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Transformations in Technology, Transformations in Work

JustJobs Networks’ 2016 Signature Volume: Transformations in Technology, Transformations in Work


Technology is fundamentally reshaping the nature of work worldwide, spurring heated debate. While some worry that deepening automation and the rapid growth of online and “on-demand” labor platforms are eroding job quantity and quality, others claim that productivity gains will translate into more and better jobs in the long run. With its 2016 signature volume, JustJobs Network introduces real case studies from around the world, examining how technology in its different dimensions is changing employment outcomes.

The 10-chapter volume, “Transformations in Technology, Transformations in Work,” discusses a diverse range of topics: From online freelancer platforms in Latin America to the on-demand economy in Indonesia, from new models of work design in Germany to tech-based farm subsidies in Zambia. It adds nuance to the global debate and grounds it in the experience of policymakers, businesses and workers around the world.

Key Themes

  1. The discourse on technology highlights the trade-off between efficiency and equity, and policy frameworks must strike a balance between the two.
  2. The on-demand economy demands new forms of regulation and worker representation. Policymakers must be proactive about harnessing its benefits and minimizing its costs.
  3. Technology holds the promise of improving livelihoods and enabling labor market access for marginalized communities, but these effects should not be overestimated.
  4. Workers are leveraging digital technologies to empower and organize themselves.
  5. New technologies require rethinking “work design” – the way labor and technology are deployed, how work is executed and the kinds of tasks and interactions it involves.


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