Technology, Digitalization, and the Future of Work
Teesside University, UK
11 September 2023
Join us to discuss the relationship between new technologies, digitalization and new forms of algorithmic governance and management, and their implications for the future of work. Speakers will explore the ways in which datafication and algorithmic governance impact upon the labour process, employment relations and workers’ rights.
We at the DIGIWORK Project at AFI/OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University – in collaboration with Teesside University – invite scholars from different disciplines across social sciences and humanities, to present relevant work. There is no conference fee.
The role of digital technology in our everyday lives is becoming more prominent and raises a number of crucial questions for the social sciences (Schildt, 2020). 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 and digitalization 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 similar technologies represent a new form of workplace governance (Kuldova, 2022). The Covid-19 pandemic showed both the value and limitations of digital working practices in myriad ways (Lloyd, 2022). It also accelerated the implementation of practices and regimes that were underway but were turbo-charged in response to emergency conditions (Green and Fazi, 2023). While some herald digital technology as the tool to transform working practices in productive, innovative, and environmentally friendly ways, critical voices question the growth of surveillance and the use of AI to measure, quantify and intensify patterns of work (Zuboff, 2019; Supiot, 2017). Datafication and the ‘metric society’ (Mau, 2019) are implicated in widening and entrenching a number of inequalities (O’Neil, 2016; Eubanks, 2018). The future of work is inextricably bound up with the proliferation of new technologies, artificial intelligence and digital systems and services. The implications for labour markets, patterns of work and employment relations remain to be seen and as such require research and new ideas to examine the implications, challenges and opportunities presented by technology and digitalization. There are undoubtedly both significant similarities and differences across international borders; labour markets, regulation and governance differ from country to country, as does the adoption of digital technologies, therefore the future will be as varied as the present.
This one-day interdisciplinary conference will bring together academics from different countries to discuss research, theory, and ideas across a range of topics. This call for abstracts invites submissions across a range of issues, including:
· Technology and the transformation of the workplace
· Technology, digitalisation, and the trade union movement
· Digital technology and workplace surveillance and monitoring
· Work, technology, and social harm
· Algorithmic governance, algorithmic management, and workplace inequality
Deadline for abstracts: 25 June 2023
Notification of acceptance: 10 July 2023
· The name and contact information of the author(s), along with a brief bio
· The title of the proposed contribution
· An abstract (max 400 words) with 4-7 key words
Feel free to contact the conference organisers prior to submission:
Conference organizers / send your submissions to:
Inger Marie Hagen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anthony Lloyd (Anthony.Lloyd@tees.ac.uk)
Eubanks, V. (2018) Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor. New York: Picador.
Green, T. and Fazi, T. (2023) The Covid Consensus. London: Hurst & Company.
Kuldova, T. (2022) The Compliance-Industrial Complex: The Operating System of a Pre-Crime Society. Basingstoke: Palgrave Pivot.
Lloyd, A. (2022) Covid-19 and the future of work: From emergency conditions to regimes of surveillance, governance and optimisation. Journal of Extreme Anthropology. 6(2) 1-20. https://doi.org/10.5617/jea.9653
Mau, S. (2019) The Metric Society: On the Quantification of the Social. Cambridge: Polity.
O’Neil, C. (2016) Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. London: Penguin.
Schildt, H. (2020) The Data Imperative: How Digitalization is Reshaping Management, Organizing, and Work. Oxford: University Press.
Supiot, A. (2017) Governance by Numbers: The Making of a Legal Model of Allegiance. London: Hart.
Zuboff, S. (2019) The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. London: Profile.