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  • 1.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Rethinking Competence: On Performing Digital Transformation2021Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With increasing incorporation of digital technologies at work, a growing concern has been with the competence of the workforce. To capture the importance of competence in relation to digital technologies, Information Systems has traditionally employed the concept of “IT competence”. In recent years, the more contemporary concept of “digital competence” has made its way into Information Systems. However, regardless of whether these concepts refer to distinct sociotechnical phenomena, it can be said that they provide similar contributions and limitations. As a result, the focus in both the “IT competence” and “digital competence” literature has been primarily limited to the individual’s abilities to use specific IT artifacts to perform certain work tasks. These limitations have bounded our concept of how the incorporation of today’s digital technologies transforms entire work relations and therefore the plausible ways in which the workforce can adapt to these changes. By revisiting the theoretical value of these concepts through a Neo-Sociotechnical Systems approach, my research aim has been to provide an enhanced understanding of a) the implications of the digital transformation of work for competence, and b) digital competence as a theoretical concept that accommodates those implications. The dissertation provides a revised understanding of “digital competence” through a longitudinal and ethnographic study of two digitally transforming professions, i.e., communications and automotive engineering.

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  • 2.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Kazan, Erol
    IT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (DNK).
    Digitizing Products towards Platforms: the Case of Vehicle Motion System2020In: Making Digital Inclusive: Blending the Local and the Global, Association for Information Systems, 2020, article id 2557Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The development of digital product platforms is a prevailing trend in many industries. As firms incorporate digital technologies into established product categories, they need to manage tensions on multiple organizational layers including strategy, technology and structure. Recent findings suggest that tensions are most likely to be managed by creating resource and coordination flexibility. This paper reports a longitudinal case study of developing a digital product platform. By drawing on organizational ambidexterity theory, we identify four mechanisms—re-scripting, centralizing-re-directing and decoupling—through which the firm creates resource and coordination flexibility. The resulting resource and coordination flexibility in turn lead to the transformation of the firm’s strategy, technology and internal structure. The contribution of this study is in adopting an internal perspective and a bottom-up approach which help to theorize the evolution of digitized products into digital product platforms in an emergent way.

  • 3.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Lundh Snis, Ulrika
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Conceptualizing industrial workplace learning: an information systems perspective2022In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, Vol. 35, no 9, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify the constituent parts of learning in the manufacturing work context and understand why these parts are key in the learning of the employees. Design/methodology/approach: The data was collected from two sources: a literature review of the Information Systems literature to establish an initial picture of what learning in relation to digital technologies entails and in-depth interviews with engineers in the automotive industry whose knowledge-intensive work is exposed to substantial digital transformation. Findings: The authors first identified three constituent parts for learning: change, reflection and deliberation. When the authors cross-checked the initial findings through in-depth interviews with the engineers, it was found that these three themes trigger learning through three different mechanisms, that is, balancing newness, finding point of reference and organizing actively. Thus, the findings of this paper extend beyond a categorical identification of what constitutes learning to also illustrate why learning entails these constituent parts. Research limitations/implications: This paper implies that progressive learning requires active organizing of learning stages. The data is limited to the review of the Information Systems field. The authors have also only focused on the automotive industry as the representative sector in the manufacturing industry. Practical implications: Applying the model of progressive learning can be a primary way to actively plan and organize learning opportunities for employees. This is key for supporting learning culture in organizations that are exposed to continuous and disruptive changes. Social implications: A significant part of social sustainability is based on sustainable employability and feelings of contentment at work. This paper is an attempt to highlight how sustainable employability can be achieved by providing effective learning opportunities at work. Originality/value: The originality of this paper emerges from two sources. First, the authors conducted the literature review and in-depth interviews by devising innovative methods because of the challenges of identifying when (informal) learning has occurred at work. Second, the authors owe the in-depth interviews to the first author’s extensive familiarity with the automotive industry and the knowledge and rapport acquired through her prior longitudinal research on the engineers’ work. It was this background that allowed the authors to find out when these engineers were about to leave the firm because of discontent about their competence development. 

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  • 4.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Lundh Snis, Ulrika
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    What competence is not2019In: VILÄR 5-6 december 2019, University West, Trollhättan: Abstracts / [ed] Kristina Johansson, Trollhättan: University West , 2019, p. -3Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The ambitions of organizational scholarship to enhance employee's performance is viewed as a process of moving from controlling workers to empowering them, from giving orders to creating participatory interactions.These movements are usually pursued in the shadow of a supposed scientific management exactness that aim for a higher performance. However, such ambitions often ultimately translate into organizational efficiency in the sense of less input for more output in performing certain tasks, or in terms of creating customer value. In this scenario, no matter how capable employees are in performing a range of tasks related to a knowledge area, their performance is always evaluated relative to tasks specific to the context of the given organization and dependent upon its demands.

    In this study, we examine a highly innovative industrial context, where the arrangement of human competence, and modern agile management processes are implemented with hopes of employee empowerment. Through in-depth interviews, we illustrate how the engineers' presumptions for individual competence development are often at odds with the requirements of performing in the context of their organization.This is while, the agile management processes have famously accommodated the engineers with high levels of freedom to engage in their personal interest areas and to continue learning in that direction. Towards the end, we argue that, although closely entangled, employees' 'competence' and 'performance' refer to distinct grounds.By distinguishing the two terminologies, we aim at voicing both the employees' concerns with developing their competence, as well as the managerial consideration to obtain "competent" performance. Our study contributes to both the management literature on competence at work, as well as studies of workplace learning.

