EVITA I: New communication media in companies
1996 bis 1999
The use of telecommunications media in various areas of the economy and in private life is leading to a change in relations between economic entities and individuals and thus also to a change in transport relations. The general objective of the EVITA I project is to determine the importance of new telecommunications media in the internal and external communication process and to present the consequences of their increased use for traffic and the environment. In particular, the project aims to identify areas of application of telecommunications media with a potential for rationalisation or substitution in freight and passenger transport and to identify this potential. The project also investigates the traffic-inducing effects of new telecommunications technologies and compares the induction effects with the substitution effects. Against the background of sustainable development, the effects of new telecommunications media on transport and the environment are evaluated and recommendations formulated so that the use of these media leads to the greatest possible rationalisation and substitution effects and the lowest possible induction effects from a transport perspective. The theoretical framework of the study is based on findings from domestic and foreign literature as well as from the dissertation of the co-applicant (S. Rangosch) regarding internal and external communication via telecommunications media. In order to determine the effective use of telecommunications media as well as the communication events and the user group of different media, a written survey was conducted among companies of different sizes and industries. With regard to questions of the international division of labour and its consequences for transport, a distinction has been made between nationally and internationally active companies. Qualitative interviews (intensive interviews) were used to determine the possible uses and limitations of telecommunications and the importance of various media in internal and external company communication. The evaluation was carried out with regard to the subsequent scenario-like assessment of the consequences of new forms of cooperation and communication within and between companies for transport and the environment. The consequences identified and expected were assessed against the background of environmentally friendly traffic development. The conclusions for environmentally friendly transport development and proposed measures for Swiss transport policy are primarily aimed at politicians, especially in the fields of transport, communications and technology policy, as well as transport experts. This has contributed to a better understanding of new telecommunications media and their impact on transport and the environment, and has expanded the understanding to include policy options for influencing these impacts in the interests of sustainable transport development. The project is part of the overall EVITA project of the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the University of Zurich (UZH). The innovation of the overall project EVITA was that in close cooperation between UNIL and UZH effective uses and potential uses of new telecommunication media and their consequences for traffic and environment could be investigated simultaneously.
Increased employment of modern telecommunication methods such as e-mail, data transfer or video conferencing will not reduce the number of business trips. The reason: telecommunications enable companies to co-operate with business partners over longer distances and this will eventually cause more business and goods traffic than can be saved through "electronic contacts".
These conclusions are based on an analysis of the three most important impacts of an increased usage of telecommunications:
the rationalisation through telematics for transport itself;
the replacement of business travels with telecommunication; and
the triggering of additional traffic through increased co-operation over longer distances as made possible by telecommunications.
A survey carried out by this project reveals that among companies making extensive usage of modern telecommunications fewer than 10% use video conferencing. A quarter of the companies surveyed have reduced their business travels, but for 60% this has not changed at all. More in-depth interviews confirmed that more and more work is carried out by international teams: although telecommunications enable more efficient co-operation over longer distances, the companies interviewed stated that without personal contacts and travelling, in particular for establishing teams, important customer contacts and management meetings would be impossible.
Note: Report A8 covers partly the same issue with a complementary research approach
Empirische Sozialforschung, Szenariotechnik, Befragungen.
Erhebungseinheit: Industrie- und Dienstleistungsbetriebe, die Telekommunikationsmedien nutzen.
Untersuchungseinheit: für schr. Befragung: Befragung von 840 Unternehmen; für qualitative Interviews: ca. 20 Personen aus 10 - 15 Unternehmen, die vorher schriftlich befragt wurden.
Untersuchungsdesign: Querschnitt, Jan. 98 (schriftl. Befragung), März/April 98 (Interviews).
Feldarbeit: Dr. Simone Rangosch-du Moulin.
Präzisierung: EVITA I ist ein eigenständiges Projekt innerhalb des NFP 41, es wird jedoch in enger Kooperation mit EVITA II durchgeführt.
|Start - End date||01.08.1997 - 28.03.2000|