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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2022

Erran Carmel and Steve Sawyer

The authors present nine dimensions to provide structure for the many Futures of Work (FoW). This is done to advance a more sociotechnical and nuanced approach to the…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors present nine dimensions to provide structure for the many Futures of Work (FoW). This is done to advance a more sociotechnical and nuanced approach to the FoW, which is too-often articulated as singular and unidimensional. Futurists emphasize they do not predict the future, but rather, build a number of possible futures – in plural – often in the form of scenarios constructed based on key dimensions. Such scenarios help decision-makers consider alternative actions by providing structured frames for careful analyses. It is useful that the dimensions be dichotomous. Here, the authors focus specifically on the futures of knowledge work.

Design/methodology/approach

Building from a sustained review of the FoW literature, from a variety of disciplines, this study derives the nine dimensions.

Findings

The nine FoW dimensions are: Locus of Place, Locus of Decision-making, Structure of Work, Technologies’ Roles, Work–Life, Worker Expectations, Leadership Model, Firm’s Value Creation and Labor Market Structure. Use of the dimensions is illustrated by constructing sample scenarios.

Originality/value

While FoW is multi-dimensional, most FoW writing has focused on one or two dimensions, often highlighting positive or negative possibilities. Empirical papers, by their nature, are focused on just one dimension that is supported by data. However, future-oriented policy reports tend are more often multi-faceted analyses and serve here as the model for what we present.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 September 2021

Anjali Singh, Sumi Jha, Dinesh Kumar Srivastava and Abheesh Somarajan

Concerned with the rising social, economic and technological disruption in the world, the impact of the technological disruption had a significant impact on the future of

Abstract

Purpose

Concerned with the rising social, economic and technological disruption in the world, the impact of the technological disruption had a significant impact on the future of work and it has been tremendously increased in past five years. Further, with the rising uncertainties and COVID-19 in the picture, the trends suggested by earlier literature might not hold. The purpose of this paper is to understand the evolution of technology in the workplace in the past five years, how does it stand during COVID-19, will the trend continue in light of disruption caused by COVID-19, the impact of COVID-19 on the future of work.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses bibliometric techniques to identify the conceptual and intellectual structure of the studies. The programming language named after authors Robert and Ross (R) software and Biblioshiny were used to identify the structures and the themes underlying those structures, which further helped in forecasting the trends of the studies.

Findings

The paper shows the drastic evolution of the studies in past few years and different technologies implemented at the workplace in the same period. It further identified the influential papers, authors, journals in the area with an emphasis on the various collaboration network among authors and countries. It also paints a picture of the impact of COVID-19 on the future of work. The paper finally concluded with future directions for the emerging trends and themes in the area in aftermath of COVID-19.

Originality/value

This paper takes the microscopic view of the studies carried out in the past five years as during the past five years, the studies related to this topic have grown tremendously and accordingly many trends have been identified but with the COVID-19 pandemic in the picture, the trend is likely to get accelerated. This paper takes this view and identifies the trends in the future by identifying the themes based on periods and at different levels – organizational, managerial, individual.

Details

foresight, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 August 2021

Xiaoping Pu, Guanglei Zhang, Chi-Shing Tse, Jiaojiao Feng, Yipeng Tang and Wei Fan

This study aims to investigate whether and how a high turnover rate stimulates employees to engage more in learning behavior.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate whether and how a high turnover rate stimulates employees to engage more in learning behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on self-regulation theory, the authors suggest that the motive for employees to engage in learning behavior is to improve themselves. Such a need can be activated when they reflect on themselves and realize the discrepancy between their current selves and desired future selves. The authors argue that the employees’ perceived poor performance at daily work may induce their desire for self-improvement via making the future work selves salient, and in turn engage more in learning behavior. This is particularly so when turnover rate is high because employees may be alert of and concerned more about their own poor performance. In an experience sampling study, the authors obtained evidence for these hypotheses.

Findings

When turnover rate was high, employees’ poor performance increased salience of future work selves, which in turn facilitated their learning behavior. This relationship was not significant when turnover rate was low.

Originality/value

Contrary to the typical view that high turnover rate leads to knowledge loss for the companies, the present study findings suggest that it could also serve as a motivational factor facilitating employees’ learning behavior, which is an important way to increase knowledge pool of the companies.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 October 2020

M. Jayne Fleener and Susan Barcinas

This study aims to provide insights into ecosystem builder futurists’ work and their orientations toward creating more connected communities of the future.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to provide insights into ecosystem builder futurists’ work and their orientations toward creating more connected communities of the future.

Design/methodology/approach

Anticipation of and relationship with the future are not straightforward. How we approach the future and our relationship with it has underlying ontological and epistemological assumptions (Poli, 2010, 2017). Forecasting (Makridakis et al., 2008), foresight (Bishop and Hines, 2012; Hines and Bishop, 2013; Popper, 2008), futures studies (Bell, 2009; Gidley, 2017) and anticipatory logics (Miller and Poli, 2010; Miller et al., 2017; Nadin, 2010; Poli, 2017) inform this research study of a select group of futurists’ relationships with the future. This research explores ecosystem builder futurists’ work and their orientations toward creating more connected communities of the future. A primary driver of this research aims to understand how futurists with emergentist understandings think about and work with their clients to better understand how to facilitate individual and community transformations through anticipatory future perspectives.

Findings

This qualitative study was designed to explore the why, where and how of the ecosystem builder futurists. The “why” question of their work focused on capacity building, disruption and community for evolving systems revealing an emergentist orientation to the future. The “where” question, focusing on where their passions and ideas for futures work came from, revealed a commitment to forge new territories and support communities through the change process. Finally, the “how” questions revealed using both/and methods of traditional and innovative approaches with a special focus on changing the hearts and minds of those who participated in their community change initiatives.

