This conceptual contribution explains how the idea of “facets of work” can refocus traditional sociotechnical concerns to increase their relevance in increasingly automated and digitalized workplaces far removed from situations studied by early sociotechnical researchers. A background section summarizes how the sociotechnical approach seems pervasive but possibly outdated in some ways. It explains how the idea of “facets of work” emerged from attempting to bring richer, more evocative ideas to systems analysis and design. Focusing on facets of work during initial discussions of requirements could provide guidance without jumping prematurely to precision and notation needed for producing technical artifacts. Tables with one row for each of 18 facets or one row for the first 9 (reflecting length restrictions) illustrates that the 18 facets 1) point to areas where the coexistence of people and robots in workplaces poses challenging sociotechnical issues, 2) apply to both sociotechnical and totally automated systems, 3) are associated with specific sets of concepts, 4) bring evaluation criteria and design trade-offs, 5) have useful sub-facets, and 6) imply open-ended questions for starting discussions. The conclusion summarizes this paper’s contribution to understanding challenges of Industry 5.0 and discusses next steps in developing and applying its ideas.
Alter, Steven, "How Facets of Work Illuminate Sociotechnical Challenges of Industry 5.0" (2020). In Proceedings of the 28th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), An Online AIS Conference, June 15-17, 2020.
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