ISLC 2021: Can There Be Leadership with Machines?
Dr Jamie Woodcock explores the struggles over technology and the future of work
This keynote address forms part of the International Studying Leadership Conference 2021, proudly hosted by The Open University.
Jamie Woodcock, Senior Lecturer in Management in the Faculty of Business and Law, will present his paper which explores the struggles over technology and the future of work.
Digital technology, platforms, algorithmic management, new surveillance tools, and the shape of the post-Covid-19 settlement have all thrown up questions about how work is changing. There are many ongoing pitched battles in the fight over what the future of work will look like. Too often, the focus is on the role of technology, with other actors falling into the background. For example, the role of leadership in these fights, both big and small, has had very little attention. Forms of leadership, whether from managers, capital, or the state have shaped the dynamics of the future of work. On the other hand, through resistance and organising, new forms of grassroots leadership are showing what alternative futures of work could look like.
The paper considers what can be learned from the clashes of these different forms of leadership and how this can help us make sense of the debates and direction of the future of work.
Dr Jamie Woodcock is the author of books including The Fight Against Platform Capitalism, The Gig Economy, Marx at the Arcade, and Working the Phones.