The Elephant in the Room: New Skills and Work Dimensions of Turkish White Goods Industry Engineers in Industry 4.0 Era

Demirbag K. S., Yıldırım N.

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/tem.2023.3297516
  • Journal Name: IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, Metadex, Public Affairs Index, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Companies, Dimensions of work, engineering work, Ergonomics, fourth industrial revolution, Industries, industry 4.0 (I4.0), new skills, Production facilities, Surveys, Task analysis, Technological innovation, Turkish white goods industry
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


While the emergence of the Industry 4.0 (I4.0) concept has heightened concerns about how digital transformation will affect employees, engineers who create, develop, and spread the I4.0 tools and technologies are ignored. Also, the industries with the highest digital maturity should be prioritized since they are the readiest ones for the I4.0 transformation. In this context, our focus is the engineers in the Turkish white goods industry, one of the three industries with the highest level of digital maturity in Turkey. We aim to determine the new skills expected from engineers and to uncover the impact of the perceived usage level of I4.0 technologies by engineers on the dimensions of engineering work. In this article, we conducted two separate surveys for engineers and managers and sought answers to four research questions using factor analysis and regression analysis. The results show that the new skills are divided into intrinsic motivation, technology, and data and information skills. At the same time, the perceived usage level of I4.0 technologies influences the social characteristics dimension of engineering work. We revealed that the sociability level of the engineers who use data analytics, artificial intelligence, simulation, and RFID/RTLS technologies while performing their jobs tends to decrease, while the sociability level of the engineers who use adaptive robots and additive manufacturing technologies gets higher.