The initial research programme is organised into four core research themes:

Three strands of work will set the conceptual, regulatory and empirical foundations:

  1. Conceptualising Digital Futures at Work, historically, regionally and internationally
  2. Comparative legal regulation of digital employment
  3. Mapping regional and international trends of digital technologies at work.

This aims to understand:

  1. How and why different technologies are, or are not, being implemented, at work;
  2. How technological investment has changed;
  3. The business rationale for digital investment;
  4. The impact of such change on the key dimensions of work outlined above; and
  5. Indicators of business performance.

Longitudinal sector case studies of four economic sectors will provide intensive investigations of the nature of digital adoption by employers, and how this is potentially transforming business models, management practices and employees’ experiences of work.

The sectors include early and later digital adopters, facing high and low risks of job displacement and the restructuring of work:

  • Creative Industries
  • Consumer Services (Retail)
  • Business Services (Finance and Legal)
  • Public Services (Education, Health and Public Employment Services).

These longitudinal sector case studies will focus on:

  1. Changing management processes and practices
  2. Workers’ experiences of digital transformation

This research theme examines how the disconnected attempt to reconnect, through public employment services, new types of self-employment, platform work as well as workers’ responses to building new forms of voice and representation in an international context. Key areas of investigation will be:

  • Can technology empower the unemployed to find work or does it marginalise further?
  • What role can intermediary bodies play within this new digital landscape?
  • How do workers navigate new forms of employment with regards to representing their own interests and workers’ rights?