Business & Information Systems Engineering

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 259–264 | Cite as

Digital Work Design

The Interplay of Human and Computer in Future Work Practices as an Interdisciplinary (Grand) Challenge
  • Alexander Richter
  • Peter Heinrich
  • Alexander Stocker
  • Gerhard Schwabe


More and more academic studies and practitioner reports claim that human work is increasingly disrupted or even determined by information and communication technology (ICT) (Cascio and Montealegre 2016). This will make a considerable share of jobs currently performed by humans susceptible to automation (e.g., Frey and Osborne 2017; Manyika et al. 2017). These reports often sketch a picture of ‘machines taking over’ traditional domains like manufacturing, while ICT advances and capabilities seem to decide companies’ fate. Consequently, ICT is often put at the core of innovative efforts. While this applies to nearly all areas of workplace design, a recent popular example of increasing technology centricity is ‘Industry 4.0’, which is often delineated as ‘machines talking to computers’.

As objects in the physical environment increasingly house advanced computing and communication capabilities, the resulting composite systems are often referred to as cyber-physical systems...


Digitalization Industry 4.0 Human-centered design Cyber-physical production system 



The first author wants to thank Shahper Richter and Michael Koch for their feedback for this paper and their guidance in many other occasions. This study has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 636778.


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Richter
    • 1
  • Peter Heinrich
    • 2
  • Alexander Stocker
    • 3
  • Gerhard Schwabe
    • 4
  1. 1.IT University of CopenhagenCopenhagen SDenmark
  2. 2.Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte WissenschaftenWinterthurSwitzerland
  3. 3.Virtual Vehicle Research CenterGrazAustria
  4. 4.University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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