Title: Agency in socio-technical systems
Language: English
Authors: Zafari, Setareh 
Qualification level: Doctoral
Advisor: Köszegi, Sabine Theresia 
Issue Date: 2020
Number of Pages: 95
Qualification level: Doctoral
Investigating the role of new technology is a continuing concern within organizational research. With the rise of robotics and digitalization, the basic configurations underlying organizing are changing dramatically. This is not merely altering the work we do but also who does the work that opens new social challenges, such as whether being the author of actions means being in charge or which consequences the emerging roles and forms of interaction with these technologies have on our agency. Given that humans are the end-users and sense-making actors of the organizations, it is vital to analyze the challenges that are associated with the integration of emerging technologies into our social systems. With a focus on system level, this dissertation displays a combined interest in the material and social dimensions of organizing in explaining two working processes, namely human-robot collaboration and flexible work. In doing so, I focus on social factors crucial in the integration of emerging technologies in workplaces and show how these particular ways of working are shaped by material (technology) changes and social (human) forces at workplaces. The thesis concludes that changes in work do not only depend on assumed human agency but the engagement with technologies also creates the conditionality that made certain sociomaterial practices enacted. Our analytical and experimental results show a significant impact of social and cognitive factors on people’s responses to technologies. That emphasizes the importance of informal structure in enhancing the success of the technological integration. Our findings suggest a set of contextual factors that influence the enactment of new ways of working which can serve as a guideline for managers to align their resources and capabilities for supporting new ways of working and optimizing their organization for the transformation journey.
Keywords: Socio-technical system; Agency; Human-robot collaboration; Flexible work
URI: https://doi.org/10.34726/hss.2020.84000
DOI: 10.34726/hss.2020.84000
Library ID: AC16082686
Organisation: E330 - Institut für Managementwissenschaften 
Publication Type: Thesis
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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