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"What Does Artificial Intelligence Mean for Organizations? A Systematic Review of Organization Studies Research and a Way Forward"

by Öztürk, Deniz (2021)


Artificial intelligence (AI) is a swiftly evolving phenomenon that bears both economic and organizational significance. As organizations are increasingly benefiting from AI for both routine and highly complex tasks and decision-making, AI has developed as a key concern when contemplating the future of organizations and organizing. The ability of the AI to act autonomously distinguishes it from technologies historically used in organizations. This also entails new forms of organizing with a non-human actor and challenges existing conceptualizations of technology in organization studies. As AI is contributing to the automation of many aspects of management and impacting organizational dynamics, it has emerged as a very significant organizational phenomenon that entails both theoretical challenges and opportunities for management and organization studies scholars. Although the implications of AI for organizing has been at the centre of practitioner-oriented journals, the scholarly work has remained more nascent with regard to theory-driven research that could explicate the mechanisms between empirical cases and theoretical perspectives. This chapter aims to reveal the state of scientific knowledge on the relevance of AI in organization studies and delves into the potential implications of AI for management scholarship. The chapter first presents the historical trajectory of AI in organization studies by discussing both important antecedents for and consequences of adopting AI-based systems in organizations. It then systematically examines the extant research on the impact of AI on organizations published in the top management journals of the last two decades. The articles are delineated between theory-building and theory testing and further classified with respect to aspects of AI (such as AI as task input, task process or task output) and themes raised in them. The systematic review of these articles contributes to both identifying knowledge gaps and growing research agenda by introducing possible research questions with regard to future research directions for AI in organization studies. This review chapter ends with a brief discussion on the implications for organizational theorizing and the future of organization studies in light of AI.


Artificial Intelligence, Governance, Political Economics, Organisational Theory, Machine Learning, Technology


Technology, Automation

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