Automation of Routine Work: A Case Study of Employees' Experiences of Work Meaningfulness

Anne Staaby, Kjeld S. Hansen, Tor-Morten Grønli

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The idea of automation replacing humans in the workplace has been given considerable attention, while less attention has been afforded to how people develop a meaningful work life with automation of routine work. In this study we investigate how employees, who have had their routine work automated with RPA, have experienced its influence on their work and its meaningfulness. Concretely, we conduct a case study of how employees experience this process in three different case organizations in Oslo, Norway. We make theoretical contributions by combining automation of work, RPA and work meaningfulness literature to understand what opportunities and pitfalls the organizations experience, when they seek to harness value from their human resources in the process. We also contribute with implications for practice, by suggesting organizations to focus on creating autonomy and job crafting opportunities for employees, when they automate routine work with RPA.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationHonolulu
PublisherHawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)
Publication date2021
ISBN (Electronic)9780998133140
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event54th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2021 - Online, Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 5 Jan 20218 Jan 2021
Conference number: 54


Conference54th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
SponsorThe Nordic Sociological Association
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences


  • AI and future of work
  • Automation
  • Employee-level
  • Future of work
  • Meaningfulness
  • RPA
  • Socio-technical perspective

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