Supporting Individual Needs for Intra-Organisational Knowledge Sharing Activities in Pre-Industry 4.0 SMEs
Paper in proceedings, 2018
The complexity of modern manufacturing industry and the emergence of Industry 4.0 puts changing cognitive demands on human operators at work. Operators in this environment, Operator 4.0, will share knowledge through the use of new digital technologies that should be implemented in parallel with an organizational development towards Organization 4.0. On an individual level within the organization, people benefit from understanding their own knowledge needs and gain necessary knowledge through knowledge sharing activities. In pre-Industry 4.0 organizations, this is done primarily through meetings. Originally developed to create smart meetings in smart factories, an elaborated version of the MEET model (Gullander et al, 2014) is used in this paper to evaluate the needs for sharing of tacit and explicit knowledge, both in regards to how it affects the Information System and the Organization System. By adding a systematic process approach to mapping individual knowledge needs related to production activities, these needs can be identified for each process step. By using this systematic approach to apply the MEET model, two Swedish SMEs within the manufacturing industry have developed their knowledge sharing activities. This human-centred study, based on questionnaires and interviews, focuses on how shop-floor operators perceive changes in knowledge sharing activities due to the use of the MEET model. Novelty in this research lies in the attempt to link the technology-intensive Industry 4.0 development with an organizational emphasis. Results show that the applied method can be used to pragmatically improve knowledge sharing from certain aspects, but further research is required to determine the correlation between different areas and their effect on knowledge sharing. This paper suggests that knowledge sharing in organizations can be benefitted from Industry 4.0 enabling technologies, introducing this as Organization 4.0.