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NRW Fortschrittskolleg: Gestaltung von flexiblen Arbeitswelten
(Arbeit 4.0)

T1 - Flexible work processes

T1.1 Human-centered work processes

Work and production processes in the environment of Industry 4.0 will differ from today's processes in terms of their embedding in organizational and operational structures, extended decision making, coordination, control and service functionality, as well as the organization of virtual and real machines.

On the basis of concepts of self-adaptive systems on the one hand and agile development methods on the other hand, novel process description, execution and valuation techniques must be developed which enable a high flexibility of people-centered, adaptive work processes.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Gregor Engels, Institute of Computer Science, engels[at]uni-paderborn. de, University of Paderborn

T1.2 Change management

Due to the high technological challenges involved, the industrial implementation of complex technical concepts such as Industry 4.0 is characterized by engineering considerations and optimizations. Decisive for the success of Industry 4.0 in the respective operational context, however, is the situation and company-specific conception and design of new procedures as well as new technologies, e. g. the concatenation of cyber-physical systems. This requires a comprehensive change process that involves executives, employees and works councils alike.

Triggers, goals and design criteria are to be determined for the sensitization phase of the change process to Industry 4.0. These should be put in relation to each other and brought together in the form of an approach concept. The procedure concept should be configurable in a company-specific way and should be verified in a pilot application. This lays the foundation for an employee-centered implementation of Industry 4.0 geared to strategic goals.

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Iris Gräßler, Heinz Nixdorf Institute, iris. graessler[at]hni. uni-paderborn. de, University of Paderborn

T1.3 Organisational justice or individual and in-company continuing training

Experiencing justice is one of the most central (de)motivators for workers. Job satisfaction, health, dysfunctional and proactive behavior are significantly influenced by the extent to which decisions in organizations are perceived as fair. In connection with the implementation of Industry 4.0, employees are confronted with a whole series of decisions, ranging from the planning of the new world of work to the flexible allocation of individual tasks. In this field of work, the aim is to examine how fairly employed people perceive working conditions under Industry 4.0 in comparison with conventional working conditions. In doing so, the contributions of the entire organisation, those of the managers and, if necessary, the involved "intelligent" machines to these assessments are to be identified. These findings are to be applied to the implementation of Industry 4.0 in companies, in order to achieve a fair change in working conditions.

New concepts aimed at competence development must also be developed for the area of individual and in-company continuing training. A possible methodological approach to the description of non-formal learning consists in constructing competence measurement methods especially for non-formal learning processes and testing them empirically. On the other hand, it is possible to follow the progress of informal learning processes more systematically by identifying factors influencing the setting and successful pursuit of personal vocational learning goals. A better, empirically supported description of non-formal and informal learning opens up the possibility for organisations to create conditions that stimulate and support the continuing and further training of employees in a sustainable way.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Günter Maier, Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science, ao-psychology[at]uni-bielefeld. de, University of Bielefeld

T1.4 Social Embedding of the Employment Relationship and its Consequences

How the changes in working life associated with industry 4.0 affect employees themselves and the company depends not least on how they are embedded in different concepts of employment relationships. It is not just a question of traditional gratuities such as income or prestige, but of matching the demands and expectations of work with the life plans and private obligations of employees in their family and social environment. The focus of interest is the prerequisite coordination between the partly conflicting flexibility requirements of operational processes on the one hand and the heterogeneous flexibility requirements of the employees, which also change in their CV, on the other hand. Enterprises can influence the extent of such conflicts to a certain extent within the framework of their employment political strategies. In this field of work, a comparative examination will therefore be made of the extent to which Industry 4.0 poses particular challenges compared to other working conditions and the extent to which these can be met by means of specific personnel selection (e. g. age, gender, way of life of employees) or adaptation processes within the company.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Martin Diewald, Faculty of Sociology, martin. diewald[at]uni-bielefeld. de, University of Bielefeld

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