Chapter 3: A self-determination theory framework to develop motivation-enhancing algorithmic management
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Algorithmic management (AM) refers to a system of control where algorithms are used to manage workers. With the notion of control at the centre of its definition, it is no surprise that the rapidly growing literature on AM has revealed its deleterious impact on workers’ autonomy and on other employee outcomes. In this chapter, we draw on the well-established self-determination theory of motivation as a key framework to 1) discuss the evidence on the motivational effect of current forms of algorithmic management and 2) move beyond the current research inertia characterised by a somewhat fatalistic investigation of negative consequences. We develop a framework of motivation-enhancing algorithmic management characteristics and practices to guide future research and AM implementation in a way that is more conducive to satisfying workers’ psychological needs and enhancing their self-determined motivation.

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