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Charlotte Arghavan Shahlaei.JPG

Charlotte Arghavan Shahlaei examines how the digital transition affects engineers who develop the vehicles of the future. Photo: Margareta Valdemarsdotter.

It is the economic and business aspects that are consequences of the digital transformation and societal ones. For example, various studies examine what digital transformation mainly means when transforming business models for competitive advantage. Most studies deal with digital transformation by focusing on the business models and competitive economic advantage. However, the issue of digital transformation can also be understood in terms of the reconfiguration of work practices and work competences.

Aspects in research are often about how companies survive this constant change of technology. But in this research, Charlotte instead examines how employees cope with this continuous rate of change that the new technology brings.

Charlotte wants answers to the following questions:

  • What is digital competence?
  • What aspects of work change with the increased presence of digital technology at work?
  • What are the consequences of these changed aspects regarding competence in the workplace?
  • Why do employees feel frustrated with their skills development despite successfully working with advanced digital technology?
  • How can we support processes for competence development in situ and at the same time?

Charlotte's research results will be reported around the turn of the year and are not yet complete, but she has found some interesting answers.

Differs from other types of changes

Secondly, the process of a digital transformation differs from a process of change. A shift results from a diverse development of work boundaries, relationships, and a supportive approach. But a difference is where you have to replace competencies is usually controlled from a top-down implementation where you already have the answers to the defined problems.

Impossible situation

Charlotte hopes that her results can contribute to a greater understanding among companies. She wants to make them aware that it becomes impossible for employees to make changes in projects and work processes constantly. Those who work with and in the digital transformation need more explicit instructions and requirements, and today there is a far too large gap between what companies want and what the engineers can handle.

Text: Malena Eklund

Watch Charlotte tells about her research!