Elgar Research Agendas
Edited by Barbara Czarniawska
We have been invited to discuss ‘digital work’ and to propose a research agenda for the next decade or so. We value the opportunity to share some thoughts on this important area. In doing so, we will begin with a reconceptualization of the phenomenon that is at stake here, offer some specific examples and then close by considering some possible future research directions that we hope will be both useful and generative. The term ‘digital work’ suggests that we are able to differentiate work that is dependent on digital technologies from ‘other work’ that is not. We argue that, in order to develop a contemporary research agenda for management and organization studies we must take a different route because the ‘digital’ no longer serves as a useful separable feature distinguishing a type of work. Work today almost always entails the digital. Even where the work itself doesn’t directly involve a computing device, most contemporary work practices involve digital technology to a greater or lesser extent – whether through digital networks that transfer email, cellular communications and webpages or the computers that process financial transactions for global funds flow, facilitate writing and editing of documents and handle logistics so that parcels can be delivered on time.
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