For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"The digitalisation of work: Which way forward?"

by Švarc, Jadranka; Dabić, Marina (2021)


Digital technology involves the rapid transformation of work, both in terms of content and organisation, leading to structural changes in the labour market and, subsequently, the overall economy. This research provides an overview of the four theoretical and inherently controversial concepts frequently employed to illuminate how digitalisation has shaken the foundations of work: technological unemployment, platform work, work polarisation, and non-standard employment. The main aim of this paper is to provide a theoretical clarification of these concepts and identify future strands of research with a view to providing guidelines for practical measures to facilitate positive changes in the labour market with regards to working conditions. This article initially outlines the three socio-technological megatrends that reorganise economies and societies on a global scale and drive forward digital transformation at work The article then discusses two dominant narratives - utopian and dystopian narratives unfloding during the process of digitalisation in work and across labour platforms - from the four selected theoretical approaches to the digitalisation of work.


Robots, Technology, Welfare, Invisible Work, Platform Work, Platform Economies, Gig Economies, Hyperflexible Work, Algorithmic Labor, Precarious Work


Platforms, Gig Work, Automation

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