Principal Investigators:
Prof. Dr. Michael Fretschner (Nordakademie Hamburg)
Prof. Dr. Sylvia Chan-Olmsted & Dr. Lisa Wolter (University of Florida)
Prof. Dr. Claudia Fantapié Altobelli (Helmut-Schmidt-University – University of Federal Armed Forces Hamburg)

This project is designed to develop a trust scale that can be applied specifically in the media industry across different countries. The study will establish and validate the Media Brand Trust Scale (MBTS) for both industry applications and academic dissemination. The MBTS can also be examined in the contexts of its contribution to consumers’ media brand loyalty/equity tracking as well as advertising effectiveness due to the impact of trust in generating reach and positive halo effects from media brand trust to trust in ads. Our objective is to develop a sophisticated and rigorous measurement instrument that can be universally applied across the media industry, reflects the reality of today’s mediated lives, and contributes to media literacy strategies/programs. The resultant MBTS would integrate constructs/theories in lifestyle relevancy, brand trust, media/platform credibility, and consumer psychology. Furthermore, the project aims at developing not only a reliable media brand trust scale cross-nationally but also a global trust monitor website to assess the annual changes in trust levels of leading media organizations in selected countries.

Where to Look at while Choosing? The Repertory Grid Technique Supplemented by Eye Tracking
Principal Investigator: Cordelia Mühlbach

Application of Neuroscientific Methods to Organizational Behavior and Public Management
Principal Investigator: David Hensel

Factors Affecting Consumers’ Perceived Risk Towards Conducting Remote Mobile Payment
Principal Investigator: Poorya Khazaeinejad
Email: [email protected]

Ethical, Social and Fair Consumption in Fashion: a Behavioral Analysis Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior
Principal Investigator: Lamia Arslan

Self-perception as a Determinant for Gender (A)typical Career Choices
Principal Investigator: Birthe Langhinrichs
Email: [email protected]

Success Factor of TV Series 
Principal Investigator: Hendrik Heikes
Email: [email protected]

Completed Studies

The Bundeswehr’s personnel recruitment – target group and process analysis

(former title: Trend Study on Optimizing and Ensuring the Bundeswehr’s External Personnel Requirements)

Subprojects of the research project

The research project is a study consisting of eight coordinated and integrated subprojects, scheduled to run for a total of 8 years (approved duration currently: 01.12.2014 – 31.12.2019). Among other things, relevant factors and trends for personnel recruitment and retention in the Armed forces, the customer-friendliness of the personnel recruitment process of the Armed forces from the perspective of applicants, new personnel potentials (e.g. external dropouts) or personnel recruitment in the shortage areas of technology, IT and medical services are examined. The extensive investigations result in recommendations for action or possibilities for improving corresponding process flows.

Subproject 1: Reference study (completed in 2015)

Subproject 2: Trend study in a narrower sense

Subproject 3: Advertising and media (completed in 2017)

Subproject 4: Increasing the attractiveness of the Armed forces as an employer for the target group of women and the impact of multipliers

Subproject 5: The information and dialog offerings of the Armed forces’ personnel recruitment organization from the perspective of potential applicants

Subproject 6: The application and selection process of the armed forces from the applicant’s overview

Subproject 7: Shortage areas (technology, IT, medical services)

Subproject 8: Dropouts

Sub-project 1, the reference study, serves to obtain a basic data set to record the current situation. This enables a later success control of the implemented measures and recommendations for action, a comparability is ensured and changes or trends can be identified without great difficulty. The reference study comprises the following sub-areas:

  • Identification of the relevant target groups and detailed target group analysis;
  • Recording the attractiveness and competition of the armed forces as an employer in the various sectors (military and civilian) among the relevant target groups;
  • Motives of young people who decide for or against the armed forces as an employer.

The reference study was conducted once (June/July 2015) and has been completed.

Sub-project 2, the trend study, serves to record relevant trends in society for recruiting the personnel of the Armed forces. It includes, among other things, the identification of trends in the relevant target groups (values and norms, lifestyles). Furthermore, the focus is on evaluating the trends with regard to their relevance for recruiting in the armed forces and deriving recommendations for action for future recruiting from a strategic and operational point of view.

The trend study is carried out repeatedly (implementation September 2015/March 2018).

Subproject 3, Advertising and Media, serves to optimize personnel advertising and includes checking the effectiveness of the armed forces’ advertising measures for recruiting new recruits prior to placement in the media by means of pretests (advertising success forecast). Furthermore, it also includes monitoring the impact of implemented advertising campaigns through posttests (advertising success monitoring) as well as tracking studies for the ongoing review of current campaigns. The aim is to derive recommendations for action and advice on the development of advertising materials, and the identification of potential for personnel advertising in the area of unused channels (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.).

This sub-project was completed in the first project phase 2014 – 2017.

Sub-project 4, Increasing the attractiveness of the armed forces as an employer for the target group of women and the impact of multipliers, serves to optimize the attractiveness of the Armed forces as an employer, especially for women as a special target group. In the second project phase (2018 – 2019), the focus of this sub-project is on perceived equal opportunity, which is examined across all subprojects. The objective of this sub-project is to gain comprehensive insights into the actual perceived situation, to identify the need to expand or generate measures, and to derive recommendations for action. In addition, multipliers for future employees in the military and civilian sectors are to be identified and examined more closely. The focus is on the question of which multipliers accompany the decision to join the armed forces and to what extent they have had an influence on the decision-making process.

