Between bodies and technologies: digitalization processes and workers’ wellbeing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Author/s Filippo Andrei, Attila Bruni, Lia Tirabeni
Publishing Year 2020 Issue 2020/158 Language Italian
Pages 20 P. 158-177 File size 242 KB
DOI 10.3280/SL2020-158008
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the recent phase of digitalization of industrial processes has an impact also on the body that becomes the field of application of specific technologies aimed at measuring and parameterizing physical activities for improving workers’ well-being and performance. By adopting an approach that understands technology as a social practice, in this paper we present results from a research on well-being and technology devices conducted within a big firm. Results suggest, from the one hand, the relevance of the human support within dig-itally enhanced industrial environments; from the other hand, the need to understand workers’ well-being not only as the result of potential technology devices, but rather as a process articulated within relationships between humans and tech-nologies.

Keywords: Fourth Industrial Revolution, wearable technology, body, organization

  1. Autor D.H. (2015). The paradox of abundance: Automation anxiety returns. In Sunramanian R., editor, Performance and progress: Essays on capitalism, business, and society, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  2. Berson J. (2015). Computable Bodies: Instrumented Life and the Human Somatic Niche. London: Bloomsbury.
  3. Bruni A. (2020), Organizzazione e lavoro. In: Magaudda P., Neresini F., a cura di, Studi sociali sulla scienza e la tecnologia, Bologna: il Mulino.
  4. Bruni A., Gherardi S. (2001), Omega’s story: the heterogeneous engineering of a gendered professional self. In: Dent M., Whitehead S., editors, Managing Professional Identities: Knowledge, Performativity and the 'New’ Professional, London, New York: Routledge.
  5. Bruni A., Gherardi S. (2007). Studiare le pratiche lavorative. Bologna: il Mulino.
  6. Brynjolfsson E., McAfee A. (2014). The second machine age: Progress and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies. New York: Norton.
  7. Charmaz K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory. London: Sage.
  8. Constantinides P., Henfridsson O., and Parker G. (2018). Introduction – Platforms and infrastructures in the digital age. Information Systems Research, 29: 3-6.
  9. De Stefano V. (2016). The rise of the “just-in time workforce”: on demand work, crowdwork, and labor protection in the “gig economy”. Comparative labor law and policy journal, 37: 461-471.
  10. Foster J. B., McChesney R. W. (2014). Surveillance capitalism: Monopoly-finance capital, the military industrial complex, and the digital age. Monthly Review, 66. DOI: 10.14452/MR-066-03-2014-07_
  11. Frey C.B., Osborne M.A. (2017). The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 114, C.
  12. Gherardi S. (1990). Le micro-decisioni nelle organizzazioni. Bologna: il Mulino.
  13. Gregg M., Kneese T. (2019). Clock as a mediating technology of organization. In: Beyes T., Holt R., and Pias C., editors, The Oxford Handbook of Media, Technology, and Organization Studies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  14. Kellogg K.C., Valentine M.A., and Christin A. (2020). Algorithms at work: The new contested terrain of control. Academy of Management Annals, 14: 366-410.
  15. Latour B. (1992). Where are the missing masses? The sociology of a few mundane artifacts. In: Bijker W., Law J., editors, Shaping technology/Building society, Cambridge: MIT Press (trad. it. Dove sono le masse mancanti? Sociologia di alcuni oggetti di uso comune. In: Mattozzi A., a cura di, 2006, Il senso degli oggetti tecnici, Roma: Meltemi).
  16. Lupton D. (2016). The quantified self. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  17. MacKenzie D., Wajcman J., editors (1999). The Social Shaping of Technology, Buckingham. Philadelphia: Open University Press.
  18. Mattozzi A., a cura di (2006). Il senso degli oggetti tecnici, Roma: Meltemi.
  19. Meyer U., Shaupp S., and Seibt D., editors, (2019). Digitalization in industry: Between domination and emancipation. London and New York: Palgrave.
  20. Moore P. V. (2018). Tracking affective labour for agility in the quantified workplace, Body & Society, 24: 39-67. DOI: 10.1177/1357034X1877520
  21. Moore P., Robinson A. (2016). The quantified self: What counts in the neoliberal workplace. New Media & Society, 18: 2774-2792. DOI: 10.1177/146144481560432
  22. Newell S., Marabelli M. (2015). Strategic opportunities (and challenges) of algorithmic decision-making: A call for action on the long-term societal effects of ‘datification’. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 24: 3-14.
  23. Nicolini D. (2009). Articulating practice through the interview to the double. Management learning, 40: 195-212. DOI: 10.1177/135050760810123
  24. Pfeiffer S. (2016). Robots, Industry 4.0 and humans, or why assembly work is more than routine work. Societies, 6: 1-26.
  25. Ruckenstein M. (2014). Visualized and interacted life: Personal analytics and engagements with data doubles. Societies, 4: 68-84.
  26. Schwab K. (2017). The fourth industrial revolution. New York: Crown Business.
  27. Spencer D.A. (2018). Fear and hope in an age of mass automation: debating the future of work. New Technology, Work and Employment, 33: 1-12.
  28. Star S.L. (1991). The sociology of the invisible: The primacy of work in the writings of Anselm Strauss. In: Mainer D., editor, Social organization and social process: Essays in honor of Anselm Strauss, New York: De Gruyter.
  29. Star S.L., Strauss A. (1999). Layers of Silence Arenas of Voice: The Ecology of Visible and Invisible Work, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 8: 9-30. DOI: 10.1023/A:100865110535
  30. Suchman L., Blomberg J., Orr J.E., and Trigg R. (1999). Reconstructing Technology as Social Practice, American Behavioral Scientist, 43: 392-408. DOI: 10.1177/0002764992195533
  31. Suchman L.A. (1987/2002). Plans and situated actions: The problem of human-machine communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  32. Swan M. (2013). The quantified self: Fundamental disruption in big data science and biological discover. Big Data, 1: 85-99.
  33. Till C. (2018). Commercialising bodies: Action, subjectivity and the new corporate health ethic. In: Lynch R., Farrington C., editors, Quantified Lives and Vital Data, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  34. Tirabeni L. (2019). Corpi “aumentati” al lavoro. Una riflessione su tecnologie indossabili e benessere in organizzazione. In: Moretti V., Morsello B., a cura di, Interferenze digitali Prospettive sociologiche su tecnologie, biomedicina e identità di genere, Milano: Franco Angeli.
  35. Weick K.E. (1995). Sensemaking in Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  36. Wilson H.J. (2013). Wearables in the workplace. Harvard Business Review, 91: 27.
  37. Yakhlef A. (2010). The corporeality of practice-based learning. Organization Studies, 31: 409-430. DOI: 10.1177/017084060935738
  38. Zuboff S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. London: Profile Books.

Filippo Andrei, Attila Bruni, Lia Tirabeni, Fra corpi e dispositivi: processi di digitalizzazione e benessere dei lavoratori nella Quarta Rivoluzione Industriale in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 158/2020, pp 158-177, DOI: 10.3280/SL2020-158008