Research & Consulting: Digital Learning and Work

Prepared for work in Industry 4.0? Modelling the target activity system and five dimensions of worker readiness
April 18, 2021

Prepared for work in Industry 4.0? Modelling the target activity system and five dimensions of worker readiness

Beginning with a structured analysis of twenty-three Industry 4.0 readiness models, this study identified a major research gap. Existing Industry 4.0 readiness/maturity models fore-grounded technical, social and personal competencies already featured in 21st-century and digital-competence discourses. Novel factors addressing the unique characteristics of cyber-physical systems and human-machine partnering received little attention. Therefore, an original modelling procedure, based on a two-phase synthesis of 135 publications, was implemented to construct a worker-readiness model attuned to the unique requirements of Industry 4.0. Thus, this investigation offers a new worker readiness model deeply grounded in the literature as a basis for empirical study and instrument development.

Download

Blayone, T. J. B., & vanOostveen, R. (2020). Prepared for work in Industry 4.0? Modelling the target activity system and five dimensions of worker readiness. International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 34(1), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/0951192X.2020.1836677


Abstract

Within Industry 4.0 research, the spotlight shines on technological and organisational challenges. This study shifts the focus to worker readiness, beginning with an analysis of twenty-three models to establish the state of research. Findings demonstrate that existing models are mostly early-stage proposals addressing competences featured in mainstream 21st-century and digital-competence frameworks. Worker-level factors explicitly aligned with emerging cyber-physical systems receive little attention. To construct a worker-readiness model calibrated to the needs of Industry 4.0, the authors devised a research procedure based on a two-phase integrative review of 135 publications. Firstly, they deployed an activity-system apparatus to produce a structured description of the target environment. Secondly, major worker competence groupings, aligned with this target, were extracted, tagged and reduced to five dimensions. The resulting model consolidates prior research and introduces two original competence groupings addressing human-machine partnering and decision-making in Industry 4.0. This study is a foundational step by the Educational Informatics Lab, Ontario Tech University, Canada, toward deploying a global online profile tool for generating, analysing and aggregating worker readiness profiles. This cross-disciplinary project will help researchers, educators, corporate trainers, human resource managers, policymakers, and systems designers more effectively diagnose the readiness of workers for Industry 4.0.

Keywords

worker readiness; Industry 4.0; workforce readiness; worker competencies

Share:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.