Discussion papers

CPM-17-242 - 6 February 2018

Exploring the Impact of Digital DIY on the Workplace

Ruth Meyer

Paper presented at the Social Simulation Conference (SSC 2017), in Dublin, September 25-29, 2017.

Abstract Digital Do-It-Yourself (DiDIY) can be defined as the set of all manufacturing activities (and mindsets) that are made possible by digital technologies. The availability and ease of use of digital technologies together with easily accessible shared knowledge may allow anyone to carry out activities that were previously only performed by experts and professionals. In the context of work and organisations, the DiDIY effect shakes organisational roles by such disintermediation of experts. It allows workers to overcome the traditionally strict organisational hierarchies by having direct access to relevant information, e.g. the status of machines via real-time information systems implemented in the factory.

In order to investigate the impact this would have on the organisation of work, we decided to compare two versions of a simulation model with each other: (i) a version where workers ask their supervisor for information about the next task to perform, and (ii) a model version where all workers have access to the necessary information about machines and tasks so that they can decide themselves which of the outstanding tasks to work on next.

Keywords Digital DIY, organisation, agent-based factory model

Related Model

A newer version of the DiDIY-Factory model described in this paper can be downloaded from the CoMSES Computational Model Library. This model version incorporates both variants described above (with / without supervisor) into one model. It also implements new output measures inspired by the Garbage Can model to be able to truly gauge the impact of organisational change between the two model variants.