A Future of Work and Organizations
9 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2021
Date Written: 2021
Autonomy is central to the future of work and therefore to organizing that work. Future workers will demand three types of autonomy: temporal, locational, and affiliative. The organizations that accommodate these three kinds of autonomy will be “flash powered.” Flash powered organizations are globally distributed collections of autonomous workers who briefly come together to address a particular complex innovation challenge. Most members of these flash crowds are freelancers rather than employees of the organization in the conventional sense. Flash powered organizations promote collective knowledge production, using technology platforms which allow those with the pertinent knowledge to share multiple perspectives that constantly redefine the central problem while solving it. The future of work will also be shaped by the concurrent increase in autonomy for human workers and the automation that reduces the need for them. The result will be “humobotic” work: coproduction by humans and machines working together. This fourth industrial revolution will require managers and researchers to think deeply about emergent issues such as how to attract autonomous talent by designing more meaningful work, creating the right motivation, and defining the role of future organizations.
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