1Perspectives and Transitions in Ergonomics

In this chapter, a historical introduction as well as an overview of the present and prospective developments of ergonomics will be given. The aim is to provide an outline for approaching theory building within prospective ergonomics (PE), which in Chapters 2 and 3 will be aligned with ancillary fields of strategic design, innovation, systems and industrial design. To contextualize the work, a range of design approaches, such as systems design, design driven and human/user-centered design, will be introduced with respect to different ergonomic perspectives.

Moreover, this chapter sets the tone for developing the construct of prospection and prospective ergonomics by arguing that this new field of ergonomics is driven by a focus on well-being, by being future oriented and design driven and by the fact that product-service innovation, performance and profit should be sought after within systematically embedded contexts. From this perspective of prospection, the intention is to contextually bring the study of preventive and corrective ergonomics closer to the fields of design and strategic management. Consequences are that with the proliferation of services, human–product interactions and sustainable design, where innovation is usually a concern of many stakeholders, the field of preventive ergonomics is extended to PE and design to strategic design. To conclude this introductory chapter as well as initiate the formation and application ...

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