Digitalization has radically changed the nature and structure of new products and services. The business value of the information technology (IT) literature has regularly highlighted the importance of digitalization aspects of IT capability. However, the backbone of enabling these performance benefits are ‘soft’ factors related to management and organization, which are often neglected in the IT literature. Organizations are essentially designed as multi-level social systems, infused by organizational rules and principles that cover job, unit, organizational and process design.
Organizations have implemented information systems (IS) to introduce innovative work management processes, replace or augment existing human labor, change work procedures, and challenge traditional management practices. Algorithmic management represents oversight, governance and control methods conducted by software algorithms over many remote workers. Initial insights into digitally-mediated labor indicate that algorithmically managed work tends to become granular, temporary, and de-contextualized, thus limiting the creation of permanent ties to employers, organizations, or co-workers. The weakening
of social ties due to algorithmic management is associated with micro- and macro-level challenges, such as alienation and exclusion, which may lead to a wide range of individual, organizational and social repercussions. It is thus imperative to identify working conditions related to design in organizations at multiple levels that would prevent these occurrences, and help enable positive effects of digitalization for individuals and organizations. The objective of the proposed project is to investigate how we can design organizations at multiple levels to develop appropriate digital and managerial capabilities and set up the work context to fully leverage the functionality of technologies in supporting the digitalization process.
The project will be executed through four working packages (WPs) that will ultimately contribute to building a classifying framework of designing for digital that is theoretically rich and application-relevant. We will reveal how individuals can adapt their mindset from digital resistance to digital encroachment when facing the digitized work changes, within the appropriate design setting. As the current digital infrastructures are becoming more complex and technologies are encroaching upon employees, we will focus our research efforts towards understanding the responsiveness of digital and IT infrastructures, how they interact with organizational, unit and job design, and how managers can design jobs and work processes in order to overcome digital encroachment.
We will propose a novel multi-level and interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological framework for the study of organization and business process design in light of digital transformation. The primary contribution of the project will be transforming the field of research by engaging in novel knowledge production on the topic of algorithmic accountability in order to generate actionable and targeted recommendations and best practices for the managers in how to create, adopt, and adapt IT management systems, with a specific focus on organizational, unit, job and business process design. The ambition of the project resides in its highly multi-disciplinary approach that leverages insights from business/management, psychological, and IT/technological perspectives to address how digitalization can be leveraged for sustainable growth of individuals and organizations.