The world is witnessing the advent of a wide range of technologies like machine learning, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, robotics, additive manufacturing, augmented and virtual reality, cloud computing, Internet of Things and such others. Amidst this concoction of diverse technologies, the future of work is getting redefined. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to understand the future of work in the context of an emerging economy like India.
The authors undertook a qualitative research with a positivist approach. The authors undertook expert interviews with 26 respondents. The respondents were interviewed with a semi-structured open-ended questionnaire. The responses were content analyzed for themes. System dynamics was applied to explicate the phenomenon studied.
The authors found that the future of work has multiple facets. The authors found that in future, organizations would not only use automation for lower end routine manual jobs, but also for moderate knowledge-centric tasks. Future jobs would have significant data dependency, and employees would be expected to analyze and synthesize data for sense making. Another finding pointed out that in future, individuals would be constantly required for skills upgradation and thus learning would become a continuous lifelong process. In future, individuals would get short-term tasks rather than long-term secured jobs. Thus, job flexibility would be high as freelancing would be a dominant way of work. Organizations would reduce dedicated workspaces and would use co-working spaces to reduce office space investments. In future, jobs that are impregnated with novelty and creativity would remain. A finding of concern was that with the advent of automated technologies a larger portion of workforce would lose jobs and there could be widespread unemployment that might lead to social unrest. The provision of universal basic income has been advocated by some experts to handle social crisis.
This research is based on an organization centric view that is anchored in the resource-based view and dynamic capabilities. The research contributes to the conversation of human resource co-existence with automated technologies for organizations of tomorrow. Thus, this work specifically contributes to strategic human resource with technology capabilities in organizations.
These research findings would help organizational design and development practitioners to comprehend what kind of interventions would be required to be future ready to both accommodate technology and human resources. For policy makers, the results of this study would help them design policy interventions that could keep the nation’s workforce job ready in the age of automated technologies through investments in automated technology education.
India is bestowed with one of the largest English-speaking, technically qualified young workforce working at lower salary levels than their developed county counterparts. The advent of automated technologies ushers in challenges and opportunities for this young qualified workforce to step into future. This is the first study from India that deliberates on the “future of work” in India.
Bhattacharyya, S. and Nair, S. (2019), "Explicating the future of work: perspectives from India", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 175-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-01-2019-0032Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited