Rowman and Littlefield International

Work in the Digital Age

Challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Edited by Max Neufeind, Jacqueline O'Reilly, and Florian Ranft

Publication Date: Jun 2018

Pages 610

Ebook - PDF 9781786609076
£24.99 €34.99 $38.99
Paperback 9781786609069
£24.95 €37.43 $39.95
Shining a light on the very different experiences of work in the digital age, this book provides a unique contribution to the reform discussion on the consequences of the fourth industrial revolution. Drawing on a wide range of international expertise, contributors examine important policy challenges arising from the transformation of work as a result of the introduction of digital technology at work.
Authors in this volume discuss the effects of automation, platform business models, stagnating productivity, increasing regional disparities, and rising levels of inequality within and between countries. They consider how to unlock the vast economic and social potential of new technologies and the implications for policy reform to meet these challenges.
Mastering them requires developing a new inclusive narrative and progressive reform agenda. Such an agenda would be economic and political, and not determined universally by technology. The narrative is not only about what policymakers need to do, which is rather a lot. It is also about reforming established organisations and institutions, understanding new emerging players and supporting disaffected citizens in how the effects of these changes are going to affect their lives. The authors clearly pinpoint what needs to be done to support the transition to work in the digital era.
Work in the Digital Age is a superb collection of articles that together provide a wide-ranging, comprehensive analysis of the challenges and opportunities for labour in a period of rapid technological change. This volume is essential reading for academics and policymakers alike.
Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science, MIT
Everybody is in favour of technological innovation and modernisation, yet not enough research and discussion is devoted to the actual consequences for society. Work in the Digital Age brings together leading European academics and thinkers to help us find our course, as the future hurtles toward us at breakneck speed.
László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (2010-2014)
Work in the Digital Age should be required reading for the many groups around the world that are being formed to plan for the future of work in the age of digitisation. These European experts explore the broad terrain of private actions, public policies, and social dialogue needed to ensure that technological innovations can be shaped to benefit society while providing adequate compensation and adjustment opportunities for those who might otherwise bear the costs. As such, they lead the way for the rest of us.
Thomas A. Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management MIT Sloan School of Management and Co-Director, MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research
Work in the Digital Age is a valuable contribution to understanding how technology is disrupting the way we work and threatening the safety net that has long undergirded successful economies. We need a clear vision for the path forward, and this book helps provide that.
Steven Hill, Journalist in Residence, Berlin Social Science Center
This edited volume provides a very valuable overview over the general discussion about the potential impact of new technologies on the future of work. The book is unique in the way in which it brings together a series of case studies showing how the topic is discussed in different countries. It is essential reading for everybody interested in this crucial public policy debate.
Henning Mayer, Editor-in-Chief, Social Europe
The transformation of employment in the digital era raises fears of insecurity, technologically induced unemployment and more stress at work. The political and academic discourse of digital technology and its impact on work is often alarmist and resorts to drastic policy recommendations. The collection of essays in Work in the Digital Age is a highly welcomed contribution that offers a rich understanding of the complex interaction between the role of new technologies in the world of work and the welfare state. There will be no simple solutions to maintain good work and a good society in the digital age. Policymakers have to shape it themselves and need high quality intellectual input of this sort.
Anke Hassel, Professor of Public Policy, Hertie School of Governance, and Academic Director of the Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI)
Work in the Digital Age is a cutting-edge collection of articles on the future of work, offering a comprehensive treatment of current debates regarding the effects of new technology on employment, labour relations and inequality. As the authors make clear, the implications for public policy are profound. This book is an essential guide to the challenges of equity and policy that are emerging as digital technologies reshape the workplace.
Michael J. Handel, Northeastern University
The editors of Work in the Digital Age have done the rest of us a great service in bringing together this remarkable group of contributors. Carefully balancing broad themes and detailed country studies, the collection is a must-read for scholars and students from multiple disciplines interested in how current technological change is affecting work and employment.
Christian Lyhne Ibsen, Michigan State University
Work in the Digital Age is the major contemporary challenge. This book not only provides access to the outstanding trends, developments and challenges in the world of work and how to deal with them, it also provides country-specific access to the topic of digitalisation through country case studies.
Wolfgang Schroeder, University of Kassel
How does the process of digitalisation transform the nature of work? Do the new technologies lead to labour disruption including rising wealth inequality or increasing regional disparities? Do they offer the potential for new and exciting business opportunities and economic growth? What are the major challenges for policymakers? This excellent volume offers a range of compelling answers to these pertinent questions by some of the world’s leading labour market experts.
Jette Steen Knudsen, Professor of Policy and International Business, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
We are living in a time of major change in the labour market. Automation is altering both the amount and the nature of work as well as the skills, protections, and opportunities of people in all corners of society. Coming alongside unprecedented advances in human health and the ageing of populations, these changes throw up many challenges for policymakers. The proposals outlined in this impressive collection are an important contribution to the conversation about how to enable all citizens to have the opportunities they need to succeed in the new world of work.
Seamus Nevin, Head of Policy Research, Institute of Directors, London
Florian Ranft is head of policy and international at Policy Network.

Jacqueline O’Reilly is professor of comparative human resources at the University of Sussex Business School.


Max Neufeind is a researcher and policy adviser on the future of work.

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