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The Impact of Process Automation on Manufacturers' Long-Term Knowledge

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Abstract

The growing pressure on organizations to increase efficiency and quality intensifies process automation. Manufacturers have to manage knowledge consciously to understand processes and to transfer knowledge into automated machinery. Knowledge management in Information Systems research focuses on the effects of automation on operational knowledge in the short-term but not on in the long-term. We propose that by automating processes, less knowledge is required for manufacturing and that the knowledge will diminish in the long run, impacting an organization's innovation potential negatively. We refer to three scenarios: (1) manual manufacturing, (2) automated manufacturing, and (3) outsourced automation of manufacturing. We analyze the impact of process automation on the location of knowledge, the carrier of knowledge, knowledge base, and access to knowledge. Preliminary results show that automating manufacturing processes and especially outsourcing the automation requires high efforts for accessing knowledge.

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... Infolgedessen können Dritte diese Informationen für ihre eigenen Zwecke nutzen oder das gewonnene Wissen zur eigenen Wettbewerbsdifferenzierung nutzen. Die interorganisationale Zusammenarbeit mit Lieferanten und anderen Geschäftspartnern kann ebenfalls problematisch sein, da Dritte erworbenes Wissen verbreiten, wenn sie für Wettbewerber in der Branche arbeiten(Gernreich et al., 2018). Darüber hinaus können Partner in verschiedenen europäischen Ländern aufgrund kultureller und rechtlicher Unterschiede Informationssicherheit unterschiedlich auslegen(Custers et al., 2018).Allerdings lässt sich sagen, dass die Sicherheitsrisiken der Ausweitung der Sichtbarkeitslinie auf Dritte mit der wirtschaftlichen Abhängigkeit von ihren Auftragnehmern variieren. ...
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This article examines the nature of Knowledge Management—how it differs from Data Management and Information Management, and its relationship to the development of Expert Systems and Decision Support Systems. It also examines the importance of Communities of Practice and Tacit Knowledge for Knowledge Management. The discussion is organized around five explicit questions. One: What is “knowledge”? Two: Why are people, especially managers, thinking about Knowledge Management? Three: What are the enabling technologies for Knowledge Management? Four: What are the prerequisites for Knowledge Management? Five: What are the major challenges for Knowledge Management? Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/35289/1/10113_ftp.pdf
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This paper illustrates how a learning-curve model can be generalized to investigate potential explanations of organizational learning. The paper examines the hypothesis that knowledge acquired through by learning by doing is embodied in an organization's technology by analyzing the amount of transfer that occurs across shifts within a plant. If knowledge becomes completely embodied in technology, transfer across shifts should be complete since both shifts use the same technology. Methods that can be used for studying intra-plant transfer of knowledge are presented. The methods are illustrated by analyzing data from a plant that began production with one shift and then added a second shift several months into the production program. Three aspects of transfer are analyzed: (1) carry forward of knowledge when the plant makes the transition from one to two shifts, (2) transfer across shifts after both shifts are operating, and (3) transfer across time. Results indicate that substantial, but less than complete, transfer of knowledge occurred when the second shift was introduced. Once both shifts were operating, partial transfer across them occurred. Implications of the results for a theory of organizational learning and practical applications are discussed.
IRONIES OF AUTOMATION," in Analysis, Design and Evaluation of Man-Machine Systems
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Bainbridge, L. 1983. "IRONIES OF AUTOMATION," in Analysis, Design and Evaluation of Man-Machine Systems, Elsevier, pp. 129-135. (https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-029348-6.50026-9).
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