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How will the digital era change work design? A research talk by visitor Tanja Schwarzmüller

We currently have a visitor at the Centre for Transformative Work Design – Tanja Schwarzmüller, who is a research associate at the TUM School of Management, Technical University of Munich, Germany. In her research, Tanja focuses on work design and leadership in the digital age, as well as on the influence of emotions in the leadership process.

On March 10th 2017, she gave a talk at UWA Business School to provide insights into the question how the digital transformation changes work design. Results from a qualitative survey with 49 digitalization experts show that the resulting changes in work design can be clustered into five overarching themes:

  • Changes in the work-life domain and health, relating to an increasing temporal and spatial flexibility of employees, a blurring of boundaries between work and private life as well as increased job demands such as higher complexity, time pressure and workload

  • Changes in the use of information and communication technology, relating to an increased support through, but also automatization of employees by information technology as well as an increased use of new types of communication media and new approaches to teamwork (virtual, project-based, cross-organizational teams)

  • Changes relating to performance and talent management, namely increased competency requirements for employees such as a higher need for agility, problem-solving and lifelong learning, as well as an increased transparency and outcome-orientation regarding employees’ performance

  • Changes in organizational hierarchies, with non-managerial employees being provided with more responsibility and autonomy and, in result, an overall flattening of organizational hierarchies

  • Changes in the structural nature of work, with changes in job profiles, new types of jobs emerging, more employees being employed as freelancers and a generally lower social embeddedness of employees in organizations

Click here to access Tanja’s full presentation and get more information on this topic.

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