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Engineers' work on the move: challenges in automobile engineering in a globalized world

[journal article]

Schmiede, Rudi; Will-Zocholl, Mascha Christina

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-256239

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Abstract "Engineering work in the German automotive industry is currently being dictated by corporate reorganization processes. These are driven by processes of informatization, financialization, and globalization, and evince an increase in the (global) division of labor in product development, as well as an increase in competitive pressures. Being able to deal with information and knowledge is important for coping with these processes at work. In terms of engineers' work, this means that engineers must be able to deal with the increasing amounts of information available in the form of benchmark figures, data, etc., as well as with the challenges presented by work shared in global networks. This paper presents the results of a series of qualitative interviews. The main trends that can be pointed out are the 'enucleation' (removing the core) of engineering work, the loss of autonomy, increasing insecurity, and the changing materiality of the objects worked on. Enucleation processes are increasingly changing older engineers' fields of work. More and more, they are being called upon to take over communication and coordination practices. In connection with increasing insecurity, employees' perception of their own position in the company is changing and, in the end, their strategies of action, as well." (author's abstract)
Keywords automobile industry; globalization; engineer; labor; reorganization; informatization; division of labor; work organization; production; new technology; information society; knowledge society; on-the-job safety; organizational change; flexibility
Classification Sociology of Work, Industrial Sociology, Industrial Relations
Method empirical; qualitative empirical
Free Keywords engineers' work; informatization; globalization; financialization; engineering restructuring; enucleation
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 1-21
Journal Engineering Studies: Journal of the International Network for Engineering Studies (2011)
Status Preprint; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works