The Automation of Management and the Multiplication of Labor

On the Role of Algorithmic Management in the Recomposition of Labor

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.34669/WI.WJDS/4.3.4

Keywords:

Labor, algorithmic management, platforms, gig economy, migration

Abstract

Digital technologies are increasingly used to automatically organize, measure, and control labor in many sectors and industries. This article offers an analysis of how digital technologies, particularly algorithmic management, not only reshape the ways in which work is done and controlled but also drive profound transformations in the division and composition of labor. Drawing on qualitative and ethnographic studies of the gig economy, this research article demonstrates how the digital automation of management serves as a prerequisite for efficiently and flexibly incorporating highly heterogeneous workforces into production processes. This is first demonstrated by an analysis of the online gig economy and its capacity to integrate a wide range of geographically dispersed workers into digital production processes. Then, the paper examines the role of migrant labor in the urban gig economy, contending that in this context too, digital technologies and algorithmic management play a crucial role in the flexible and efficient inclusion of highly diverse workforces. This ultimately illustrates how digital technologies for automated management are integral to a multifaceted process of workforce heterogenization, a phenomenon that can be conceptualized within the framework of the multiplication of labor.

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Published

14-05-2024

How to Cite

Altenried, M. (2024). The Automation of Management and the Multiplication of Labor: On the Role of Algorithmic Management in the Recomposition of Labor. Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society, 4(3). https://doi.org/10.34669/WI.WJDS/4.3.4

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Section

Research Papers