Consequences of Discontinuing Knowledge Work Automation : Surfacing of Deskilling Effects and Methods of Recovery
Rinta-Kahila, T., Penttinen, E., Salovaara, A., & Soliman, W. (2018). Consequences of Discontinuing Knowledge Work Automation : Surfacing of Deskilling Effects and Methods of Recovery. In Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2018) (pp. 5244-5253). University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10125/50543
© the Authors, 2018. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
IS automation pervades business processes today. Thus, concerns have been raised about automation’s potential deskilling effects on knowledge workers. We conduct a revelatory case study about an IT service firm where a managerial decision was taken to discontinue a fixed assets management (FAM) software that provided seemingly effective automation of fixed assets accounting and reporting. We study how automation can result in latent deskilling that later becomes apparent when the system gets discontinued, causing disruptions in employees’ daily work and organizational processes. We also investigate how the employees and the company recover from this disruption by leveraging various coping strategies. We suggest that automation of an accounting function/process played a key role in the deskilling of accountants. Although the effect on worker skills may not be obvious when the system is operational, discontinuing the system brings the effect to the apparent level.
PublisherUniversity of Hawai'i at Manoa
Parent publication ISBN978-0-9981331-1-9
Is part of publicationProceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2018), ISBN 978-0-9981331-1-9