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Rangraz, M. (2022). A Review of Material Agency in Information Systems: Associated Theories and Research Directions. In: Proceedings ofthe Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS 2022): . Paper presented at Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems Proceedings (PACIS 2022), Virtual conference, Taipei-Sydney July 5-9, 2022 (pp. 1-16). AIS Electronic Library, Article ID 1431.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Review of Material Agency in Information Systems: Associated Theories and Research Directions
2022 (English)In: Proceedings ofthe Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS 2022), AIS Electronic Library , 2022, p. 1-16, article id 1431Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Previous research recognizes seven types of material agency (MA) grounded in seven theoretical sources. However, the extent to which these seven types have guided studies of MA has remained unknown. Knowing this is important since, besides working as analytical tools, theoretical sources can also render certain aspects of phenomena as more immediate for investigation. Through tracing and documenting the progression of debates around various types of MA, this study 1) identifies which theoretical sources and hence their related key aspects have dominated discussions of MA in IS; 2) argues that each theoretical source, when ascribed to more than one primary contributor, can instigate slightly different research angles; and 3) provides practical information for publishing strategies with regards to the most receptive (or unreceptive) MA within the IS journals. Focusing on theoretical sources can inspire innovative frameworks which integrate several theoretical sources, despite ontological differences, in studies of MA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AIS Electronic Library, 2022
Keywords
Material agency
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-19284 (URN)978-1-958200-01-8 (ISBN)
Conference
Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems Proceedings (PACIS 2022), Virtual conference, Taipei-Sydney July 5-9, 2022
Available from: 2022-10-19 Created: 2022-10-19 Last updated: 2023-06-04Bibliographically approved
Carlsson, L., Rangraz, M. & Olsson, A. K. (2022). Managers’ Perceptions of Industrial Digitalization in the Early Phases of a Pandemic: A Qualitative Study. In: Bednar P., Bednar P., Islind A.S., Hult H.V., Hult H.V., Nolte A., Nolte A., Rajanen M., Zaghloul F., Ravarini A., Braccini A.M. (Ed.), CEUR Workshop Proceedings: 8th International Workshop on Socio-Technical Perspective in Information Systems Development, STPIS 2022 Reykjavik 19 August 2022 through 20 August 2022. Paper presented at CEUR 8th International Workshop on Socio-Technical Perspective in Information Systems Development, STPIS 2022 Reykjavik 19 August 2022 through 20 August 2022  (pp. 99-110). CEUR-WS, 3239, Article ID 183336.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managers’ Perceptions of Industrial Digitalization in the Early Phases of a Pandemic: A Qualitative Study
2022 (English)In: CEUR Workshop Proceedings: 8th International Workshop on Socio-Technical Perspective in Information Systems Development, STPIS 2022 Reykjavik 19 August 2022 through 20 August 2022 / [ed] Bednar P., Bednar P., Islind A.S., Hult H.V., Hult H.V., Nolte A., Nolte A., Rajanen M., Zaghloul F., Ravarini A., Braccini A.M., CEUR-WS , 2022, Vol. 3239, p. 99-110, article id 183336Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores how managers in the manufacturing industry simultaneously accommodated industrial digitalization and the impact of COVID-19. Managers’ views and understanding of industrial digitalization during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic are narrated through the circumstances that came to their proxy during the spring of 2020. The study result is based on qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with eight small- and medium-sized manufacturing managers. This study contributes by giving empirically informed implications on manufacturing managers’ perception of industrial digitalization during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings show that industrial digitalization due to the COVID-19 pandemic is viewed differently from previous digitalization processes, causing new ways for managers to perceive how and why digital technologies may be implemented. © 2022 Copyright for this paper by its authors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CEUR-WS, 2022
Keywords
Managers; Manufacture; Digital technologies; Industrial digitalization; Manufacturing industries; Manufacturing organizations; Qualitative study; Semi structured interviews; SME; COVID-19
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-19323 (URN)2-s2.0-85139838314 (Scopus ID)
Conference
CEUR 8th International Workshop on Socio-Technical Perspective in Information Systems Development, STPIS 2022 Reykjavik 19 August 2022 through 20 August 2022 
Available from: 2022-10-28 Created: 2022-10-28 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved
Rangraz, M. (2022). Recompetencing: Coping with Digital and Robotic Agents at Work. (Doctoral dissertation). Trollhättan: Högskolan Väst
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recompetencing: Coping with Digital and Robotic Agents at Work
