Fair Labor in the Digitized Economy
New technologies both facilitate the substitution of human work, but also allow for the emergence of new forms of labor. Many of these newly created employment opportunities are in one way or the other enabled through digital technologies. Often, they outsource traditional knowledge, service and creative work to crowds of online workers, creating unique working conditions characterized by a dispersed, anonymous and fluid workforce. With technology substituting many more traditional working arrangements and new forms of employment emerging in virtual organizations, observers worry that, without deliberation on desirable working modes, the future will see severely disadvantaged workers, repressed wages, deteriorated working conditions and the emergence of a new cyber-precariat.At the same time, the characteristics of digitized labor call into question findings established in the research of the corporate responsibilities that traditional organizations have for their employees, with large portions of the former workforce now outside of the traditional nexus of the firm, but still dependent on organizational actors.With our proposed research, we are interested in technology's effect on good labor in terms of what trends are shaping future labor markets, what constitutes desirable forms of labor, and whether any corporate social responsibilities could be derived to accommodate good forms of work in an increasingly digital labor market. Overall, our proposed research project is interested in whether there is such a thing as new precarious employment emerging in the digital space. Our hope with this research is to bring a new technology-driven perspective to workers' rights and business ethics research while remaining sensitive to corporate necessities.
Department of International Business Communication
Harvard University, University of Ljubljana, University of St Gallen, Erasmus University Rotterdam, BI Norwegian Business School