"All Too Human" or the emergence of a techno-induced feeling of being less-able: identity work, ableism and new service technologies

Kamila Moulai, Gazi Islam , Stephan Manning, Laurianne Terlinden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The increasing use of semi-automated technologies in service work has implications for employee’s conceptions of their own abilities, and their processes of identification at work. Drawing on theorizing from the identity literature, we examine how employees come to think about their own abilities in relation to and in comparison to machinic norms, creating unattainable expectations of an “ideal worker”. Through a qualitative case study of the introduction of a semi-automated system in a supermarket service setting, we examine cashiers’ sense of devaluation on the basis of their humanness, which comes to be seen as of a less-abled nature in relation to the automated system. We show how cashier perceptions of customers’ changing interaction norms contribute to this sense of identity void, as traditional encounters of care or mutual regard are replaced by automated processes. We discuss the implications for Human Resource Management, laying out a future research agenda around identity processes and human-technology interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Early online date27 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgments:
Dr. Kamila Moulai¨ is a Marie Curie Fellow funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under the Marie Skłodowska Curie Grant Agreement number: 101026027. The first author would like to thank Prof. Mariano Pitosh Heyden (Monash University, Australia) and Prof Koen Van Laer (Hasselt University, Belgium) for their precious feedback on earlier versions of the manuscript.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '"All Too Human" or the emergence of a techno-induced feeling of being less-able: identity work, ableism and new service technologies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this