means of promoting work process knowledge have been identified:
The growth of work process knowledge can be facilitated by organisational
development. As enterprises develop more flexible ways of working,
or introduce new technology, or establish better internal communications,
or place a greater emphasis on customer relations, their employees may
acquire a broader understanding of the overall work process. Examples include
building self managing teams, participative work re-design, job splitting
and 'design discourses'.
The 'design discourse' is held between professional employees (engineers
and technicians) and shop floor workers. In the industry concerned (medical
equipment manufacturing), the latter have not traditionally been regarded
as experts in product quality. Nevertheless, the need for process innovation
in this competitive market demands more collaboration between these two
groups of employees, to create a shared picture of the overall production
process. The shop floor workers are seen as possessing knowledge which
can benefit the design process (Boreham et
al. 2000a, pp. 3f., 49f.).
Work process knowledge can be developed by re-designing automatic machines
so that they generate more information about the work process. An example
referred to is the development of a computer-implemented decision-support
system for skilled maintenance workers (DIADOSYS).
Also, simulation technique offers considerable opportunity for developing
work process knowledge, although studies suggest that instructors might
lack the skill to use simulators to best effect. Cases of training
simulation studied in the project include: instructor's intervention in
glass cockpit training situations; Nuclear Power Plant supervision; and
operational management in public safety (Boreham
et al. 2000a, pp. 4, 50-56).
vocational education can contribute to the development of work process
knowledge. However, there is a need to co-ordinate it with
learning in the workplace. One method discussed in the report is the
of vocational school curricula by collaborations between schools and
companies, based on a common model of the overall work process. This has
been exemplified in the "Car Mechatronics" project (Boreham
et al. 2000a, pp. 4, 56f.).