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Artificial Intelligence and Management: The Automation-Augmentation Paradox

PublikationArtikel (in press)
Artificiell intelligens, Management, Sebastian Krakowski, Sebastian Raisch

Sammanfattning

Taking three recent business books on artificial intelligence (AI) as a starting point, we explore the automation and augmentation concepts in the management domain. Whereas automation implies that machines take over a human task, augmentation means that humans collaborate closely with machines to perform a task. Taking a normative stance, the three books advise organizations to prioritize augmentation, which they relate to superior performance. Using a more comprehensive paradox perspective, we argue that, in the management domain, augmentation cannot be neatly separated from automation. These dual AI applications are interdependent across time and space, creating a paradoxical tension. Over-emphasizing either augmentation or automation fuels reinforcing cycles with negative organizational and societal outcomes. However, if organizations adopt a broader perspective comprising both automation and augmentation, they could deal with the tension and achieve complementarities that benefit business and society. Drawing on our insights, we conclude that management scholars need to be involved in research on the use of AI in organizations. We also argue that a substantial change is required in how AI research is currently conducted in order to develop meaningful theory and to provide practice with sound advice.

Raich, S. & Krakowski, S. (in press). Artificial Intelligence and Management: The Automation-Augmentation Paradox. Academy of Management Review


Liknande innehåll

Employee Empowerment and Paternalism: A Conceptual Analysis of Empowerment’s Embeddedness in Communicative Contexts
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Weidenstedt, L.
Publiceringsår

2020

Sammanfattning

Empowerment as a management technique builds on the assumption that employees desire more power. Consequently, to a large extent, research on employee empowerment has focused on defining the type of power that should be contained in empowerment, identifying relevant mediating and moderating effects of and for empowerment as well as empowerment’s boundary conditions such as individual and social attributes. However, less research has dealt with communicative and relational aspects and how these may impact the outcome of employee empowerment. This paper uses an interactional perspective to conceptually analyse communicative meanings entailed in employee empowerment. Building on sociological theories of communicative interaction, it is argued that focusing on leaders’ and members’ ascriptions of meanings to each other’s communicative messages reveals paternalistic power structures that are of relevance for the failure and success of empowerment. A communicative analysis of common structural and psychological empowerment efforts suggests that members’ sensemaking of their roles and situations, as defined by formal (written) and informal (psychological) contracts, may not necessarily be in line with the communicative meanings intended by leaders’ actions, and vice versa.

Working paper No. 300: It Takes Two to Empower: The Communicative Context of Empowerment Change in the Workplace
Working paperPublikation
Weidenstedt, L.
Publiceringsår

2017

Publicerat i

Ratio Working Paper

Sammanfattning

Empowerment efforts at the workplace are typically divided into two analytical categories: social-structural and psychological empowerment. These have been extensively researched in terms of their application and handling as well as their outcome and general usefulness in human resource management. However, less research has dealt with communicative aspects of empowerment and the communicative interactions between change agents (managers) and recipients (employees) that frame empowerment efforts. To contribute to a more nuanced empowerment discourse, this paper uses a micro-/individual-oriented perspective on empowerment communication and theorizes why empowerment change efforts sometimes end up being counterproductive – leading to disempowerment rather than empowerment. As starting point for theorizing empowerment communication, a “basic communicative structure” is identified and analyzed as comprising a contractual and a communicative context, referring to conditions as outlined in written employment contracts on the one hand, and implicitly shared and understood definitions of the social employment situation on the other. Building on sociological and social-psychological theories of communicative interaction, it is argued that focusing on change agents’ and recipients’ mutual ascriptions of meanings to each other’s communicative messages might improve empowerment outcomes: A communicative analysis of common empowerment efforts suggests that recipients’ sensemaking of their roles and situations as defined by written employment and/or psychological contracts is not necessarily in line with the communicative meanings they ascribe to the change agents’ actions, and vice versa.

Working paper No. 296: Does One Size Fit All? Investigating Different Empowerment Orientations in the Heterogeneous Workforce of the Swedish Retail Sector
Working paperPublikation
Weidenstedt, L.
Publiceringsår

2017

Publicerat i

Ratio Working Paper

Sammanfattning

Empowerment research and practice is guided by the idea that empowered employees perform better due to a greater sense of self-efficacy and capability. Underlying this idea, there often seem to be two tacit, unexamined assumptions: first, that employees generally would prefer an empowered workplace to a less empowered one; and second, that all employees can be empowered by means of the same measures and changes as defined by empowerment research. The main research question asked in this study is whether those aspects typically associated with structural and psychological empowerment efforts at the workplace are indeed perceived as desirable and positive by all types of employees. Employees’ attitudes toward the success of empowerment efforts, and the relevance of such attitudes, are investigated by analyzing survey data from 268 employees in the Swedish retail sector. Results indicate that age and work intensity (part-time vs. full-time) as well as cohabitation have significant impacts on how empowerment efforts are viewed by employees in the sample.

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