Jannis Ackermann
Lecturer and Researcher with the Centre for Social Science Research Methods

In my research, teaching and professional practice, I have been focusing on how adults organize and engage with systemic-organizational environments. In my doctoral research, I am drawing conceptually on Karl Weick's early 'process theory of organizing' and its current professionalism-theoretical reappraisal and practice-theoretical embedding. My research context is centered around sport clubs and associations as central actors of civil society in Germany. I pursue my research interests primarly through qualitative approaches.

My teaching is focused on nurturing scientific thinking and practice through inquiry-based learning. To this end I not only develop and teach seminars, but am also currently creating a self-study tool built on the inquiry-based framework and pragmatist learning theory.

Publications, Presentations and Projects


Hof, C. & Ackermann, J. (i. E.). Sportvereine als Orte der Integration von Migrant:innen und Geflüchteten? Organisationspädagogische Erkundungen aus einer Social-World-Perspektive. In N. Engel, L. Peters, J. Rosenow-Gerhard, S. Rundel, T. Schreiner & C. Schröder (Hrsg.). Organisation und jetzt? Aktuelle Herausforderungen in der Organisationspädagogik (o. A.). Springer VS.


Hof, C., & Ackermann, J. (2021, Juni 18). Sportvereine als Orte der Integration von Migrant:innen und Geflüchteten? Organisationspädagogische Erkundungen aus einer Social-Word-Perspektive. „Organisation und jetzt? Aktuelle Herausforderungen in der Organisationspädagogik“ – Beitrag zur digitalen Veranstaltungsreihe des Forums Pädagogische Organisationsforschung und der DGfE-Sektion Organisationspädagogik.

Ackermann, J. (2022, März 30). Weicks Prozesstheorie des Organisierens als Grundlage empirischer Theorieentwicklung. Vortrag auf der Pre-Conference des 7. Forums pädagogische Organisationsforschung im Rahmen der Jahrestagung „Organisation und Kritik“ der Sektion Organisationspädagogik der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft e. V. (DGfE), Magdeburg.


Fingerle, M., Hof, C., Heim, C., Hoffarth, B., Röder, M., Haut, J., Ackermann, J., Olmesdahl, K., Müller, L., Blicker, L. & Rinnert, K. (2022). Ergebnisbericht „InBewegung- Transformationsprozezesse von Sportorganisationen in der MigrationsgesellschaftGoethe-Universität Frankfurt. https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/117468780/Bericht.pdf

PhD Research Project

Organized sport is considered the largest area of voluntary, honorary commitment in Germany (Braun, 2017, p. 41). In particular, it is the sports clubs, which are somehow designed to accomplish sporting activities (Borggrefe, Cachay & Thiel, 2012), that cannot be regarded as conventional forms of organization - such as companies or public authorities - due to the predominantly voluntary nature of the tasks they perform. As grassroots organizations, voluntary sports clubs (VSCs) in particular are confronted with far-reaching social function attributions from various places. These expectations placed on organized sports also awaken aspirations of a strengthened management and control system against the backdrop of an increased need for social legitimacy and an assumed recruitment crisis of volunteer board work (Breuer & Feiler, 2019, p. 28).

This is where the dissertation project comes in, based on experiences in the field of organized sport (see Fingerle et al. 2022), and examines the processualities behind the organization of sport. In a multi-actor and multi-level perspective design, a wide variety of experts in organized sport will be interviewed using guided interviews, which will then be evaluated in terms of content analysis. The project is (epistemologically) oriented towards Karl Weick's early process theory of organizing (1969/1985) and synthesizes this with more recent professionalism-theoretical reappraisals of the concept from adult education/further education (Feld & Seitter, 2017) as well as its practice-theoretical embedding in the discourse of educational science (Engel, 2021). 

The project will be carried out in consultation with the Department of Sports Education of the Institute of Sports Science at Goethe University and practice partners from organized sports.