Author(s): Nathanael D, Marmaras N
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Abstract The present paper is a commentary on the recently published IEA strategy for human factors/ergonomics (Dul, J., et al. (2012), A strategy for human factors/ergonomics: developing the discipline and profession. Ergonomics, 55(4), 377-395). Two main issues that demand attention are: (i) the way others understand our profession and discipline, and (ii) the way we understand our profession and added value to industry. First, it is advocated that the discussion on the future of human factors/ergonomics (HFE) should be focused more on the quality of the delivered value of HFE and less on its visibility and marketing. Second, the three fundamental characteristics of HFE, as proposed in the report, are discussed and the consequences of this proposal are further developed. Arguments are put forward on the endemic epistemological vagueness within the discipline and on the optimistic definition of its aim. Finally, a proposal is made at the epistemological level, which challenges some established convictions of the discipline. It is advocated that such an epistemological evolution may be necessary if HFE is to make progress towards contributing to system performance. PRACTITIONER SUMMARY: The paper is a commentary on the IEA strategy for human factors/ergonomics. Issues discussed are, the way others understand our profession and the way we understand our profession and added value to industry. Some of the established convictions of the discipline are challenged and proposals are made to overcome these.
This article was published in Ergonomics
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics