 13, the business women and students were in attendance: on January 12 the team of scholars presented the methods to the participants and practiced the first role plays. On the 13, a large number of role plays were performed and initial feedback on the effectiveness of the methods was given.

Poland Project



This project was designed with a two-fold interest: 1) to compare and contrast the phenomenological and hermeneutical approaches to introspective research with two other introspective methods that have become established in the empirical sciences, namely Thinking Aloud (TA) and Integrated Problem and Decision Reporting (IPDR), and 2) to expand our knowledge on Polish/German cultural differences that might influence intercultural communication in a business setting. 

Regarding introspection, we wish to see to what extent the scepticism of psychologists such as e.g. Nisbett, Wilson, Miller, Simon, and Mandler concerning the ability of individuals to raise cognition to a conscious level is justified. Which types of cognition can be raised to consciousness and which remain beyond our reach? How well can those types that can be accessed by consciousness be described verbally? Do the two methodolodical approaches (phenomenological/hermeneutical vs TA/IPDR) lead to qualitative and or quantitatively different results?