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The mastery of assembly work
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3506-2327
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. p. 14-15
Keywords [en]
Interaction, Work-integrated learning, assembly work
National Category
Learning Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Informatics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14891ISBN: 978-91-88847-43-0 (electronic)ISBN: 978-91-88847-44-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14891DiVA, id: diva2:1387018
Conference
VILÄR 5-6 december 2019, University West, Trollhättan
Available from: 2020-01-20 Created: 2020-01-20 Last updated: 2020-01-20Bibliographically approved

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Rangraz, Masood

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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