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The AI of the beholder: intra-professional sensemaking of an epistemic technology

Scarbrough, H. ORCID: 0000-0002-3820-8339, Chen, Y. & Patriotta, G. (2024). The AI of the beholder: intra-professional sensemaking of an epistemic technology. Journal of Management Studies, doi: 10.1111/joms.13065


New technologies are equivocal, triggering sensemaking responses from the individuals who encounter them. As an ‘epistemic technology’ AI poses new challenges to the expertise and jurisdictions of professionals. Such challenges may be interpreted quite differently, however, depending on the specialized role identities which develop within the wider professional domain. We explore the sensemaking responses of these intra-professional groupings to the challenges posed by AI through an empirical study of professionals playing different roles (front-line, hybrid and field-level) in the field of radiology within NHS England. We found that these intra-professional groupings sought to make sense of AI through a triadic view focused on the interplay of professional, client and technology. This sensemaking, arising from different jurisdictional contexts, led individual professionals to perceive that their agency was diminished, complemented or enhanced as a result of the introduction of AI. Our findings contribute to the literature on professions and AI by showing how intra-professional differences affect sensemaking responses to AI as a jurisdictional contestant.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2024 The Authors. Journal of Management Studies published by Society for the Advancement of Management Studies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Publisher Keywords: equivocality, sensemaking, profession, jurisdiction, future of work, AI technology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: Bayes Business School
Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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