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Robots and Organization Studies: Why Robots Might Not Want to Steal Your Job

Fleming, P. (2018). Robots and Organization Studies: Why Robots Might Not Want to Steal Your Job. Organization Studies, doi: 10.1177/0170840618765568

Abstract

A number of recent high-profile studies of robotics and artificial intelligence (or AI) in economics and sociology have predicted that many jobs will soon disappear due to automation, with few new ones replacing them. While techno-optimists and techno-pessimists contest whether a jobless future is a positive development or not, this paper points to the elephant in the room. Despite successive waves of computerization (including advanced machine learning), jobs have not disappeared. And probably won’t in the near future. To explain why, some basic insights from organization studies can make a contribution. I propose the concept of ‘bounded automation’ to demonstrate how organizational forces mould the application of technology in the employment sector. If work does not vanish in the age of AI, then poorly paid jobs will most certainly proliferate, I argue. Finally, a case is made for the scholarly community to engage with wider social justice concerns. This I term public organization studies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Fleming, P. (2018). Robots and Organization Studies: Why Robots Might Not Want to Steal Your Job. Organization Studies. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
Publisher Keywords: artificial intelligence, bounded automation, neoliberalism, public organization studies, robotics, unemployment, work
Departments: Cass Business School > Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19381
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