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The Workplace in Transition: Exploring Emerging Challenges and Demands for New Competence
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Law, Economics, Statistics and Politics. NU Hospital Group. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0493-8974
Department of Archivistics, Library and Information Service, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway.
2017 (English)In: 10th International Conference on Researching Work & Learning: Transitions, Transformations And Transgressions In Work And Learning & Work And Learning Research Book of Abstracts, 6–8 December 2017 Rhodes University Grahamstown South Africa, Rhodes University, 2017, p. 104-104Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Digitalisation of society and the workplace is transforming the ways we work and learn. Not merely by automating existing tasks, replacing routine jobs and making work more effective, but also creating new tasks as well redefining competence, challenging and reshaping the professions. There has been renewed attention on the interplay between the social and the technological in context of digitalisation and recent trends toward self-service and IT consumerisation, i.e. blending consumer and enterprise technologies at work. Room is given to employees and customers rather than IT departments as leaders in the digital transformation, and research topics have evolved from computer-aided work towards reflections of the technological development and digitalisation in general. While there is no common definition of the digital workplace, one definition that emphasises the social, instead of the technological change is that digital workplaces occur when people collectively perform their work in digital, rather than physical work spaces, where the transition towards “peopleless offices and officeless people” brings new opportunities and challenges. In this paper, we argue that there is a severe need for a broader conceptualisation of the digital workplace, beyond focusing on specific IT applications or tools. The paper sheds light on emerging challenges related to the digitalisation of workplaces, aiming for an understanding ofthe changing prerequisites for work practices and competence. The research question is: What kinds of changes are emerging and how do they challenge the (digital) workplace? This paper reports on preliminary findings from an R&D project in Swedish healthcare and a follow-up focus group interview on the digital workplace. The research approach is qualitative and action-research oriented, with an aim togain knowledge through collaboration and intervention in real settings. Preliminary issues on emerging changes andchallenges related to the digital workplace are listed below.

¡ Flexibility, performance and workplace learning

¡ Transformation of work practices¡ Security and integrity issues¡ Leadership and issues of responsibility

This paper has addressed challenges related to emerging digital workplaces. Clearly, as digitalisation increases, the conditions for work and workplace learning changes. Digital tools are already an integrated part of everyday work. Along with this integration, work practices have changed and new workplace norms, attitudes and cultures have emerged. The flexibility and simplicity that comes with constant access to information and support for collaboration and knowledge also demand leadership, teamwork and new competences. The broad implications of digitalisation illustrated in this paper point to the tendency to focus on technology (e.g. how to use a particular system) as outdated. The need for a socio-technical perspective that also introduces new ways of working and development of work practices is now unavoidable. We argue that in the development of digital workplaces,a sole focus on information systems, along with training and education from the systems’ perspective is insufficient. An understanding of work and its goals rather than systems oughtto be central. Thus, more focus is required on generating a joint purpose and the bigger picture, where the systems are one part of development, not the development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rhodes University, 2017. p. 104-104
Keywords [en]
Digitalisation, digital workplaces, workplace learning, information systems, change
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Informatics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14590OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14590DiVA, id: diva2:1380910
Conference
10th International Conference on Researching Work & Learning. Transitions, Transformations and Transgressions in Work and Learning & Work and Learning Research. 6-8 December 2017, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
Available from: 2019-12-19 Created: 2019-12-19 Last updated: 2019-12-27Bibliographically approved

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