Krzywdzinski, Martin Gerber, Christine Evers, Maren
Year of Publication:
[Editor:] Basso, Pietro [Editor:] Chiaretti, Giuliana [Title:] Le grandi questioni sociali del nostro tempo: a partire da Luciano Gallino [ISBN:] 978-88-6969-273-4 [Series:] Società e trasformazioni sociali [No.:] 6 [Place:] Venezia [Publisher:] Edizioni Ca’ Foscari [Year:] 2018 [Pages:] 101-120
This article reviews the major issues and discussions related to the impact of the digital revolution on labour. First, it emphasizes that the current digital revolution in manufacturing and services is not a revolution in the sense of a sudden technological breakthrough. It rather argues that the major reason for today’s lively debate about digital technologies is a new strategic interest in a strong manufacturing sector as foundation for global competitiveness. Second, this article discusses the potential effects of digital technologies on employment. It argues that the aggregate effects on employment could be positive – depending on many other factors but in particular on the underlying social forces and power relations. Increasing inequalities might be a more problematic development than the pure destruction of jobs. Third, this article shows that the new technologies could lead to increasing standardization and surveillance of work and workers. It discusses the potentials to avoid such developments and promote the redesigning of work organization, which leads to empowerment, an enrichment of work, and an improvement of working conditions. Finally, the article discusses the impact of the platform economy, and in particular crowdwork, on labour relations.
digitalization automation employment labour process platform economy