LEANER MINING The Cross Cultural Perspective

LEANER MINING The Cross Cultural Perspective

Signification of Systemic Structural Theory of Activity in Organizational Activity Research Mohammed-Aminu Sanda Department of Organization & Human Resource Management University of Ghana Business School Legon, Accra Ghana ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to acknowledge that participation in this conference is supported by Grants received from following bodies. 1. Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana 2. Research and Conference Committee of University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Legon, Accra Ghana 02/10/2020

Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia INTRODUCTION Organization may emerge through conversation, but they do not emerge for the sake of conversation (Engestrm, 2004). Organizations emerge and continue to exist in order to produce goods, services, or less clearly definable outcomes for clients or users (Engestrm, 2004). 02/10/2020 In this regard, many attempts have been made to identify the root

causes of the problems associated with organizational learning and to show a way forward (Virkkunen & Kuutti, 2000). Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia INTRODUCTION The vagueness of the key concept organization seems to be a major hindrance to progress (Schmidt, 1994). Researchers have tried to cope with this problem in different ways (Virkkunen & Kuutti (2000). Some base their argument on mentalistic analogies of individual

learning (e.g. Huber, 1991; Dodgson, 1993; Jones, 1995). 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia INTRODUCTION Although speaking about organizational learning, others, focus on a more limited unit of analysis within an organization (such as a management team or an organizational routine) or concentrate only on a specific aspect of the organization, for instance its corporate culture (Virkkunen & Kuutti, 2000). The following concepts have been proposed by some writers to be used in analyzing organizational learning (Virkkunen & Kuutti, 2000).

02/10/2020 knowledge system (Pentland, 1995). Community of practice (Brown & Duguid, 1991; Hendry, 1996). Activity system (Blackler, 1993; Lwendahl & Haanes, 1997). Systemic Structural Activity (Bedny & Karwowski, 2007) Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia INTRODUCTION Since organizations (as subsets of society) offer employees just some of a number of possible images and symbols to live with and live by,

It then follows that the continuing enactment of organizational life is a process that draws upon organizational as well as nonorganizational components (Thompson, 2004). Thompsons view is in line with Leontievs (1974) thinking that an activity is oriented by the transformation of a need into an objective (or motive). By implication, actions are fundamental components of activities and are subordinate to specific goals. 02/10/2020 the goal of an action is the actors conscious mental representation of the outcome to be achieved with its function being the

orientation of the action. Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia QUESTIONS The germ-cell of this paper are as follows: 1. To what extent have we really sought to understand the possible formation of wildfire activities (Engestrm, 2005) in an actors subconsciousness in the conduct of an organizational activity and which goes unnoticed in the process of learning new organizational practices? 2. How can we learn to understand the dynamics of this sub-conscious wildfire activity and its pervasion in the mediation process relative to the subject of activity (actors) and the objective for the activity? 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia PURPOSE

This paper looked at the need for understanding the interplay between ergonomics and activity theorization in the study of work scenarios in organizations. that could lead to the harmonization of the human, technological, and organizational components of the work systems towards increased production efficiency and effectiveness. The paper discusses the signification of the relatedness of Ergonomics and Activity Theory that has led to the evolution of the Systemic Structural Activity Theory (SSAT) as a useful theoretical approach that could be used to work scenarios in organizational activity. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia

LITERATURE In SSAT, it is argued that knowledge in ergonomics and activity theory has the unique capability of facilitating a researchers ability to understand the different ways of knowing the world of work generating new knowledge. helping stakeholders understand and incorporate results or lessons learned from the world of work. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia LITERATURE The complexity of the human work process is highlighted by the characteristics of its substructure whose basic components have been delineated by Bedny and Karwowski (2007) as follows: 1. Motive-goal as a vector which demonstrates the directional and

energetic aspects of the work activity. 2. Knowledge and skills which demonstrate the relevance past experience to the work process. 3. Abilities related to the tasks to be performed. 4. Work actions which are organized into a structure, and together present the method of work. Action in this sense implies both cognitive and motor action. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia LITERATURE The presence of the concepts of knowledge and action in the structure of work process also implies the existence of mental tools (Bedny and Karwowski, 2007). Therefore, in the process of developing new work practices in an organization, it is important to see the key actors in the practice development exercise as learners of their new activities (Sanda,