  • 5.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Lundh Snis, Ulrika
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Stenmark, Dick
    University of Gothenburg, Department of Applied Information Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Organizing in the age of digital product platforms: The work of integrated vehicle control engineers2019In: CEUR Workshop Proceedings, E-ISSN 1613-0073, Vol. 2398, p. 17-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As flexibility and generativity of digitized information continuously afford new possibilities, a significant challenge for organizations becomes pinpointing practices that are befitting from various aspects. Two overarching digitization eras have so far determined the greatness of the challenge for organizations; 'computerization', and 'the Internet'. Today, a third era of digitization is marked by the emergence of digitized products. As increasing numbers of code line and software are being incorporated in previously physical products such as cars, they can be used as complete products on one layer, and simultaneously turn into platforms enabling other firms to develop and integrate new components, content, or services on another layer. As digital product platform's multiple design layers need to be open to various applications and agendas, their development requires new justifications and approaches for organizing work. By applying a Neo Socio-Technical Systems frame of reference on the work of engineers as they engage in developing digitized products, we 1. discuss changes of work and organizing along three eras of digitization, 2. provide a rich empirical instance by identifying what steps engineers take in preparation for developing digital product platforms, and 3. discuss the implications of these steps for the literature on practice and organizing. ©Copyright held by the author(s).

  • 6.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Lundh Snis, Ulrika
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Stenmark, Dick
    Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, (SWE).
    Tikekar, Rohit
    National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), Trollhättan, (SWE).
    Re-organizing for digital product platforms: the work of vehicle motion engineers2019In: Selected Papers of the IRIS / [ed] Pasi Hellsten, Tampere University, Finland, 2019, article id 10Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As flexibility and generativity of digitized information continuously afford new possibilities, a significant challenge for organizations becomes pinpointing forms and kinds of practice that are befitting from various aspects. Two overarching digitization eras have so far determined the greatness of the challenge for organizations; ‘computerization’, and ‘the Internet’. Today, a third era of digitization is marked by the emergence of digitized products. As an increasing number of code lines and software are being incorporated in previously physical products such as cars, they can be used as complete products on one layer, and simultaneously turn into platforms enabling other firms to develop and integrate new components, content, or services on another layer. As digital product platform’s multiple design layers need to be open to various applications and agendas, their development requires new justifications and approaches for organizing work. By looking into the characteristics of digital product platforms, we discuss the shifts in the work of engineers as they engage in developing digitized products along three main courses of action. We illustrate how these courses of action are formed based on the requirements of developing digital product platforms rather than managerial presuppositions

  • 7.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Rangraz, Masood
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Stenmark, Dick
    University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, (SWE).
    Conceptualizing Competence: A Study On Digitalization Of Work Practices2020In: Proceedings of the 28th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), 2020, article id 197Conference 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.

  • 8.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Rangraz, Masood
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Stenmark, Dick
    University of Gothenburg, Department of Applied Information Technology.
    Transformation Of Competence: The Effects Of Digitalization Oncommunicators' Work2017In: Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS),: ECIS 2017 Proceedings, 2017, p. 195-209Conference 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.

  • 9.
    Lundh Snis, Ulrika
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Hattinger, Monika
    University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems.
    Knowing the Practice of Industry 4.0 Through Industrial Work-integrated Learning2019In: Book of abstracts: 11th International Conference on Research Work & Learning (RWL11), 2019, p. 72-73Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article we analyze three manufacturing organizations' manifested expressions of different workplace initiatives related to industry 4.0. Key representatives in these organizations raise their concerns regarding changed content and forms of work as an answer to increased automation and digitalization. The wave of industry 4.0 includes smarter industrial solutions such as internet-based networks so that organizations can use connectivity of machines that can tie product development and continuous data productionwith the factory environment in new ways. Hence, the industrial work environment is under restructuring and industrial companies' work conditions are being transformed. In this article we ask the question: How do industry practitioners that currently are engaged in the transformation processes related to industry 4.0 initiatives perceive their work? Based on interviews with key representatives of three global manufacturing companies we will discuss 73 implications for industrial work-integrated learning (I-WIL) that takes into account the companies' transformative need to rethink their industrial operations and learning mindsets. We found that the introduction of disruptive digital technologies drastically changes the companies' operations. Leaders' management needs to be synchronized with practitioners' new work situations and their learning opportunities.

  • 10.
    Norström, Livia
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.
    Arghavan Shahlaei, Charlotte
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Johansson, Lars-Olof
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Islind, Anna Sigridur
    Reykjavik University, School of Computer Science, Iceland.
    Lundh Snis, Ulrika
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    New Logics of Ethics in the Age of Digital Platforms: Design Fictions of Autonomous Cars2019In: Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work-Demos and Posters, European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET) , 2019, Vol. 3Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Autonomous cars are the first major examples of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in everyday life. When cars are transformed into platforms,new service relationships emerge between car companies and the car users. These relationships generate gains and catches for both parts related to how physical and non-physical resources are exchanged in the sharing economy; how integrity is negotiated; and how responsibility is delegated when AI enables the car to take over most of the driving. With a "car as a platform approach", in this paper, we present a design fiction on ethical implications for citizens' daily lives with autonomous cars

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