School of Business and Economics


21 Aug 2019

Professor Galliers' paper on datafication and meaningfulness at work published in top journal

Robert Galliers

Gaining and retaining meaningful work in the digitised world is a major issue for employers and employees.

In his recent article "Datification and the Pursuit of Meaningfulness in Work", published in The Journal of Management Studies, Professor Robert Galliers, member of the Centre for Information Management and Visiting Professor of Information Systems, explores this issue in depth along with his co-authors (Mari-Klara Stein, Copenhagen Business School; Erica Wagner and Pamela Tierney, Portland State University; Sue Newell, Warwick Business School).

Professor Galliers:

"Proliferation of digital means of tracking worker activities has contributed to the rise of data-driven approaches to managing people, with employees often required to record their activities for accountability purposes.

"Increased requirement for such datification work occurs at a juncture where meaningfulness is one of the most sought-after work features.

"Datification work could both facilitate and hinder the pursuit of meaningfulness, yet literature provides little guidance into the nature of the connection and how it transpires.

"Our inductive study of academic professionals using an accountability system suggests that datification work characteristics link to meaningful work experiences in complex ways.

"We advance current theory on work meaningfulness by theorizing the role of a new work condition – datification – in meaningfulness experiences of professionals, outlining how system design and the institutional context become important elements influencing meaningful work experiences and explaining how meaningfulness experiences are constructed through system appropriations.