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Studier av framtiden för arbete och livslångt lärande omfattar ett brett spektrum av teman, inklusive digitaliseringens och robotiseringens inflytande på färdigheter och kompetenser. För att utvärdera effekten av "avancerad" teknologi för kompetens i arbetet kräver många nationella och internationella organisationer och privata konsultföretag åtgärder, levererar förutsägelser och förbereder planer för framtiden. Till exempel förespråkar UNESCO ett ramverk för digital literacitet, EU driver projekt som Digital SkillUp och Digital Competence Wheel, och World Economic Forum menar, som en del av “reskilling revolution initiative”, att omedelbara investeringar i medborgare och medarbetare är avgörande för att skapa ett rättvisare samhälle. Det råder föga tvivel om att ett fokus på frågor som rör bevarande av färdigheter, lärande på arbetsplatsen och vuxenutbildning är av yttersta betydelse. Befintliga policydokument och forskningsagendor antar breda perspektiv på dessa frågor. Mot en sådan bakgrund är denna avhandling ett försök att problematisera vad vi menar med kompetent arbetskraft genom att dissociera kompetent arbete från rutinmässig, invand eller imiterande praxis i mötet med avancerade digitala- och robotiserade lösningar. Det övergripande syftet med denna studie är att förstå arbete och kompetens i tider av ökande digitalisering och robotisering.Jag har undersökt denna typ av frågor i två empiriska sammanhang. I det första fallet undersöker jag kommunikatörsyrkets digitala transformation. Här dokumenteras hur digitala system och informationssystem i allt högre grad bidrar till förändringar på arbetsplatsen och diskuteras effekterna av dessa förändringar på både befintliga arbetsrelaterade kompetenser och utvecklingen av nya. I det andra fallet studeras på liknande sätt teknisk förändring på arbetsplatsen men i en annan miljö. Här transformerade förändringsprocessen i en liten tillverkningsanläggning ett manuellt löpande band till ett löpande band utrustad med automatiserade robotsystem. Båda fallen är instanser av transformation och automatisering, med den första studien ett fall av digital transformation och den andra ett fall av transformation genom robotisering. Jag har samlat in data genom att genomföra intervjuer, genom icke-deltagande observationer och genom videoinspelningar. Resultaten presenteras i fem empiriska studier som visar att:vi1. Eftersom arbetet inte enbart bedrivs inom ramen för formella organisationer längre är den tidigare förståelsen av kompetens, fångad av begrepp som ‘ITkompetens’ eller ‘IT-förmåga’ delvis oförenlig med digitaliseringens realiteter. Löpande uppmärksamhet måste ägnas nya krav som flödar bortom en enskild organisationsgräns. Dessutom kan vi inte förstå den flexibla, responsiva och allestädes närvarande digitala tekniken såsom passiv teknik, vilket kontrasterar den befintliga forskningen om kompetens. Kompetens under digitalisering uttrycks därför bäst genom att 1) optimera befintliga resurser och 2) formulera nya möjligheter.2. Introduktion av nya teknologier för tillverkningsföretag — ofta benämd Industry 4.0 — har skapat nya fundament och ny rationalitet för kompetensutveckling. Att vara kompetent på verkstadsgolvet innebär idag att kunna arbeta med moderna automationssystem, flexibelt och effektivt datautbyte och IT-tjänster. Arbetares enskilda villkor för lärande, som vuxenstuderande och samhälleliga perspektiv på deras arbetsplats banar väg för att överbrygga litteraturen från vuxen- och arbetsplatslärande. Att hantera denna tekniska transformation kräver att teori relateras till den aktuella kontexten, tekno-intresse, utnyttjandet av tidigare kompetenser och färdigheter, prototyping av arbetsprocesser och att lärlingsmodeller används.3. Nya kompetenser formas av många faktorer. Sammantaget kallas dessa materiell agens. Kompetens handlar om att navigera genom olika typer av materiell agens. Tillsammans med materiell agens spelar även tidigare kompetenser en obestridlig roll för att tillskansa sig ny kompetens. I takt med att teknologin förändras, så förändras också det specifika för varje interaktion med materiella agenser relaterade till mänskligt omdöme och värdering, mänsklig slutledning och guidad mobilitet, mänsklig skicklighet och beslutsfattande.“Allt rutinmässigt kan automatiseras” är ett något alarmistiskt uttalande som misslyckas med att hantera arbete i någon större utsträckning än vad gäller enkla lednings- och kontrollsystem. Med intåget av avancerade digitala- och robotiserade lösningar kan kompetent arbete framstå som en rutinmässig, vanemässig eller imiterande praxis. Men rutinarbete har en dynamik som är beroende av människors färdigheter, kompetenser, skicklighet och förkroppsligade erfarenheter. Denna avhandling syftar till att i första hand avtäcka sammanflätningarna mellan det mänskliga och det materiella och föreslå konceptet “recompetencing” som inriktar sig med teknologins effekter på arbetet. Avhandlingen visar att den vetenskapliga diskussionen om arbetsrelaterade frågor, såsom bevarande av färdigheter, lärande på arbetsplatsen eller viikompetensutveckling, oundvikligen är knutna till förståelser av arbete som görande, handlingar och praxis. Kompetens är en väsentlig aspekt av arbetslivet som ger mening och syfte till arbetet, och i slutändan till livet självt.

