Modern work domains are constituted by an intertwined set of social and technical actors with different, often conflicting, functional purposes. These agents act jointly to ensure system's functioning under both expected and unexpected working conditions. Considering the increasing digitalization and automation of work processes, socio-technical systems are progressively including interconnected cyber technical artefacts, thus becoming cyber-socio-technical systems (CSTSs). Adopting a natural science perspective, this paper aims to explore knowledge creation and knowledge conversion within CSTSs, as rooted in an in-depth analysis of work practices and work contexts. The paper proposes a conceptual framework which unveils the relationships between different work representations, i.e. relying on Work-As-Imagined, Work-As-Done, Work-As-Disclosed, Work-As-Observed, intended as knowledge entities generated by different agents, i.e. sharp-end operators, blunt-end operators, and analysts. The recursive and fractal nature of the proposed WAx (Work-As-x) framework ensures its adaptability for different granularity levels of analysis, fostering the understanding, modeling, and analysis of work practices, while abandoning reductionist and over-simplistic approaches.

WAx: An integrated conceptual framework for the analysis of cyber-socio-technical systems

De Nicola A.;Villani M. L.
2021

Abstract

Modern work domains are constituted by an intertwined set of social and technical actors with different, often conflicting, functional purposes. These agents act jointly to ensure system's functioning under both expected and unexpected working conditions. Considering the increasing digitalization and automation of work processes, socio-technical systems are progressively including interconnected cyber technical artefacts, thus becoming cyber-socio-technical systems (CSTSs). Adopting a natural science perspective, this paper aims to explore knowledge creation and knowledge conversion within CSTSs, as rooted in an in-depth analysis of work practices and work contexts. The paper proposes a conceptual framework which unveils the relationships between different work representations, i.e. relying on Work-As-Imagined, Work-As-Done, Work-As-Disclosed, Work-As-Observed, intended as knowledge entities generated by different agents, i.e. sharp-end operators, blunt-end operators, and analysts. The recursive and fractal nature of the proposed WAx (Work-As-x) framework ensures its adaptability for different granularity levels of analysis, fostering the understanding, modeling, and analysis of work practices, while abandoning reductionist and over-simplistic approaches.
Complex adaptive systems
Conceptual model
Industry 4.0
Knowledge management
Resilience engineering
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/65252
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