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The robot in the window seat

Peter Buell Hirsch (Department of Communication Studies, Baruch College, New York, New York, USA)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 17 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to point to some emerging workplace issues relating to the increasing collaboration between human and robot workers. As the number of human workers shrinks and that of robots increases, how will this change the dynamics of the workplace and human worker motivation?

Design/methodology/approach

The approach of this paper is to examine recent academic, business and media writings on the subject of artificial intelligence and robotics in the workplace to identify gaps in our understanding of the new hybrid work environment.

Findings

What the author has found is that although there are numerous voices expressing concerns about the replacement of human workers by robots, there has not as yet been a substantive study of the impact on human workers of sharing their work life with robots in this environment.

Research limitations/implications

The findings in this paper are limited by the fact that they are drawn from a review of the secondary literature rather than from primary research and are therefore speculative and anecdotal.

Practical implications

The practical implications of the findings are to suggest that it is time to establish a systematic and standardized method for analyzing and measuring the impact on human workers of operating in an environment increasingly populated by automated co-workers.

Social implications

The author suspects that the social implications will be to suggest that as a human society we will need to establish psychologically and culturally valid means for coping with this new work environment, and the author believes some of the findings may well prove counter intuitive within the social context of work.

Originality/value

The author does not believe there is any substantial work addressing the social, psychological or cultural implications of humans working besides robots on a daily basis.

Keywords

Citation

Hirsch, P.B. (2017), "The robot in the window seat", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 47-51. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBS-04-2017-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited