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“The most important safety device is you!” On the specific nature of high-tech workprocess knowledge

Ines Langemeyer



This paper deals with the subjective and the collective nature of knowledge as it may develop in high-tech work processes. It argues that high-tech work requires not only skills but also experience of thinking and reflecting these work processes through scientific concepts. This collective quality of work process knowledge (Fischer, 2002) is termed “scientification” (Langemeyer, 2012, 2014). In addition, the experience gained by reflecting processes in scientific concepts is seen as paramount to the quality and the safety when using the potentials of high-tech. Therefore, the paper does not aim at detecting in a positivist manner an overall societal tendency that automatically occurs or that would arrive at our working life without contradictions. It starts with an outline of ‘high-tech’ in working life, then explains the difference between ‘scientification’ as a matter of collectively developing work process knowledge and ‘similarscientific’ practice as a form of practice in which workers lack a scientific comprehension of technological processes. Last but not least, the paper presents and discusses an empirical case study of perfusion-students learning in a simulation-OT, to exemplify how a ‘similar-scientific’ activity may be the starting point for a collective development of workers knowledge and practice.

Keywords: scientification/epistemification of work, work process knowledge, simulation-based learning, developmental work research, co-operative competence


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