Robotizing meaningful work
Turja, T., Minkkinen, J., & Mauno, S. (2022). Robotizing meaningful work. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 20(2), 177-192. https://doi.org/10.1108/jices-06-2021-0063
© Emerald Publishing Limited
Purpose Robots have a history of replacing human labor in undesirable, dirty, dull and dangerous tasks. With robots now emerging in academic and human-centered work, this paper aims to investigate psychological implications of robotizing desirable and socially rewarding work. Design/methodology/approach Testing the holistic stress model, this study examines educational professionals’ stress responses as mediators between robotization expectations and future optimism in life. The study uses survey data on 2,434 education professionals. Findings Respondents entertaining robotization expectations perceived their work to be less meaningful and reported more burnout symptoms than those with no robotization expectations. Future optimism about life was not affected by robotization expectations alone, but meaninglessness and burnout symptoms mediated the relation between expectations of robotization and future optimism. Practical implications Robotization may be viewed as challenging the meaningfulness of educational work by compromising ethical values and interaction. To prevent excess stress among personnel, robotization should be planned together with employees in co-operation negotiations. This implicates the need for co-designing technological changes in organizations especially in the cases of social use of robots. Originality/value Work’s meaningfulness in robotization is a novel research topic and a step toward socially sustainable robotization. ...
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Additional information about fundingThis study was funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund (project USUTE), the Academy of Finland, the Strategic Research Council (project ROSE, decision numbers: 292980 and 314180 and project IJDFIN, decision number 308334).
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