Johansson &Johansson, 2011). 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia METHODOLOGY In the SSAT, understanding the parametric and systemic methodological approaches in activity analysis is very important The parametric approach entails the study of distinct components of activity. The systemic analysis systemic approach includes a morphological and functional analysis of the activity, each of which comprises different methods. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference

Sydney Australia MORPHOLOGICAL ANALYTICAL APPROACH Morphological analysis is involved in the description of the constructive features of activity, with actions and operations used as units of analysis. In a morphological analysis, the structure of activity is a logical and spatiotemporal organization of actions and operations performed to achieve the goal of a task (Bedny & Karwoski, 2007). To describe the structure of an organizational activity, it is necessary to subdivide the work process into tasks that should then be individually described in terms of mental and motor actions and operations. Each action has a separate, intermediate goal, which must be reached to attain the goal of the task. Units of analyses are cognitive motor actions and operations. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia FUNCTIONAL ANALYTICAL APPROACH

In the functional analysis of activity, the major units of analysis are blocks, and the activity in this case, is regarded as a self-regulative system (Bedny & Meister, 1997; Bedny &Karwoski, 2003). This allows the identification of potential strategies of organizational activity performance. Organizational activity in this case is regarded as an application of systemic principles to a qualitative stage of analysis. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Need for Study Ongoing discussion about the design of production systems for future mines based on technological development for measurement and process

management, organizational design and learning for employees. Since such systemic processes are managed and monitored by people, This study looked at the need for understanding the sociotechnical and psychosocial characteristics of rock drilling activity in deep mines, 02/10/2020 that could lead to the harmonization of the human, technological, and organizational components of the work systems towards increased production efficiency and effectiveness in the organization of work in future mines. Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia Interfaces in a miners activity system showing human (miner)-technology relationship in digitized deep mine (Sanda, et al., 2011)

OBJECT-ORIENTED ACTIVITY Actors Physical Activity Using highly digitized technology Computerized programming command for digitized rock drilling by tractor arms (mechanized drills) Technology Miner Miner-Technology Interface SUBJECT-ORIENTED ACTIVITY Actors Psychosocial Activity Using communication models Background music (relaxation). Information relay from control centre (alertness)

02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Data Collection Guided by SSAT (Bedny & Karwowski, 2011), morphological and functional studies of two highly-skilled miners engaged in the rock drilling activity using the Boomer (a highly automated machine with two robotic drilling arms) were conducted. External behavioral and internal mental actions and operations of the miners engaged in two separate rock drilling activities were observed and

video-recorded. External behavioral actions include various motions used to transform material or tangible objects. The mental actions transform images, concepts or propositions and non-verbal signs in the mind (Bedny & Karwowski, 2011). 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Data Analysis Using the systemic analytical approach as the basic paradigm for the analysis of positioning actions (Bedny & Karwowski, 2011) in rock drilling activity in deep mines, both morphological and functional analyses were conducted.

In the morphological analysis, the constructive features of the rock drilling activity, entailing the logical and spatio-temporal organization of the cognitive behavioral actions and operations involved, were described. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Data Analysis In the functional analysis, potential strategies of activity performance associated with the miners actions and their corresponding operations, identified as constituting as functional blocks were analyzed qualitatively

using systemic principles (Bedny & Karwowski, 2007). 02/10/2020 This allowed for the evaluation of varieties of performance indicators, such as time and errors, and also the selection of the most efficient strategy. Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Results Analysis of observations and video recordings of the miners engagement with the production drilling activity showed that

a miners individual object-oriented activity consists of both physical and mental actions and operations whose characteristics are influenced by past experiences. Functional appraisal of the miners individual object-oriented activity shows that the object of a miners self-regulation of orienting activity to be two folds. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Results 1. The object, in terms of the miners physical activity, is

2. the conduction of production (rock) drilling operations, based on informed decisions and programs to orient explorative actions towards performance enhancement, sensemaking in task performance, and determination of motivational level. The object, in terms of the miners mental activity, is 02/10/2020 the simultaneous observation of the production drilling work, assessment of task difficulty, listening to communication models in order to enhance the development of stable or dynamic mental models of task or situation for enhancing the relevant task conditions. Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference

Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Findings from Morphological Analysis Morphological analysis of the miners mental assessment of task difficulty showed that; the use of tractor technology with more than one robotic arm (i.e. boomer) for production drilling tasks is excessive for one operator to handle. The miners related the perceived task overload to the difficulty an operator encounters in his/her ability to focus on the computerized programming command for the automated rock drilling actions and operations using the multi boomers. The miners viewed such situation as distracting them from developing the requisite dynamic mental models of task or situation which are required for enhancing the quality of the relevant task conditions. 02/10/2020

Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Findings from Functional Analysis Functional analysis of the scenario above shows that the miners possess procedural knowledge developed overtime on various objective activities, but which remained shared. This procedural knowledge is used by the operators to negotiate technology-based standardized task patterns in bids to overcome task repetitiveness and also to increase their productive capacities in terms of waste removal in production time. The miners also use their procedural knowledge to overcome subjective perceptions of technological shortcomings in their task undertakings (based the notion that technologies do not always get it right). 02/10/2020

Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Discussion Results from analysis of the miners motors actions during the rock drilling activity showed that by using declarative driven strategies, they were able to perform simultaneously two specific tasks that required high levels of concentration and visual control in the normal visual field available to them from inside the protective cabin of the high technology equipment they were using. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference

Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Discussion I argue that since organizations possess technologies (i.e. techniques for processing raw materials and/or people) for accomplishing work, organizational activity then emphasizes a work system design in which technology affects social relations in organizations by structuring transactions between roles that are building blocks of an organization. In this respect, the application of systemic-structural activity theory stands to provide an understanding of the various processes that is entailed in digitized human work which can be used to design a harmonious work environment integrating the human, technical and the social system, towards increased productivity in the deep mine industry. 02/10/2020

Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Discussion Findings from the morphological analysis have shown that relationship between the miners external behavior and internal psychological functions are mutually regulated. Arguing from the perspectives of Bedny and Karwowski (2007), I find this relationship to entail a process of internalization in a miners motor activity, which is central to the theory of activity. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY

Discussion By implication, the findings from the morphological analysis showed find a degree of commonality in the cognitive characteristics of the miners internal mental activity and the regulative nature of their external behaviors towards activity undertakings This finding is underscored by the argument supporting the mutual interdependence of mental development, semiotic mediation and external practical activity which do not exist separately (Bedny & Harris, 2005; Bedny & Karwowski, 2007). The sense here is that an inter-subjective aspect of activity is observable in a miners individual activity. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY

Discussion Findings from the functional analysis support the miners notion of time reduction in same task undertakings using procedural knowledge to negotiate an action pattern in an activity. It also portrayed the structure of the miners activity during task performance as a logically organized system of cognitive and motor actions and operations (Bedny, Karwowski & Sengupta, 2008) that enhances innovation. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Discussion Findings from the functional analysis also showed that the specificity of the

rock drilling activity is underlined by the interdependence of the miners practical activities and symbolical activities, each of which is in constant transformation of the other. Since the practical actions in the rock drilling activity have clearly defined object, it then entails semiotic mediation. The occurrence of such mediation is highlighted by the conscious goal (including planning and understanding of the possible outcomes) with which the object-practical actions in the rock drilling activity are undertaken. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Conclusion 1. The miners simultaneously combine their mental actions and motor actions

in recognizing and remedying the constraining effects of unfamiliar stimuli during the rock drilling activity. This understanding has future implications in designing a very efficient and effective human-technology collaboration in a highly digitized deep mine work system. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Conclusion 2. The miners appeared to have procedurally developed new rules and combinations of rules for integrating conceptual data in the actions and operations associated with roof bolting, and as a result provided more insightful knowledge of the complex problems and solutions in the roof bolting activity.

The implication here is that the miners, being cognitively complex persons tend to be open in their beliefs and relativistic in their thinking, as well as have a dynamic conception of their work environment. . 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Conclusion 3. The development of the procedural knowledge was to cater for the miners observations that the technologies they use in their task undertakings do not always get it right. All these presuppose the presence of symbolic representation of reality (Bedny & Karwowski, 2007). In this regard, I conclude that internal activity in rock drilling is constructed by the miners based on the mechanisms of self-regulation.

Miners active exposure to diversity derived from years of practice and experience appeared to have increased the number of conceptual categories (Hendrick, 1991) they have developed for storing information. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia CASE STUDY DRILLING WORK IN A MINE AS ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITY Implication The outcome of this case study showed that organizational activity research, while not a new super-discipline, is an important field which can be guided in a new complimentary way by Systemic Structural Activity Theorization (SSAT) which is a multidisciplinary knowledge in ergonomics

and activity theory. 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia Thank You 02/10/2020 Sanda: ISCAR 2014 Conference Sydney Australia

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