The aim of this course is to give students insights in current transformations in the area of work, and how technology-related changes are facilitating such transformations. Implications for HRM as an academic discipline and as a profession in practice are discussed.|
The course offers materials for understanding technology-related transformations of jobs in general and transformation of the HR function in specific. Materials range from lectures, papers, chapters, and case accounts presenting concepts, theories and research evidence, to exercises and assignments that the students can participate in to provide more practice- and experience-oriented learning opportunities for analyzing and advising on (technology-related) job transformations.
There are two main lines in the materials presented during the course: 1. HRM and work design/job transformation and 2. HRM and technology-related change.
- As to HRM and work design/job transformation, this course provides students insights in the structure and development of jobs together with the meaningfulness of work as a core activity in people’s lives. Recent developments and spells of the future of work urge HR policy makers, HR professionals and other institutional bodies to rethink the way jobs and work can be transformed in line with the goals of organizations and those of the worker. Traditional work structures and old notions of the design of ‘good’ jobs are in need for a theoretical and practical update to keep up with innovations that are embraced by organizations. Understanding the concept of work and jobs in its various shapes and forms together with the meaning that people attach to it, gives direction to the distinction between for example ‘bullshit jobs’, ‘sustainable jobs’ or ‘smart jobs’. HR professionals need to know how work actually works, in order to be able to balance and counterbalance the internal and external forces that shape modern day work.
- Technology-related changes concern new forms of work itself, like platform-based work and remote work (on-line, through the internet of things). In addition, there are wider developments and upcoming technological phenomena like robotization, gamification and remote monitoring (online surveillance, wearables) that are having a profound impact on jobs in terms of their design and transformation. These technology-related developments pose great challenges for current and future generations of HR professionals and for HRM as a topic of academic study. The idea is to help students to be able to make a strategic contribution in this area later when they enter practice by reviewing in this course several on-going transformations, and by presenting useful background information, theory and examples. But there is also a more direct linkage between HRM and technology: One of the jobs that is specifically being changed and transformed is that of the HR professional itself.