Research limitations/implications

A total of 15 ecosystem futurists participated in this study. Their perspectives were strongly affiliated and aligned with ecosystem building and communities of the future ideas. The narrow focus, however, is important to represent this particular population of the futurists.

Practical implications

There is a great need for ecosystem futurists who can work with communities for social and community transformations. This paper introduces ecosystem builder futurists as a unique population of futurists with specific drivers for and perspectives of change.

Social implications

Especially in post-normal, mid-pandemic times, there will be more opportunities and need for ecosystem builder futurists to engage groups of individuals in transformative and community building processes. This study focuses on ecosystem futurists and how they work toward fundamental, community change.

Originality/value

Futurists work across many areas and emerging fields. A search of futurist activities reveals some of these areas including Marketing, Team Building, Coaching, Strategic Planning, Partner Management, Marketing Strategy, Ecosystem Building and Sustainable Community Development, to name a few. The purpose of this study is to describe the perspectives and underlying drivers of a particular group of futurists who have been working in large and small communities, organizations, governments and with clients with an underlying focus on creating communities of the future.

Details

foresight, vol. 22 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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…

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: 15 May 2019

Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya and Srikant Nair

The world is witnessing the advent of a wide range of technologies like machine learning, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, robotics…

1239

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1988

David Macarov

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible…

1830

Abstract

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible alternatives. We need the vision and the courage to aim for the highest level of technology attainable for the widest possible use in both industry and services. We need financial arrangements that will encourage people to invent themselves out of work. Our goal, the article argues, must be the reduction of human labour to the greatest extent possible, to free people for more enjoyable, creative, human activities.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 8 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 August 2009

Richard Slaughter and Chris Riedy

This paper draws on research undertaken for the State of Play in the Futures Field (SoPiFF) project and aims to explore the contribution of futures work to understanding

Abstract

Purpose

This paper draws on research undertaken for the State of Play in the Futures Field (SoPiFF) project and aims to explore the contribution of futures work to understanding and resolving aspects of the global problematique and to examine the social interests evident in futures work.

Design/methodology/approach

The project used an integral meta‐scanning framework to review publicly available futures material. The framework categorizes futures work according to organizational type, social interests, methods, domains and geographic location (details of the methodology are outlined in the accompanying introductory paper as well as on the web site created for the project).

Findings

The futures field has made a series of significant contributions to understanding the global problematique and has contributed to the pre‐conditions for its resolution. However, the bulk of mainstream futures work does little to improve the preparedness of humanity for looming future crises. More innovative futures work remains marginalized and largely ignored by the powerful and the wider public. There is a strong case for more effective political engagement than has occurred hitherto.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed on shared definitions for the field, interactions with the media, public and other fields of enquiry and action, measurement of individual foresight capacity, strategies for achieving influence – particularly in the political sphere, the role of subcultures within the futures field and suitable publishing strategies.

Practical implications

The paper recommends specific actions to promote and publicize good work, provide annual digests of futures‐related information, develop and use focused briefings, provide support for “cutting‐edge” futures work, further develop advanced futures methods, create new alliances, build the social capacity for foresight and strengthen the nexus between foresight and philanthropy.

Originality/value

The paper uses an integral meta‐scanning framework to provide a novel analysis of the futures field. The findings will be of value to all futures and foresight practitioners that are interested in the future success of the field.

Details

Foresight, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 December 2019

Tashfeen Ahmad

The world of work and education is changing at a rapid pace, driven by continued technological disruption and automation. The future is uncertain and difficult to…

2051

Abstract

Purpose

The world of work and education is changing at a rapid pace, driven by continued technological disruption and automation. The future is uncertain and difficult to envisage. A futures thinking scenario planning approach is used in exploring and guiding education policy makers on how best to respond to the range of possible futures. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilizes elements of prior scenario planning methodologies to devise a practical model of preferred and plausible likely scenarios in the context of rapid and continuing technology disruption. Based on the notion of “impact and uncertainty,” two possible future alternatives of work and learning were developed. Incorporating elements of the possibility space scenario framework and a vignette approach of current emergent technologies, this paper assessed the usefulness of the preferred and likely outcomes.

Findings

While preferred future scenarios entailing collaborative styles such as human–machine cooperation, smart virtual active learning campuses and living knowledge learning environments may produce more desirable benefits for education stakeholders, the more likely plausible scenario is one based on continued disruptive technologies. Automation, artificial intelligence and the advent of 5G network technologies will drive customization and personalization in higher education delivery and revolutionize the work landscape in the immediate future. Universities will need to embrace and respond to these changes.

Originality/value

The paper gives insights into how universities can prepare their students for future of work and improve their employability. In addition, this author recommends ways in which HEIs can leverage these newer technologies to drive educational services and commercial value.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Yang Yang, Zhongqiu Li, Yingying Su and Xue Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to analyze why and when the future work self affects employee creativity.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze why and when the future work self affects employee creativity.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from 171 supervisor–employee dyads in four Chinese enterprises.

Findings

The results indicate that the future work self has a positive effect on employee creativity. Further, thriving at work mediates the links between the future work self and employee creativity. The authors also theorize that overall fairness moderates the positive effects of the future work self on thriving at work and employee creativity.

Originality/value

The study supports the self-determination perspective regarding the future work self and strengthens the application of this perspective in an effort to understand the relationship between the future work self and employee creativity.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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