Cooperation on the Shopfloor

Illustration: DALL-E/GN

The shopfloor takes the main stage of the latest special issue of the Springer journal for CSCW (vol 34, issue 1)

The theme of the special issue is cooperation on the shopfloor. The papers revolve around  coordination and knowledge sharing. The editos take a somewhat critical stance towards the visions of industry 4.0 as full scale automation, concluding that ”humans are at the center of Industry 4.0 efforts”.

Tim Weinert et al. study the co-creation of learning materials, as a means to meet the need for more granular learning material. Their study concludes with a number of practical guidelines for the development of such material.

Somewhat related, Lorenz Hoerner et al. look at the topic of tacit knowledge. In their paper they trace the development of a prototype digital assistance system aimed at capturing and structuring tacit expert knowledge.

Also using technology in support of knowledge transfer, Sven Hoffman et al. implement a HoloLens based VR application, aimed at ”retrofitting” old manufacturing macinehs with knowledge support.

Finally, the last paper Christoph Kotthaus et al. draw on an ethnographic approach to highlight the less studied phenomenon of maintenance work – stressing the socio-technological nature of such work.

All in all, a timely set of papers that demonstrate the relevance of CSCW in industry 4.0 settings, or as the editors say: ”established CSCW concepts and approaches are now becoming more relevant than ever”.

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