Abstract [en]

With the increasing use of digital and robotic technology in the workplace, the trend toward adopting automation is on the rise. The widespread automation, in turn, impacts the organizing of work, forms of required competences, and models of learning at work. The purpose of this dissertation is to first attend to changes in competences in the main and by association to work and learning from two vantage points. The first is work-as-doing, which asks what work is in practice rather than regarding it in terms of job titles and occupational labels. The second is technology-in-use, which maintains adapting to the physical realities of technological development as well as new realities created by the digital world. Against such a backdrop, this dissertation problematizes what we mean by a competent workforce by dissociating competent work from routine, habitual, or imitative practices in the face of advanced digital and robotic solutions. Insights are drawn using a qualitative method from two empirical settings. The first settingis an example of the digital transformation of the profession of communications. The second setting covers a change process of a small manufacturing plant from a manual assembly line to an assembly line equipped with automatic robotic systems. The theoretical concept of material agency is combined with historical examples to highlight the breadth, depth, and significance of using digital and robotic solutions in the workplace. Investigations reveal new insights on digitalization and robotization as two closely-related, yet distinct technological phenomena. The findings then provide new perspectives on conceptualizing competence in relation to digitalization and robotization. By examining the effects of digitalization and robotization on skills and competences, this dissertation provides detailed insights about the evolution of competences in response to new materialities and the intentionality argument that frequently surfaces in attempts to explain material agency and competence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: Högskolan Väst, 2022. p. 92
Series
PhD Thesis: University West ; 53
Keywords
Competence; Digitalization; Robotization; Automation; Material agency, Kompetens; digitalisering; robotteknik; Automation
National Category
Robotics Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-19278 (URN)978-91-89325-37-1 (ISBN)978-91-89325-36-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-11-11, J106, Gustava Melins gata, Trollhättan, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Delarbeten paper 1, 3, 4 och 5 finns inte med i den elektroniska filen pga upphovsrättsliga skäl.

Partial works paper 1, 3, 4 and 5 are not included in the electronic file due to copyright reasons.

