A Research Agenda for Management and Organization Studies
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A Research Agenda for Management and Organization Studies

Edited by Barbara Czarniawska

Managing and organizing are now central phenomena in contemporary societies. It is essential they are studied from a variety of perspectives, and with equal attention paid to their past, their present, and their future. This book collects opinions of the trailblazing scholars concerning the most important research topics, essential for study in the next 15–20 years. The opinions concern both traditional functions, such as accounting and marketing, personnel management and strategy, technology and communication, but also new challenges, such as diversity, equality, waste and cultural encounters. The collection is intended to be inspiration for young scholars and an invitation to a dialogue with practitioners.
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Chapter 9: Digital work: a research agenda

Wanda J. Orlikowski and Susan V. Scott


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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