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Participatory Digital Transformation: Haptic Acceptance Catalyst for the Employee-Centered Design of Change Processes

: Besenfelder, Christoph; Kaczmarek, Sandra; Michalik, Alexander

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Pawar, K.S. ; Univ. of Nottingham; TU Darmstadt:
24th International Symposium on Logistics, ISL 2019. Proceedings : Supply Chain Networks vs Platforms: Innovations, Challenges and Opportunities, Würzburg, Germany, 14th - 17th July 2019
Nottingham: University of Nottingham, Centre for Concurrent Enterprise, 2019
ISBN: 9780853583295
International Symposium on Logistics (ISL) <24, 2019, Würzburg>
Konferenzbeitrag, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IML ()
acceptance catalyst; change process; digital transformation

The successful digital transformation requires employees to be sensitized to innovations and to take them along on the path of organizational change. New technologies can only develop their full potential if the employees, as process experts and essential interfaces, are integrated into the design of the digitized processes. According to an empirical study by ZIEMENDORF, the causes of resistance are less to be found in rational decisions than in emotional aspects of "fear", "shyness", "helplessness", "inertia", "anger" and "power", which are increasingly attributable to insufficient participation of people in processes of change (cf. ZIEMENDORFF 2009). The digital transformation therefore needs an integrated management that considers technological and IT process innovations in equal measure, as well as the changing role of employees and the associated development of the entire organisation. (HENKE et al. 2018)
The paper presents the approach of designing a discussion space with a haptic demonstrator as the core, as an acceptance catalyst for change processes in the company.
The demonstrator pursues the approach of creating a haptic interface between the digital and analog world on the one hand and between employees and planned future work processes and objects on the other.
The demonstrator concept "haptical" was already developed in the science year 2018 for science communication and showed first successes in stimulating constructive discussions based on an example of intralogistics. In this example, the information flows between the autonomous machines in the Internet of Things, which will shape the working world of the future, were visualized via intelligent objects that determine their position in space, via corresponding projections in the environment of the real objects in a virtual environment. The research approach is to transfer this concept to the participation processes in corporate transformations.
First application scenarios of the demonstrator have shown that this interactive way of presenting future scenarios for working environments promotes the active critical examination of this scenario and stimulates constructive and creative suggestions as a transfer of the experience knowledge of the employee to the future situation.
Technology integration scenarios are often supported by laboratory environments in which the technology is usually made available to employees for the purpose of learning to try it out. In digital transformation, which is characterised by changes in the provision of information, work processes and interaction with automated or even autonomous machines, such processes have so far not been modelled in a way that can be touched and experienced. The depiction in virtual spaces is slowly gaining relevance in practice, but here the discursive contribution of a group is already technically excluded. The WING project (BOES et al. 2017) shows first results which show the keys for an acceptance-promoting effect of innovation spaces as a physical realization of the participation possibilities of the employees in transformation processes.
The paper presents the technical possibilities of the demonstrator concept and explains the scenario already realized. The question to what extent the already indicated experience gained with comparable approaches from VR and technology-focused laboratory environments can be transferred is discussed and possible application scenarios described.
Research limitations/implications
In future case studies with companies, the aim will be to prove the acceptance catalyzing effects. As a practical implication, however, the positive effect of internal discussion and laboratory environments in transformation processes on the acceptance by employees and their active participation can already be derived from this state of the investigations.