Future of Work and Employee Empowerment: Evidence from a Decade of Technological Change

25 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2020 Last revised: 17 Aug 2020

See all articles by Christos Makridis

Christos Makridis

Stanford University; Arizona State University (ASU); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Joo Han

Rutgers University

Date Written: January 12, 2020


Increasing evidence suggests that technological change will have significant effects on interactions in the workplace, particularly with the surge of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if technological change displaces some jobs, it may have positive effects among the employees’ who remain employed and subsequent new hires. To understand the potential effects on employees, we introduce a new measure of technological change at the county-level using the growth in the stock of intellectual property (IP) across industries. Second, using new individual-level data between 2008 and 2018 from Gallup’s U.S Daily Poll, we investigate the quantitative effects of technological change on employee empowerment and well-being. Our results suggest that technological change is associated with robust positive effects on employees’ sense of empowerment and life satisfaction. While we find the effect is strongest in workplaces with trust, we find that managers who behave more as a boss help workers buffer against technological change, suggesting that structured managerial practices may be most effective for mediating the emergence of AI and automation.

Keywords: Employee Attitudes; Employee Engagement; Technological Change; Well-being

JEL Classification: J23; J24; G41; I31

Suggested Citation

Makridis, Christos and Han, Joo, Future of Work and Employee Empowerment: Evidence from a Decade of Technological Change (January 12, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3518104 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3518104

Christos Makridis (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ( email )

810 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20420
United States

Joo Han

Rutgers University ( email )

Piscataway, NJ
United States

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