A term launched by Bart Victor and Andrew Boynton (1998) who identify five types of work in the history of industrial production: craft, mass production, process enhancement, mass customization, and co-configuration. Each type of work generates and requires a certain type of knowledge and learning. The emergence of co-configuration work seems to set the most demanding and promising developments at present. A critical prerequisite of co-configuration is the creation of customer-intelligent products or services which adapt to the changing needs of the user by means of building an ongoing relationship between the customer, product and the company. Co-configuration follows the preceding phases of craft, mass production, process enhancement and mass customization, describing the collaborative work carried out in networks of partners. Co-configuration is associated with the interdependency between multiple producers forming various kinds of partnerships such as strategic alliances or supplier networks. The partnerships require flexible “knotworking” of ever-changing collaborative settings in which no single actor has the fixed authority. In the KP-Lab, the challenge of co-configuration is involved in the collaborative design of the trialogical learning tools in the partnership of the learning theoretical, pedagogical and technological expertise, and the user perspective.


Engeström, Y. (2004). New forms of learning in co-configuration work. Journal of Workplace Learning, 16(1/2), 11-21.

Victor, B. & Boynton, A. C. (1998). Invented Here: Maximizing Your Organization's Internal Growth and Profitability. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

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