On work and machines: a labour process of agility

Summer 2018
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN:69.01.2018

Industry 4.0 involves the use of big data for smarter decision-making and cost efficiencies (including decisions on shedding labour and how to distribute work); the use of advanced analytics to improve product development; a massive increase in human-machine interfaces; and the development of digital-to-physical transfer, i.e. 3-D printing and rapid prototyping. The underlying aim of firms adopting these technologies is of course to increase competitiveness and profit. The main focus of this essay is a discussion about the effects of these changes within the labour process - the management of production and the impact this has on workers.

Part of the Critical Terms series.