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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2020

Lilla Vicsek

What is the future of work going to look like? The aim of this paper is to show how the sociology of expectations (SE) – which deals with the power of visions – can make important…

2056

Abstract

Purpose

What is the future of work going to look like? The aim of this paper is to show how the sociology of expectations (SE) – which deals with the power of visions – can make important contributions in terms of thinking about this issue by critically evaluating the dominant expert positions related to the future-of-employment- and artificial intelligence (AI) debate.

Design/methodology/approach

After providing a literature review regarding SE, an approach based on the latter is applied to interpret the dominant ideal-type expert positions in the future of work debate to illustrate the value of this perspective.

Findings

Dominant future scripts can be characterized by a focus on the effects of AI technology that give agency to technology and to the future, involve the hype of expectations with polarized frames, and obscure uncertainty. It is argued that these expectations can have significant consequences. They contribute to the closing off of alternative pathways to the future by making some conversations possible, while hindering others. In order to advance understanding, more sophisticated theorizing is needed which goes beyond these positions and which takes uncertainty and the mutual shaping of technology and society into account – including the role expectations play.

Research limitations/implications

The study asserts that the dominant positions contain problematic assumptions. It makes suggestions for helping move beyond these current framings of the debate theoretically. It also argues that scenario building and backcasting are two tools that could help move forward thinking about the future of work – especially if this is done in a way so as to build strongly on SE.

Practical implications

The arguments presented herein enhance sense-making in relation to the future-of-work debate, and can contribute to policy development.

Originality/value

There is a lack of adequate exploration of the role of visions related to AI and their consequences. This paper attempts to address this gap by applying an SE approach and emphasizing the performative force of visions.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 41 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Beáta Nagy and Lilla Vicsek

The purpose of this study is to interpret the expectations, the norms and values related to gender within the concept of organizational culture. Over the past decades…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to interpret the expectations, the norms and values related to gender within the concept of organizational culture. Over the past decades, organizational researches have paid great attention to cultural research and feminist theories have increasingly examined organizations from the angle of gender. The research the authors conducted in a business organization attempts to link these two areas.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used the focus group discussion method at a telecommunications company in the spring of 2011 in central Hungary.

Findings

The employees interviewed made a sharp distinction between professional and managerial competencies of female managers, accepting the former and often questioning the latter. Female managers met with lack of understanding and reserve if they returned to work when their children were still very young – not a common practice in Hungarian society – or if they worked in a top managerial position.

Research limitations/implications

The findings cannot be generalized.

Social implications

Although women managers’ acceptance is widespread on the level of rhetoric, they face prejudices in several situations in workplaces.

Originality/value

Novelties of the research include examining the compatibility of priorities based on traditional gender expectations and priorities based on high level of investment in women’s human capital in a highly competitive organizational context within a post-socialist society. The paper presents new insights linked to gendered organizational culture, which has been rarely analysed, and presents data from a Central Eastern European society which differs in many respects from previously investigated countries.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2008

Beáta Nagy and Lilla Vicsek

The study sets out to examine how male and female managers in general and male and female municipal executives in particular are evaluated by the members of the organisation.

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Abstract

Purpose

The study sets out to examine how male and female managers in general and male and female municipal executives in particular are evaluated by the members of the organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study presented used the methodology of focus group discussion.

Findings

The results show that employees clearly had different expectations regarding the characteristics of male and female executives. The most negative image of female executives emerged in the group of men. However, even female office managers tended to mention numerous negative features of women executives, and seemed to prefer men in executive positions.

Research limitations/implications

The research involved four focus group sessions at the municipality in the autumn of 2004, consequently the research results cannot be generalised.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the limited number of academic literature on female executives in Hungary, and explores the deep prejudices against women in leading positions.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

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