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Production management and ordinary action: an investigation of situated, resourceful action in production planning and control

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsPaper


Publication date12/2001
Host publicationPLANSIG 2001: proceedings of the twentieth workshop of the UK Planning and Scheduling Special Interest Group, 13th-14th December 2001
EditorsJohn Levine
Number of pages14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We present a study of production planning and management in the Control Room of a manufacturing plant producing mass-customised diesel engines. The study illustrates how these activities are subject to various ‘worldly contingencies’ and how the production process emerges from the situated and resourceful activities of various kinds of professionals in the plant. These observations have serious implications for the question of how the various kinds of “intelligent manufacturing systems” that have been devised
can be employed. While the plant studied uses various kinds of automation systems, it critically depends on situated and resourceful action. We contend that for any kind of production management technology to be successful, it has to build on the everyday working life experiences of those working in production environments. This implies reconceptualising IT systems design and development to support evolutionary processes
through ‘design-in-use’.