Digitized management – what can we learn from England and Sweden?

 

This project will contribute to producing knowledge on digitalisation and its organisational dynamics and effects; knowledge that is of great interest for managers and employees in public and private organisations facing or undergoing digital transformation. In addition, the project will contribute to developing socio-material approaches conceptually and methodologically.

Central research questions are:

  1. What are the consequences of digitalisation for managerial practice?

  2. To what extent does digitalisation facilitate or impede certain forms of managing?

  3. How are the practices emerging from digitalisation experienced in the organizations?

Digitalisation, the development and implementation of increasingly smarter, faster and cheaper digital technology, is currently transforming contemporary organisational processes and work practices. The technology developed opens up for new possibilities, both regarding coordination and control, for example by increased means of real-time surveillance, which changes power structures in working life.

The project applies a sociomaterial perspective where no sharp distinction is made between the social and the technological. Instead, technology is understood as intertwined with all aspects of organisational life through a series of interdependencies between people and technology. Using a sociomaterial perspective, the project will have the possibility of building theory as well as a practical understanding of digitalisation and its various dimensions; a knowledge that will make the digitalisation transformation easier for those involved.

The project encompasses four subprojects focusing on different aspects of digitalisation: projectification, leadership work, flexibilization and the experience of technology. The subprojects will draw on case studies performed at local authorities and businesses in Sweden and the UK. The cases will be studied through ethnographies in combination with interviews and with a participatory approach.