Digital transformation, big data, and the future of work
Digital technologies have rapidly been assimilated into our everyday lives, for instance via digital payment systems and the widespread diffusion of broadband infrastructure. But what effect is digitalization having on the world of work? How is it changing job design and influencing the nature of employment in different areas of the world? What role can and should different types of data (e.g. “Big Data,” Google search activity data, and molecular genetic data) play in decision making in labor markets and our future societies? Who will be the entrepreneurs of the future who will innovate to transform ideas and knowledge into new products and services? Will the “gig economy” and other non-traditional work relationships continue to grow in prominence? Will robots really take all our jobs? Answering these questions and finding a solution to how we plug the inevitable skills gap between digital illiterates and digital natives will provide policymakers with many interesting challenges in the years to come.
How digital payments can benefit entrepreneurs Updated
Digital payments can effectively connect entrepreneurs with banks, employees, suppliers, and new marketsLeora Klapper, April 2023Digital payment systems can conveniently and affordably connect entrepreneurs with banks, employees, suppliers, and new markets for their goods and services. These systems can accelerate business registration and payments for business licenses and permits by reducing travel time and expenses. Digital financial services can also improve access to savings accounts and loans. Electronic wage payments to workers can increase security and reduce the time and cost of paying employees. Yet, there are challenges as many entrepreneurs and employees lack bank accounts, digital devices, and reliable technology infrastructure.MoreLess
Does working from home work in developing countries?
Infrastructure constraints are major obstacles for working from home in developing countriesMariana Viollaz, December 2022Work-from-home possibilities are lower in developing than in developed countries. Within countries, not all workers have equal chances of transitioning from the usual workplace to work-from-home. Moreover, infrastructure limitations and lack of access to certain services can limit the chances of effectively working from home. Having a home-based job can affect, positively or negatively, work–life balance, levels of job satisfaction and stress, and productivity. The differential chances of working from home may end up increasing the levels of income inequality between workers who can and those who cannot work from home.MoreLess
Digital leadership: Motivating online workers
Which leadership techniques and tools should digital leaders use to communicate effectively with remote teams and gig workers?Petra Nieken, September 2022Remote work and digital collaborations are prevalent in the business world and many employees use digital communication tools routinely in their jobs. Communication shifts from face-to-face meetings to asynchronous formats using text, audio, or video messages. This shift leads to a reduction of information and signals leaders can send and receive. Do classical leadership and communication techniques such as transformational or charismatic leadership signaling still work in those online settings or do leaders have to rely on transactional leadership techniques such as contingent reward and punishment tools in the remote setting?MoreLess
How is new technology changing job design? Updated
Machines’ ability to perform cognitive, physical, and social tasks is advancing, dramatically changing jobs and labor marketsMichael GibbsSergei Bazylik, August 2022The IT revolution has had dramatic effects on jobs and the labor market. Many routine manual and cognitive tasks have been automated, replacing workers. By contrast, new technologies complement and create new non-routine cognitive and social tasks, making work in such tasks more productive, and creating new jobs. This has polarized labor markets: while low-skill jobs stagnated, there are fewer and lower-paid jobs for middle-skill workers, and higher pay for high-skill workers, increasing wage inequality. Advances in AI may accelerate computers’ ability to perform cognitive tasks, heightening concerns about future automation of even high-skill jobs.MoreLess
Does employee ownership improve performance? Updated
Employee ownership generally increases firm performance and worker outcomesDouglas Kruse, May 2022Employee ownership has attracted growing attention for its potential to improve economic outcomes for companies, workers, and the economy in general, and help reduce inequality. Over 100 studies across many countries indicate that employee ownership is generally linked to better productivity, pay, job stability, and firm survival—though the effects are dispersed and causation is difficult to firmly establish. Free-riding often appears to be overcome by worker co-monitoring and reciprocity. Financial risk is an important concern but is generally minimized by higher pay and job stability among employee owners.MoreLess
Impacts of regulation on eco-innovation and job creation Updated
Do regulation-induced environmental innovations affect employment?Jens Horbach, November 2020New environmental technologies (environmental/eco-innovations) are often regarded as potential job creators—in addition to their positive effects on the environment. Environmental regulation may induce innovations that are accompanied by positive growth and employment effects. Recent empirical analyses show that the introduction of cleaner process innovations, rather than product-based ones, may also lead to higher employment. The rationale is that cleaner technologies lead to cost savings, which helps to improve firms’ competitiveness, thereby inducing positive effects on their market shares.MoreLess