Available from: 2022-10-21 Created: 2022-10-19 Last updated: 2023-12-27Bibliographically approved
Rangraz, M. & Pareto, L. (2021). Workplace work-integrated learning: supporting industry 4.0 transformation for small manufacturing plants by reskilling staff. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 40(1), 5-22
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Workplace work-integrated learning: supporting industry 4.0 transformation for small manufacturing plants by reskilling staff
2021 (English)In: International Journal of Lifelong Education, ISSN 0260-1370, E-ISSN 1464-519X, Vol. 40, no 1, p. 5-22Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Small manufacturing plants nowadays need to consider Industry 4.0 to stay competitive in the market. Among the challenges regarding the transformation towards Industry 4.0 are requirements to re-skill the staff for the new work environment. The staff have to either adapt to the workplace transformation brought by digitalisation, automation and robotics or face layoffs. This paper reports on a transformation process towards Industry 4.0 which was conducted in a small manufacturing enterprise where automated assembly line, industrial robots, codes and algorithms have replaced the previous manual set-up. In order to extend the learning models from educational to workplace settings, we investigated how a small manufacturing plant tackles the challenge of transformation towards Industry 4.0 with existing staff. We examined the transformation process through non-participant observations and 17 interviews during the initiation phase, and before, during, and after the new robotic system was launched. Based on the empirical study, we propose (a) a transformation method with respect to the workplace and adult learning scholarship and (b) a taxonomy of work-integrated learning activities to support the learning needed to manage transformations towards industry 4.0.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2021
Keywords
Industry 4.0; competence; work-integrated learning; automation
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-16236 (URN)10.1080/02601370.2020.1867249 (DOI)000603809900001 ()2-s2.0-85098558074 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-01-20 Created: 2021-01-20 Last updated: 2023-06-04
Arghavan Shahlaei, C., Rangraz, M. & Stenmark, D. (2020). Conceptualizing Competence: A Study On Digitalization Of Work Practices. In: Proceedings of the 28th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS): . Paper presented at 28th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), An Online AIS Conference, June 15-17, 2020.. , Article ID 197.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conceptualizing Competence: A Study On Digitalization Of Work Practices
2020 (English)In: Proceedings of the 28th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), 2020, article id 197Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Competence development at work has since long been a core managerial challenge and a topic that has received a steady research interest. In academia, the topic has been explored in what we see as two scholarly traditions: 1) the earlier scholarship on ‘competence’ where discussions of technology have largely been absent, and 2) the later scholarship on ‘digital competence’ where the focus has been on the individual’s abilities to use particular Information Technology (IT) artifacts. With the increased sophistication of digitalization in today’s society, we suggest—while attending to digitalization—competence scholarship needs to go beyond the study of individuals’ ability to use particular IT artifacts. One way to do so is to investigate how digitalization transforms work conditions, and how individuals respond to these shifts. In this study, we focus on the role of today’s cyber-infrastructural technology, such as social media, in re-writing work conditions. By examining, through in-depth interviews, how the work of communication practitioners is digitalized, we 1) extend the conceptualization of digital competence beyond the customary IT competence, and 2) suggest two levels of competence based on two empirically grounded conceptualizations; competence as the optimization of existing resources, and competence as the envisioning of new possibilities.

Keywords
Conceptualizing Competence, management
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; Production Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-15716 (URN)978-1-7336325-1-5 (ISBN)
Conference
28th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), An Online AIS Conference, June 15-17, 2020.
Available from: 2020-08-24 Created: 2020-08-24 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved
Rangraz, M. & Pareto, L. (2019). Robotics and quality: A sociomaterial analysis of assembly line. Paper presented at Conference of 5th International Workshop on Socio-Technical Perspective in IS Development, STPIS 2019 ; Conference Date: 10 June 2019. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 2398, 123-136
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Robotics and quality: A sociomaterial analysis of assembly line
2019 (English)In: CEUR Workshop Proceedings, E-ISSN 1613-0073, Vol. 2398, p. 123-136Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Automation of manufacturing industry has been on agenda for nearly five decades now. Today, the affordability and efficiency of automated solutions make them increasingly relevant to Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs). Their continued survival depends on the quality of the end product and as much as any SME might intend to increase its business potential, it can’t afford to lose quality by the time it turns to automated solutions. Here, we focus on an assembly line soon to leave its manual processes to automation. It is a case from a manufacturing plant, and we ask what happens to quality once the automation solutions are in place? Exploiting the five notions of Sociomateriality, we explore the changes in the socio-technical configurations of the workplace each of which, we discuss, are consequential for quality. We show while quality is an ultimate business goal for any SME; it is first and foremost a practical problem at the shop-floor. We discuss how quality originates from socio material configurations and distinguish the process-quality from product-quality while attending to working-life quality. We address the challenge of translating the quality which once was in hands, tools, and the relationship among them, to the quality of exact calculations of automated solutions. ©Copyright held by the author(s).

