Work process knowledge in technological
and organisational development (Thematic Network)
striking feature of the new ways of organising manufacturing and services
is that they assume that workers at all levels in an organisation - not
just the management and staff in the firm's research laboratories - are
continually learning, and exchanging their knowledge with co-workers. For
in today's competitive business environment, the lifetime of the knowledge
base for manufacturing and the delivery of services is shorter, and so
continual learning becomes necessary throughout the whole organisation.
We see evidence in labour markets of more demand for intellectual skills
- for system controllers instead of manual workers, for critical thinkers
instead of employees who prefer to follow routine. And because there are
no jobs for life any more, the demand is for people who can take responsibility
for managing their own learning careers.
The knowledge base required by the modern industrial employee has
broadened. Previously, it was limited to the knowledge needed to get the
job done - and this was usually a narrow job, which the employee could
expect to carry out in much the same way for years on end. But today, many
employers are seeking people who understand the whole of an enterprise's
operation, so they can work more flexibly. The knowledge requirement for
much contemporary work includes understanding the context in which the
job is done: where it fits into the organisation's operations, and where
it fits into the national/international business in which the employer
is engaged. (Boreham et al. 2000a, pp.
||Further aspects of the technological
and organisational developments related to changes in working practices
are discussed in the final report
(Boreham et al. 2000a, pp. 7-10).
also project info on WHOLE.