MACROERGONOMIC APPROACH APPLIED TO WORK SYSTEM MODELLING IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT CONTEXTS, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS C Technica 360
|Kustantaja:||Oulun yliopisto|| |
|Oppiaine:||Tekniikka, matematiikka|| |
|Sijainti:||Print Tietotalo|| |
|Tekijät:||PUTKONEN ARI|| |
Product development (PD) has an important role as a key competitive factor in businessenvironments. The capacity of designers and other stakeholders to perceive and process productrelated information is burdened by the increasing complexity of products and the high demands ofworking life. Therefore, companies need new human-centred perspectives and methods ofbalancing and enhancing their overall PD processes in order to develop successful products. Themain motive for this research arises from the fact that ergonomics design research has been scarcefrom the process-oriented and systemic methods perspective. It has mainly focused on themethods, such as those needed in user interface design, and the usability and safety testing ofproducts. The purpose of this dissertation is to consider the PD work system from themacroergonomics perspective.
Macroergonomics is a top-down sociotechnical systems approach that is concerned with theanalysis, design and evaluation of work systems. Nowadays, the individual user context is thedominating source of product requirements, but the designers’ work system has significantinfluence on its outcome as well. As an open work system, PD covers the use and design contextsof a product, not only at the individual, but also at the social and system levels. In this dissertation,the use and design contexts of products are examined through six individual studies, which werecarried out during a demanding PD project of a new simulation game. In this design process, fromthe initial state to the goal state, macroergonomics was used as the main theoretical guideline.
In many companies, PD processes are considered and developed mainly from the projectmanagement or technological points of view. However, because of the increasing complexity andsystemic nature of products, PD organisations, too, will have to become more participatory, morenetworked and more systems oriented.
As the main findings, this dissertation indicates that the macroergonomic approach can enrichthe PD process and its outcomes by emphasising the balance between the technical and socialsubsystems of PD work system. The emerging complexity of products must be controlled from theentire PD work system, not the individual context of use only. The research introduces a new PDwork system model that includes both the design and use contexts of products and demonstratestheir analogical sociotechnical structures. The value of this dissertation for the industry is thatcompanies can overcome certain emerging challenges of PD by applying the introducedmacroergonomic principles. The findings of the research may encompass the re-designing of thecurrent PD process in a company. Instead of shutting their eyes to the complexity of thesurrounding world, companies should consider it as the macroergonomic PD work system and bemore aware about the overall product requirements