Sub-project 5, The information and dialog offers of the armed forces’s personnel recruitment organization from the perspective of potential applicants, serves to record perceptions and evaluations of the information and dialog offers by persons interested in the armed forces. An extended analysis of targeted offers (so far mainly trade fairs) represents the starting point of a nationwide analysis of both initial contact opportunities and dialogue offers. Surveys of recipients of the corresponding offers, both on a qualitative and on a quantitative level, enable a comprehensive mapping of the current perception of selected information and dialog offers of the armed forces.

Sub-project 6, The Application and Selection Procedure of the armed forces from the Applicant’s Perspective, focuses on the application and selection procedures provided by the armed forces for (prospective) soldiers, reservists, civil servants, trainees and employees. This sub-project includes a multi-stage analysis of the processes used by the armed forces. The main focus is on the assessment of the individual process steps that the applicants go through during the application process as future employees of the armed forces (civilian/military) and how these are perceived and evaluated. Furthermore, the applicants can report back their personal experiences and suggestions on a qualitative level and, if necessary, be accompanied throughout the entire process.

Sub-project 7, Shortage Areas (Technology, IT, Medical Services), looks in particular at the personnel shortage among specialists in information and telecommunications technology, engineers and medical personnel in the armed forces. Personnel shortages exist in both the civilian and military sectors. The shortage in the civilian sector exists in particular in the senior technical service. In the military sector, there is a shortage of specialists, particularly in the career paths of sergeants, general technical service and specialist non-commissioned officers in technical and information technology and medical service areas. In order to recruit these personnel, it is necessary to specifically address these specialists. To identify these target groups and their needs, sub-project 7 determines the competitiveness or attractiveness of the armed forces as an employer in the “shortage target groups”. Furthermore, the needs of an employer of choice among potential applicants interested in the shortage areas of technology, IT and medical services are determined. This sub-project also focuses on the degree to which the needs of the internal target group in these shortage areas are met.

Sub-project 8, Study dropouts, is dedicated to the consideration of external study dropouts as a potential that has not yet been tapped, for example, for training occupations in the armed forces. Dropouts from science, engineering and medicine programs are likely to be the main target group to be analyzed. In order to attract these potential applicants who have dropped out their studies for a career in the armed forces, it is first necessary to obtain answers to two central questions. First, who these dropouts are in Germany and, second, what specific career opportunities the Bundeswehr offers qualified dropouts. Based on these key questions, a multi-stage approach will be pursued. On a primarily qualitative level, the corresponding dropout motives and alternatives for career planning should be examined in a context specific to the German armed forces.

Effectiveness of information and advertising measures for recruiting

The youth study is a cooperative project between the Federal Ministry of Defense and Helmut Schmidt University/University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg – Chair of Marketing.

The research project aims to develop the personnel market for the armed forces in a more targeted manner, among other things by measuring the effectiveness of information and advertising measures in personnel recruiting with the aim of deriving recommendations for action.

The primary target group for the personnel recruitment is young people (German citizens) aged 14 – 30, all educational qualifications and university graduates from a wide range of disciplines. A special focus is placed on young professionals (subject-related) and university graduates (subject-related). Secondary target groups are multipliers. In addition, it is ascertained whether and to what extent foreigners represent a suitable additional target group for the armed forces’ personnel acquisition.

The objective of the study is to gain empirical insights into the following five topics:

  • Information and communication behavior of young people in the process of choosing a career and employer: Which media are used primarily by young people? What sources of information do young people use when choosing a career and employer? Do specific target group segments have to be addressed with different content/media?
  • Perception and evaluation of the armed forces as an employer: What potential is fundamentally interested in the armed forces (mil/civ) as an employer? What attitudes towards the armed forces as an employer can be determined and to what extent do these influence the interest in the armed forces as an employer?
  • Importance of multipliers when choosing a career and employer: Which multipliers (parents, friends, teachers, etc.) involve young people in their career choice?
  • How present is the armed forces as an employer in the awareness of the multipliers?
  • Perception, evaluation and impact of advertising materials: How armed forces advertising materials are perceived in comparison to competing advertisements of other employers? What emotional impact do the advertising materials generate and how relevant is the content for the career choice?
  • Importance of values and emotions when choosing a career and employer: To what extent is a service in the armed forces seen as a socially meaningful and individually valuable activity? Which values are today important to the target group and how does the Bundeswehr embody these values?

The time frame of the study covered the period from 01.09.2015 to 31.08.2017 and has been fully completed.

Study on communal catering and managed care in the German armed forces – customer needs and strategy development for a future-proof design of the competitive situation

The concern of the Federal Ministry of Defense to provide the members of the German Armed Forces not only with adequate meals, but also with high-quality and varied meals, is faces major challenges due to a number of structural and social changes:

  • Due to the suspension of compulsory military service and the extensive structural reform of the armed forces, the situation of catering and managed care has changed. It is increasingly the demand side (and less the supply side) that determines the “market conditions,” as “compulsory eaters” have become “customers.”
  • The Armed forces personnel and their eating habits have become more diverse.
  • At some locations, there is apparently increasing use of gastronomic offers beyond communal catering and managed care.
  • The catering of the armed forces, like practically every other state service, is under omnipresent cost and efficiency pressure.

The Federal Ministry of Defense has reacted to these challenges with the concept of “Reorientation of communal catering and managed care in the armed forces”. In this context, the professorships for General Business Administration, in particular Marketing, and for Empirical Social Research and Statistics carry out a study to determine customer needs. The project is scheduled to run for twelve months and comprises the following components:

  • Competitive analysis and typification of the locations with regard to the situation of communal catering and managed care,
  • Explorative analysis of the supply and demand side in the form of a qualitative preliminary study,
  • Representative survey of members of the armed forces.

The empirical findings are used to develop recommendations regarding a marketing concept for communal catering and managed care.


Letzte Änderung: 15. June 2021