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IB2C7-15 Work in the Digital Era

Warwick Business School
Undergraduate Level 2
Module leader
Manuela Galetto
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module is available as an elective for both WBS and non-WBS students and Exchange students.
The rapid acceleration of new digital technologies in the workplace commensurate with the expansion of new working patterns requires deeper managerial understanding of how the “fourth industrial revolution” affects and shapes work and organisations. Advancement in digital and social technologies are shaping and changing the organisation of the workplace, as well as the nature and meaning of work. As such, students will have the opportunity to explore a digitally transformed landscape of work. Students will analyse the opportunities, as well as debate the risks of the digital workplace and, in doing so, further develop their critical thinking and ethical decision-making skills.

Module aims

This course focuses on the digital transformations taking place in contemporary workplaces and will offer students:
A multi-perspective analysis of digital technologies increasingly used in the organisation of work;
Tools to navigate the world of work as employees, managers, and entrepreneurs in the digital era;
Understand how the acceleration in technological change impact the design, sustainable development, ethical, and strategic dimensions of work;
In-depth analysis of management theories in relation to contemporary digital workplace developments;
Use of gamification, high-profile examples, and case studies of managerial practice to better understand the legal, ethical and managerial effects of digital technologies on the workplace.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The ‘Digital Workplace’

  • Theories of work and management
  • Human capital theory in the digital era
    Algorithmic Technologies in the Workplace: Opportunities and Challenges
  • AI decision-making and the changing relationship between managers and employees
  • Ethics and the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics in workplaces
  • Impact of robotization and task automation on the future of work.
    Management for the Digital Age
  • Exploring digital technologies: the design, implementation and promotion of data-driven management practices
  • Utilising technologies in sustainable and responsible employing organisations
  • Opportunities and implications for management in relation to technology in diverse business organisations, including start-ups, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed
    Digitalisation, Inclusion, and Diversity
  • Impact of new technologies and new forms of organising on diversity and inclusion Employment status and the new platform economy e.g. found in platform work, crowdwork and Elancing
    Legal Implications of a Digitalised Workplace
  • Changing workplace regulation (e.g. Data Protection)
  • Surveillance, privacy, and regulation of technology in the workplace (e.g. Article 22 GDPR)
  • Working From Home: implications for the intersection of professional and personal
    The future of work: Digital Practices and Changing Workplace Demographics
  • Technology and the trajectory of automation’s impact on future employment
  • New work practices in response to environmental and sustainability challenges (e.g. SDG 8)
  • Young workers and the new normal of the digital workplace
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Identify, explain and assess the key drivers, current practices and implications of digital technologies in the workplace
  • Recognise and assess the mediating effect of the legal and economic context on the implications of digitallybased innovations at work
  • Recall, critique and analyze the legal dimensions of digital transformations
  • Application of theories to practical cases in a way that demonstrates nuanced judgment and ethical decision-making;
  • Critical thinking in relation to the multi-stakeholder perspective in decision making and implementation of technology in organisations;
  • Personal reflection on contemporary technological developments within broader legal, business and management contexts
Indicative reading list

Adler PS, du Gay P, Morgan G and Reed M (2014) The Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social theory and organisational studies, Oxford University Press.
Blackman A et al (2019) (eds) Theorising Labour Law in a Changing World. Towards inclusive labour law, Hart.
BiliÄ P et al (2018) Technologies of labour and the political of contradictions, Palgrave Macmillan.
Crawford K, Atlas of AI. Power, Politics and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence, Yale University Press
M. D. Dubber, F. Pasquale, & S. Das (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Edoardo A (2018) Working in Digital and Smart Organisations: Legal, Economic and Organisational Perspectives on the Digitalization of Labour Relations, Palgrave Macmillan.
EIGE (2020) Gender Equality Index 2020: Digitalisation and the Future of Work. Vilnius: European Institute for Gender Equality.
Fleming, P. (2019) Robots and Organization Studies: Why Robots Might Not Want to Steal Your Job, Organization
Studies, 40(1), 23–37.
Will-Zocholl M and Roth-Ebner C (eds) (2021) Topologies of Digital Work, Springer

Subject specific skills

Critically assess and analyse the effects of digital technologies from a multi-stakeholder perspective, keeping in mind consequences for sustainable and ethical work, toward developing digital literacy.
Evaluating the complexities of digitally mediated work related design and decision making processes within organisations

Transferable skills

Analytical and debating skills in oral communication;
Develop critical thinking and writing skills;
Critically evaluate ideas and practices in relation to the digital transformation of business toward developing
nuanced personal digital literacy.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 10 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Seminars 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Online learning (independent) 10 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Private study 49 hours (33%)
Assessment 72 hours (48%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Private Study.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Individual Assignment 75% 54 hours
Reflection Log 1 25% 18 hours

E-learning reflection log submission.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback via my.wbs.


This module is Optional for:

  • UIBA-N20B BSc in Management
    • Year 2 of N20B Management
    • Year 2 of N20B Management
    • Year 2 of N23K Management with Accounting
    • Year 2 of N234 Management with Digital Business
    • Year 2 of N235 Management with Entrepreneurship
    • Year 2 of N232 Management with Finance
    • Year 2 of N252 Management with Marketing
    • Year 2 of N23L Management with Strategy and Organisation
  • Year 1 of UIOA-VEU Undergraduate EU Visiting
  • Year 2 of UGEA-RN21 Undergraduate German and Business Studies
  • Year 2 of UIPA-L8N1 Undergraduate Global Sustainable Development and Business
  • Year 2 of UIBA-N1RA Undergraduate International Business with French
  • Year 2 of UIBA-N1RB Undergraduate International Business with German
  • Year 2 of UIBA-N1RC Undergraduate International Business with Italian
  • Year 2 of UIBA-N1RD Undergraduate International Business with Spanish
  • UIBA-N20F Undergraduate International Management
    • Year 2 of N20F International Management
    • Year 2 of N20F International Management
    • Year 2 of N20S International Management (with Accounting)
    • Year 2 of N20T International Management (with Chinese)
    • Year 2 of N20P International Management (with Entrepreneurship)
    • Year 2 of N20M International Management (with Finance)
    • Year 2 of N20U International Management (with French)
    • Year 2 of N20L International Management (with Marketing)
    • Year 2 of N20V International Management (with Spanish)
    • Year 2 of N20W International Management (with Strategy and Organisation)
    • Year 2 of N20N International Management with Digital Business
    • Year 2 of N20E Management (with Foundation Year)
    • Year 2 of N234 Management with Digital Business
  • UIBA-N20E Undergraduate Management (with Foundation Year)
    • Year 3 of N20E Management (with Foundation Year)
    • Year 3 of N23N Management with Accounting (with Foundation Year and Placement Year)
    • Year 3 of N23M Management with Accounting (with Foundation Year)
    • Year 3 of N23E Management with Digital Business (with Foundation Year)
    • Year 3 of N23F Management with Entrepreneurship (with Foundation Year)
    • Year 3 of N23D Management with Finance (with Foundation Year)
    • Year 3 of N252 Management with Marketing
    • Year 3 of N254 Management with Marketing (with Foundation Year)
    • Year 3 of N23P Management with Strategy and Organisation (with Foundation Year)
  • Year 1 of UIOA-VOS Undergraduate Overseas Visiting