Digital Futures at Work Research Centre
Digital Futures at Work Research Centre


Digital Poverty in the UK

As every aspect of life – from job seeking to health care – moves online, digital connectivity is a daily necessity, not a luxury. Against the backdrop of the UK’s worst cost of living crisis in 40 years, discussions about fuel and food poverty are now joined by a new concern with what has become known as digital poverty – challenges affording the cost of online connectivity and devices. Using data from a survey of low-income households, this Policy Briefing explores the extent of digital poverty in the UK and shows how it can exacerbate other forms of poverty [...]

2022-09-13T15:50:42+01:0013 September 2022|

Furloughing and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in the UK: Managers’ experiences and perspectives

We report initial findings from a unique survey of managers on the practice of furlough, their experiences of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and workplace change during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The study draws on an online survey of managers in the UK with responsibility for staffing (HR managers, or other managers at senior or middle level) conducted online during Februaryand March 2021. The survey resultedin an achieved sample of 2,000 participating managers.  Access report here

2022-09-06T15:43:51+01:0018 August 2022|

Innovation Analytics: Tools for Competitive Advantage

Innovation analytics is an emerging paradigm that integrates information/knowledge, analytics, digital twins and artificial intelligence to support and manage the entire lifecycle of a product and process from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products. Innovation analytics is to become an integral part of the innovation lifecycle to help make smart, agile decisions and accelerate business growth. Innovation Analytics: Tools for Competitive Advantage provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities behind: The latest research behind technological advances driving innovation analytics The transition of analytical ideas to interdisciplinary teams The development of [...]

2022-07-29T14:17:57+01:0029 July 2022|

Theorising labour unrest and trade unionism in the platform economy

The article develops a novel conceptualisation of labour unrest and trade unionism in the platform economy, extending current understandings in two ways. First, we situate platform work historically, in the longue durée of paid work under capitalism. Secondly, we introduce a consideration of social structure into debates on union practices often framed in terms of agency. Building on Silver and the Webbs, we highlight the importance in platform work of associational power over structural power; legal enactment over collective bargaining; and geographical over workplace unionism. While mainly a theoretical article, we draw on empirical evidence from research into platform [...]

2022-07-27T10:02:33+01:0027 July 2022|

Are bargaining concessions inevitable in recessions? An empirical investigation into union bargaining priorities and trade-offs of pay rises for job security

This paper examines the extent of bargaining concessions in recession through investigating the effects of union bargaining on pay, job security and workforce composition. Drawing on an original survey (n = 400) of workplace level trade union bargaining units in England, the authors employed latent class analysis to establish three groups of bargaining units on the basis of pay outcomes achieved. Linear regression analysis with moderation effects investigated whether pay rises at or above inflation in conjunction with shifts in bargaining priorities was associated with decreases in perceived job security and changes in the composition of the workforce. Around a [...]

2022-07-26T15:02:40+01:0012 July 2022|

A global analysis of worker protest in digital labour platforms

This paper presents findings from the Leeds Index of Platform Labour Protest, a database of platform worker protest events around the world which gathers data from online news media reports and other online sources. For the period January 2017 to July 2020, we identified 1,271 instances of worker protest in four platform sectors: ride-hailing, food delivery, courier services and grocery delivery. Our results show that the single most important cause of platform worker protest is pay, with other protested issues including employment status, and health and safety. In most global regions, strikes, log-offs and demonstrations predominated as a form [...]

2022-06-28T16:07:21+01:0028 June 2022|

Robots at the Gates? Robotic Process Automation, Skills and Institutions in Knowledge-Intensive Business Services

Abstract Against the backdrop of the fourth industrial revolution, this paper examines the emergence of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as one of the new technologies that are shaping the future of work and reconfiguring sectoral business and innovation systems and models. It discusses how the institutional context can potentially mediate the digital transformation of services, how RPA affects workers’ employment and skills, and how it alters inter-organisational relationships and capabilities. Bringing together different strands of academic literature on employment studies, innovation, and technology studies, it deploys a comparative institutional perspective to explore the potential effects of RPA and illustrates [...]

2022-06-13T12:11:33+01:009 May 2022|

Hope, tolerance and empathy: employees’ emotions when using an AI-enabled chatbot in a digitalised workplace

Information Systems research on emotions in relation to using technology largely holds essentialist assumptions about emotions, focuses on negative emotions and treats technology as a token or as a black box, which hinders an in-depth understanding of distinctions in the emotional experience of using artificial intelligence (AI) technology in context. This research focuses on understanding employees' emotional experiences of using an AI chatbot as a specific type of AI system that learns from how it is used and is conversational, displaying a social presence to users. The research questions how and why employees experience emotions when using an AI [...]

2022-07-06T12:09:55+01:003 May 2022|

Digital Technology Implementation in US Retail Stores: Trends, Potentials, and Contingencies

The retail sector, long a laggard in technology adoption, has in recent years greatly accelerated its implementation of digital technologies. This shift includes pivoting to e-commerce but extends beyond that: As one indicator, in fall 2021 retail was “poised to overtake banking as the top spender on artificial intelligence” (McCormick 2021). Retail’s surge in new technology—accelerated since the pandemic—raises urgent questions about the likely impacts on the store-based retail workforce, as part of the broader discussion on the future of work (Autor, Mindell, and Reynolds 2020). Access article here

2022-07-26T14:33:04+01:001 May 2022|

Inequalities in the disruption of paid work during the Covid-19 pandemic: A world systems analysis of core, semi-periphery, and periphery states

This article reveals the extent of international inequalities in the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on participation in paid work. Drawing on World Systems Theory (WST) and a novel quasi-experimental analysis of nationally representative household panel surveys across 20 countries, the study finds a much sharper increase in the likelihood of dropping out of paid work in semi-periphery and periphery states relative to core states. We establish a causal link between such international disparities and the early trajectories of state interventions in the labor market. Further analysis demonstrates that within all three world systems delayed, less stringent interventions [...]

2022-04-26T10:14:35+01:0026 April 2022|
Go to Top