Keywords
Assembly; Assembly machines; Image quality; Manufacture; Plants (botany); Robots, Automated solutions; Automation solutions; Manufacturing industries; Manufacturing plant; Material configurations; Practical problems; Small and medium-size enterprise (SMEs); Socio materialities, Automation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14485 (URN)2-s2.0-85069505949 (Scopus ID)
Conference
Conference of 5th International Workshop on Socio-Technical Perspective in IS Development, STPIS 2019 ; Conference Date: 10 June 2019
Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved
Rangraz, M. (2019). The mastery of assembly work. In: Kristina Johansson (Ed.), VILÄR 5-6 december 2019, University West, Trollhättan: Abstracts. Paper presented at VILÄR 5-6 december 2019, University West, Trollhättan (pp. 14-15). Trollhättan: University West
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The mastery of assembly work
2019 (English)In: VILÄR 5-6 december 2019, University West, Trollhättan: Abstracts / [ed] Kristina Johansson, Trollhättan: University West , 2019, p. 14-15Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study is about a close interaction and a lived experience between human agents and material objects. On the surface, the work of the shop floor assemblers has to do routinely with different work tasks. Secure placements of stations, persistence display of machines and tools, identical flow of end-products and, most importantly, the order and the rhythm of movement give an impression of routine doings devoid of any skillful performance.To reveal the mastery attached to the assembly work, we use detailed field observations, actors' anecdotes, photographs and video recordings. We ask how does the status of the assembled products get examined, assessed and adjusted by the actors? We show how assembly-line workers and some rudimentary tools like hammers, pliers and gauges come together to yield qualified output — verified and certified by the direct engagement of human agents.Categorized into four sections of tacit knowledge, skill development, assessment and adjustment, we make explicit how the measuring happens, connects to the geometry of the assembled piece, translates into observable actions and is idiosyncratically performed for each and every piece of assembled product. We reveal that what might seem simple and routine assembly work involves unseen calculations and is carried out by a skillful performance.

This study distances itself from conceptual models and narrow interpretations and employs ethnomethodology as a theoretical modal to connect meaningfully the dots from empirical setting. The argument here is against the impoverished conception and indispensable nature of skill at the shop floor. This paper provides critical contribution to the ongoing discussion of ‘future of work’ in general and to the debate on the ‘growing risk of replacement of work force by sophisticated algorithms’ in particular.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West, 2019
Keywords
Interaction, Work-integrated learning, assembly work
National Category
Learning Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14891 (URN)978-91-88847-43-0 (ISBN)978-91-88847-44-7 (ISBN)
Conference
VILÄR 5-6 december 2019, University West, Trollhättan
Available from: 2020-01-20 Created: 2020-01-20 Last updated: 2020-01-20Bibliographically approved
Arghavan Shahlaei, C., Rangraz, M. & Stenmark, D. (2017). Transformation Of Competence: The Effects Of Digitalization Oncommunicators' Work. In: Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS),: ECIS 2017 Proceedings. Paper presented at 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, June 5-10, 2017 (pp. 195-209).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Transformation Of Competence: The Effects Of Digitalization Oncommunicators' Work
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS),: ECIS 2017 Proceedings, 2017, p. 195-209Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Studying human competence in relation with digitalization is currently an under-researched area within information systems scholarship. This paper presents a response to the contemporary calls within the IS field for studying the changes brought on by the advent of digitalization. Based on indepth interviews with professional communicators, we illustrate the effects of digitalization on the formation of work related competences. Employing a new sociotechnical system approach (Neo-STS), we analyze and illustrate the effects of digitalization in multiple ways. First, we propose that any further study of competence cannot be inadvertent to the phenomenon of digitalization. Second, we suggest a new approach for studying competence in relation with digitalization as opposed to studying "digital competence". Third, by applying a Neo-STS perspective, we provide a substantiated explanation of the transformation of competences in the work of communicators.

National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-11576 (URN)978-989-20-7655-3 (ISBN)
Conference
25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, June 5-10, 2017
Note

Online Since June 19, 2017

Available from: 2018-01-10 Created: 2018-01-10 Last updated: 2021-11-18Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-3506-2327

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