Person sits in front of open laptop and opens LUTZ learning environment Copyright: © Martin Braun


Project logo LUTZ  

Learning Environment for Transformational Leadership of the Future


Key Info

Basic Information

01.05.2020 to 30.04.2023
Research Area:
Support, Leadership, and Management of Innovative, Collaborative Work

Further Information



Susanne Mütze-Niewöhner

Head of Work Organization Department


+49 241 80-99451




The “LUTZ” research project is developing and testing a game-based learning environment to strengthen leadership behavior in healthcare sector. Particularly in the healthcare sector, middle management executives are often faced with complex challenges in order to meet the requirements of employees, patients, politics and the insurance industry. The aim of the digital game-based learning environment is therefore to sensitize managers to their leadership behavior when making decisions on complex issues caught between organizational and corporate cultural requirements. In addition, the learning environment is intended to motivate them to weigh up various alternative courses of action.


Managers in the healthcare sector are confronted with complex challenges in their daily work. These result from the convergence of the multi-layered requirements of employees, patients, politics and the insurance industry. Decisions that managers from medical and nursing institutions have to make with regard to the requirements and in the conflicting areas of organization and corporate culture are often rather implicit and mediated and have so far been insufficiently addressed in research and practice. In most cases, decision-making processes are based on experience and intuition. In order to offer managers support in making difficult decisions, a digital game-based learning environment is being developed as part of the LUTZ research project, which should enable managers to become more aware of alternative courses of action in complex decision-making situations in the healthcare sector.


The objective of the research project is to develop and test a digital learning environment for middle management in the healthcare sector. The core concern of the learning environment is to enable managers to design decision-making processes in a situation-appropriate, qualified and reflective manner. The challenges in decision-making processes that arise from the organizational and corporate cultural context are taken into account. The framework for leadership behavior is based on the leadership style of transformational leadership, which appeals to people on a deep emotional level and motivates them to achieve common values, goals and tasks.


The planned result is a prototype implementation of the digital learning environment in which managers can test decision-making situations in a protected space. The scenarios will be as close to reality as possible and the managers will be able to observe the consequences of their decisions. The project starts with a multi-method survey of the content-related and technical requirements for the learning environment. Based on this, decision-making situations will be modeled that reflect the conflict between leadership, organization and corporate culture. These provide the content-related basis for the development of training scenarios that depict decision-making situations as realistically as possible. An agile development process involving all project partners, especially those from the healthcare sector, ensures that the technical implementation meets the requirements. The prototype will be tested by the application partners within the framework of the project and evaluated with regard to its effect on the support and design of decision-making processes.


As part of the research project, a prototype of a digital, web-based learning application was developed with which managers in healthcare can experience and reflect on challenging decision-making situations and their handling in a playful way and take away implementation ideas for their own everyday work. The LUTZ learning application is intended to provide concrete recommendations for action based on relationship-oriented leadership approaches such as transformational leadership. The leadership approaches and models selected for this purpose, which are taught as part of the digital learning application, are shared decision-making based on Vroom (2000), situational leadership according to Hersey and Blanchard (1969), and appreciative communication following Rosenberg (2016). The associated content is conveyed implicitly in a target group-specific manner within the context of six realistic learning scenarios and explicitly in the form of texts, videos and exercises in a separate knowledge area, the so-called MehrLernRaum. The technical and content-related further development of the prototype after the end of the project as well as its use in the context of a digital leadership training may be carried out by the project partners EUMEDIAS AG and Databay AG. For more information, please visit the official LUTZ project website.

Project Partners

Funded Project Partners
Humanas Pflege GmbH & Co. KG
Fraunhofer-Institut für Fabrikbetrieb und -automatisierung IFF
Databay AG data

Associated Project Partners
BZPG – Bildungszentrum für Bildung und Gesundheit gGmbH

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A digital learning environment for healthcare managers (Image: © EUMEDIAS AG)


The project is financed with funding provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) under the “Future of work” programme (funding number: 02L18B535) and implemented by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). The author is responsible for the content of this publication.

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