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Cross-sectional projects | 2023 Crisis, Structural Change and the Mittelstand (SMEs)

Ongoing research project

Initial situation/problem

The current, overlapping global crises are exacerbating existing resource bottlenecks and placing an unprecedented burden on the Mittelstand. This multi-layered problem situation is putting the hitherto successful Mittelstand-model of the German economy to the test. Some companies no longer see any long-term prospects for survival due to the ever-more rapidly rising cost burdens. This also calls into question the contribution of the Mittelstand to society and the economy as a whole. The current developments result in a new challenge for Mittelstand policy: on the one hand, to cushion the effects of the crisis on the Mittelstand in the short term and, on the other hand, to create the conditions for mastering the digital and green transformation in the medium to long term.

Research Goals/Approach

The aim of the project is to analyze the opportunities and challenges for the Mittelstand in the current global crises on an ongoing and timely basis and to add an overarching perspective to the ongoing crisis-relevant research projects. The project is designed to run for several years and is a cross-sectional project above the four program areas. Research questions include the classification of the current crisis(es) from the perspective of the Mittelstand and the ongoing scientific monitoring of current Mittelstand policy and the national and global framework conditions.


Annette Icks
Tel. +49 228 7299764

Profile of Annette Icks

Hans-Jürgen Wolter
Tel. +49 228 7299735

Profile of Hans-Jürgen Wolter