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Ringvorlesung Arbeit 4.0 am 23.10.2017, 16:15, CITEC, Uni Bielefeld

Ringvorlesung „Arbeit 4.0“ des gemeinsam von den Universitäten Paderborn und Bielefeld betriebenen Forschungsschwerpunkts „Digitale Zukunft“ und des Fortschrittskollegs „Gestaltung von flexiblen Arbeitswelten“.

Milou Habraken
University of Twente

Smart industry: what do we mean with this term and challenges from a job design lens"

Datum und Ort: 23.10.2017 um 16:15 Uhr an der Universität Bielefeld, CiTEC, Inspiration 1,  33619 Bielefeld
CITEC Raum 1.204 , 16:15-18:15 Uhr

Abstract
By now the emergence of the 4th industrial revolution has become a phenomenon receiving heightened attention. In Europe alone fifteen national initiatives regarding this revolution were active in June 2017 (European Commission, 2017). One of them is the Dutch initiative ‘smart industry’. When it comes to answering the question of what smart industry implies, opinions seem to diverge. An issue which has also been addressed by auteurs about the term industry 4.0 (Brettel, Friederichsen, Keller & Rosenberg, 2014; Hermann, Pentek & Otto, 2016). Consequently, based on document analysis and conducted interviews – with members of the smart industry forum group, experts from a diverse set of industries – we investigated the way in which the term smart industry is represented. Results from document analysis revealed the lack of a uniform illustration of smart industry within existing documents. Interviews highlighted that smart industry is a genuinely broad term. A fact that was pointed out by respondents themselves but also became evident from the number of identified aspects. Thirty-one codes were discovered that could be grouped under four distinct categories: intended rationales, key developments, preconditions and expected impacts.

A better understanding of what we mean with smart industry not only aids communication purposes but also enhances the ability to construct measurements and empirically explore phenomena (Podsakoff, MacKenzie & Podsakoff, 2016; Suddaby, 2010). An example is for instance the influence of smart industry on job characteristics. Findings from secondary empirical data demonstrated that core characteristics (tasks significance, task identity, autonomy, feedback from job & skill variety) continue to stay important, however, a quote on autonomy showed that the manner in which the characteristics continue to exist is subject to change. In addition, smart industry raises the question of whether new job characteristics will appear, and if so which ones.

References:
Brettel, M., Friederichsen, N., Keller, M., & Rosenberg, M. (2014). How virtualization, decentralization and network building change the manufacturing landscape: An industry 4.0 perspective. International Journal of Mechanical, Aerospace, Industrial, Mechatronic and Manufacturing Engineering, 8(1), 37-44.

European Commission (2017, September 1). Coordination of European, national and regional initiatives. Retrieved from ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/cordination-european-national-regional-initiatives

Hermann, M., Pentek, T., & Otto, B. (2016). Design Principles for Industrie 4.0 Scenarios. In 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 3928-3937. Retrieved from ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/mostRecentIssue.jsp

Podsakoff, P.M., MacKenzie, S.B., & Podsakoff, N.P. (2016). Recommendations for creating better concept definitions in the organizational, behavioural, and social sciences. Organizational Research Methods, 19(2), 159-203

Suddaby, R. (2010). Editor’s comments: Construct clarity in theories of management and organization. Academy of Management Review, 35(3), 346-357.

 

Milou Habraken is a PhD researcher at the University of Twente in the field of Human Resource Management. Her research joins the initiative on Smart Industries from the Human Resource Management point of view.

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