CFP: Algorithmic Governance, Digital Transformation and Workplace Democracy

DIGIWORK workshop / Algorithmic Governance Research Network

Time: April 28, 2022 – 9:00 – 18:00 Oslo time

Hybrid Event: Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University & Zoom

Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash


Big data and artificial intelligence are radically transforming the ways in which we work, are hired and fired, managed and led. Datafication is impacting our ability to influence our work conditions. Yet, the consequences of datafication of work for workplace democracy, co-determination, individual autonomy, and participation have so far not been fully understood. Workplace monitoring, algorithmic management systems, automated decision-making support systems, performance quantification and algorithmic architectures that set the defaults and premises for labour represent a new form of workplace governance. We explore these question in the project Digital Prism and the Nordic Model of Workplace Democracy under Pressure (DIGIWORK) which was initiated in 2021 and we now invite external contributors to join us to discuss the transformative effects of algorithmic governance in workplaces. Algorithmic governance, we argue, needs to be understood as a new mode of power, one that puts the Norwegian model of workplace democracy and the tripartite collaboration between employees and trade unions, employers, and authorities, under pressure. We invite you to join us in developing a novel comparative analysis and theory of the transformation of power and governance in workplaces as a result of datafication. Our project spans from creative industries (music), via higher education, healthcare to police and the oil industry and explores how increased datafication and platformization affects the control, management and governance of different forms of labour, and the consequences this has for workers’ freedom of expression, professional judgement and possibility to have a say in how their workplaces are managed. We invite empirical case studies from across as well as beyond these sectors, and theoretical contributions not limited to the Scandinavian context. We invite you to join us in these important discussions and submit relevant paper proposals addressing the following key questions: What are the effects of algorithmic governance and digital transformation on workplace democracy and workers’ power in Scandinavia? And, at a more general level, how can we theorize the often invisibilized power of algorithmic management?


We aim to publish an edited volume including external contributions and therefore are in particular interested in proposals by those who would like to join us in publishing on this subject. We invite both empirical and theoretical contributions. We welcome contributions from international scholars across disciplines such as critical management studies, anthropology, sociology, organization studies, STS, and more. Contributions from other working life contexts and geographies expanding on the immediate scope of the DIGIWORK project and workshop theme are also encouraged.


Invited Topics

  • impacts and consequences of digital transformations on co-determination, workplace democracy, participation, and autonomy within the Nordic context and beyond

  • issues raised by workplace governance regimes based on algorithmic and digital principles, data-driven methods, quantification, and automated decision making

  • pressures and changes in the Nordic model of workplace democracy as a result of digital transformation at large

  • the effects of algorithmic governance on power relations between management, trade union representatives, employees and on collaboration structures at workplaces

  • the various impacts of algorithmic management and workplace monitoring and surveillance in the Nordic region or more theoretically

  • the intersection of performance management, algorithmic management and surveillance in the workplace

  • the transformation of power relations as a result of automated decision-making

  • organizational transformation as a result of datafication of management and the place of trade unions in an algorithmically governed workplace

  • creative and artistic freedom and professional judgement in the era of platformization and automation

  • algorithmic management and transformation of the understanding of risk, delegation of responsibility and questions of accountability and moral evasion

  • re-distribution and offloading of risks and avoiding liabilities in the context of both platform labour, algorithmic management and market governance


Submission

Please submit the following by March 1, 2022 to the workshop organizers:


  • An abstract of max. 300 words

  • Name, title, and institutional affiliation

  • Contact details

  • A brief bio of no more than 150 words


Contact Organizers

Ingrid M. Tolstad (toin@oslomet.no), Tereza Østbø Kuldova (tereza.kuldova@oslomet.no), Eivind Falkum (faei@oslomet.no)


For more information about the DIGIWORK project and the Algorithmic Governance Research Network, please see https://www.algorithmic-governance.com/digiwork2021-2024


This workshop is funded by The Research Council of Norway under project no. 314486 – Digital Prism and the Nordic Model of Workplace Democracy under Pressure (DigiWORK).