About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 31 December 2022

As a result of the advancing process of digitalization, the modern working world is undergoing the most profound and most dynamic transformation since the Industrial Revolution. The use of advanced, algorithm-based control, monitoring, and decision-making systems is radically changing the workplace environment for employees and managers, often rearranging the human-machine and human-human relationship. While much of the extant research has focused on the efficiency gains made possible by digitalization, legal matters relating to privacy or data security, and emerging business models of the digital platform and gig economy, several normative issues remain poorly investigated.

It is hard to deny that the abovementioned innovations can work to the advantage of individuals by, for example, increasing efficiency, maintaining health, minimizing workplace hazards, and promoting comfort. Yet it is also apparent that, in virtue of the very same innovations, employees now face significant risks from increasingly strict forms of workplace monitoring. There is much to suggest that a form of digital Taylorism is emerging, for which organizations and their members are inadequately prepared. Politics and education are confronted with similar problems. While the former is often still entering uncharted or unorganized territory, the education system is still at odds about which competences mature economic citizens will need in order to assert themselves in the increasingly complex digital world of work, and about how they may be able to actively shape it.

The aim of this Research Topic is to highlight those aspects of the digitalization of the world of work that have a direct and profound impact on the individual and their interaction with their workplace's organizational structure. Specifically, we are referring to strongly normative aspects such as dignity, autonomy, and integrity; and the self-concept of one's own profession, privacy, education, and health.

The guest editors are particularly interested in contributions that foster a human value-centered understanding and analysis of, or the solution(s) to, challenges posed by digitalization in workplace contexts. Contributions that focus on political frameworks or on the teaching of (new kinds of) literacy, competences, and skills are also welcome. Possible topics include but are not limited to one or more of the following:

- challenges to the autonomy of organizational members whose scope for action is restricted by digitized decision-making processes
- analyses of the tension between increasing surveillance and external control, on the one hand, and dignity and moral self-control, on the other
- fundamental and human rights in the age of digital working environments
- how employees deal with changing jobs, job profiles, job requirements, and workplaces
- changes in professional requirement and job profiles, and the related identity conflicts and challenges for professional ethics
- the need for political action to make the digitalization of the working world (more) human
- change(s) in organizational cultures and the increase of the spatial division of labor due to digitalization
- the implementation of novel digital instruments, programs, and decision-making routines in organizations
- modes and teaching of digital literacy.

Keywords: digitalization, datafication, datism, autonomy, integrity, humanizing technology, privacy, economization, algorithms


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

As a result of the advancing process of digitalization, the modern working world is undergoing the most profound and most dynamic transformation since the Industrial Revolution. The use of advanced, algorithm-based control, monitoring, and decision-making systems is radically changing the workplace environment for employees and managers, often rearranging the human-machine and human-human relationship. While much of the extant research has focused on the efficiency gains made possible by digitalization, legal matters relating to privacy or data security, and emerging business models of the digital platform and gig economy, several normative issues remain poorly investigated.

It is hard to deny that the abovementioned innovations can work to the advantage of individuals by, for example, increasing efficiency, maintaining health, minimizing workplace hazards, and promoting comfort. Yet it is also apparent that, in virtue of the very same innovations, employees now face significant risks from increasingly strict forms of workplace monitoring. There is much to suggest that a form of digital Taylorism is emerging, for which organizations and their members are inadequately prepared. Politics and education are confronted with similar problems. While the former is often still entering uncharted or unorganized territory, the education system is still at odds about which competences mature economic citizens will need in order to assert themselves in the increasingly complex digital world of work, and about how they may be able to actively shape it.

The aim of this Research Topic is to highlight those aspects of the digitalization of the world of work that have a direct and profound impact on the individual and their interaction with their workplace's organizational structure. Specifically, we are referring to strongly normative aspects such as dignity, autonomy, and integrity; and the self-concept of one's own profession, privacy, education, and health.

The guest editors are particularly interested in contributions that foster a human value-centered understanding and analysis of, or the solution(s) to, challenges posed by digitalization in workplace contexts. Contributions that focus on political frameworks or on the teaching of (new kinds of) literacy, competences, and skills are also welcome. Possible topics include but are not limited to one or more of the following:

- challenges to the autonomy of organizational members whose scope for action is restricted by digitized decision-making processes
- analyses of the tension between increasing surveillance and external control, on the one hand, and dignity and moral self-control, on the other
- fundamental and human rights in the age of digital working environments
- how employees deal with changing jobs, job profiles, job requirements, and workplaces
- changes in professional requirement and job profiles, and the related identity conflicts and challenges for professional ethics
- the need for political action to make the digitalization of the working world (more) human
- change(s) in organizational cultures and the increase of the spatial division of labor due to digitalization
- the implementation of novel digital instruments, programs, and decision-making routines in organizations
- modes and teaching of digital literacy.

Keywords: digitalization, datafication, datism, autonomy, integrity, humanizing technology, privacy, economization, algorithms


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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