How can we use technology to make work more meaningful?

Why is your field of study important?

Digital technologies have enabled flexible working arrangements and more adaptable organizations. I study how this changes the way we work.

Over the past decades, companies have moved from responding to the demands of labor unions, through stressing a positive relationship between employers and employees, to focusing on proactivity. Proactivity means that employers actively try to improve working conditions for their employees, and that employees take charge of their work and continually look for the best ways of performing it.

Through my research I want to help individuals and organizations be proactive in order to reduce disputes between employers and employees, and to make work more meaningful for everyone.

Technology is an important part of this change, and my most recent research looks at how things like virtual teams, human-machine interaction, AI, crowd work and gamification are changing work and organizational culture.

What do you want to change in business or society?

In our digital age it is important for organizations to be conscious about their practices and put people at the center. Not to see us as cogs in a machine.

I want to contribute to building conscious businesses, a concept introduced by Fred Kofman. A conscious business seeks to develop the organization as a human community.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

How to nurture employee proactivity without taking away from the responsibility of leaders and organizations.

When was the last time you made a mistake, and what did you learn?

I have made too many mistakes to note. Failure is the first step in learning.

Who is your greatest role model?

Professor Mary Parker Follett has been a great source of inspiration to me. She defined management as ‘the art of getting things done through people’ and is known as the Mother of Modern Management.

She advocated for the human element in management. She saw this as far more important than so-called scientific management which emphasizes industrial and mechanical components.

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