Eva-Maria Nyckel
ifk Junior Fellow Abroad

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2022 bis 30. June 2023

Fellow Abroad

01. October 2023 bis 30. June 2024

Always Even Better Ways. Logistical Media and Programmability of Labor


When F.W. Taylor published The Principles of Scientific Management in 1911, his key goal was to optimize work processes so that they would be as little time-consuming as possible. His principles held that inefficiencies should be made visible through practices of measurement. Control was exercised through the capturing of labor performance in numbers and metrics. Today, process management systems such as Salesforce are used in a great number of organizations to realize the standardization of workflows as well as to control their efficiency. Their fundamental key procedure is still numeric registering. While Taylor’s systematic approach involved a combination of distributed practices, Salesforce connects these practices digitally. In this research project, an interdisciplinary approach will be used in order to shed light on both the technical structure of Salesforce as well as the epistemological assumptions about labor processes that lie in its code.


Eva-Maria Nyckel studied Media Studies at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In 2016-18 she was a research associate at the Munich Center for Technology in Society, in 2018 she was a fellow at the GRK Locating Media at the University of Siegen. Since 2019 she is a research associate at the Department of Sociology of the Future of Work at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.


»Ahead of Time. Media-Theoretical Implications of Amazon’s Anticipatory Shipping Patent«, in: Axel Volmar, Kyle Stine (Hg.), Media Infrastructures and the Politics of Digital Time, Amsterdam University Press 2021, S. 263–278. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1xcxr3n.18; »Digital Taylorism? Data Practices and Governance in the Enterprise Software Salesforce«, in: Berlin Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society – The German Internet Institute (Hg.), Weizenbaum Series 9, 2020. https://doi.org/10.34669/wi.ws/9; als Raffetseder: gem. mit Simon Schaupp und Philipp Staab, »Kybernetik und Kontrolle. Algorithmische Arbeitssteuerung und betriebliche Herrschaft«, in: PROKLA 187, 2/2017, Westfälisches Dampfboot, S. 227–247.

03 May 2023
  • Lecture
IFK & IFK@Zoom
Eva-Maria Nyckel

»An Assembly Line in the Head«. Arbeit, Anweisung, Automatisierung

Der Vortrag behandelt unterschiedliche historische und gegenwärtige Momente der Optimierung von Arbeitsprozessen. Anhand der Gegenüberstellung von Fließband und Callcenter wird das Konzept der Automatisierbarkeit in den Vordergrund gerückt, um die Gemengelage zu beleuchten, in der Softwareanwendungen wie SAP oder Salesforce entwickelt worden sind.