Digital Work: A Conceptual Clarification

Abayomi Baiyere, Sabrina Schneider, Mari-Klara Stein

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This paper provides a typology of digital work – a popular term still lacking a clear meaning. We show how previous attempts to capture the essence of digital work struggle to provide a meaningful yet comprehensive understanding of what differentiates traditional from digital work. We draw on prior literature to argue that digital work requires three rationales to be fulfilled: process (How?), outcome (What?), and objective (Why?). Based on this, we highlight three variations – digital enabled work, digital engaged work, and digital embedded work. This typology allows us to define digital work more clearly and enables future research to adequately study and theorize digital work. Furthermore, this typology permits considering alternate classifications for activities and actors in work that traditional work conceptualizations fail to include.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
EditorsTung X. Bui
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationHonolulu
PublisherHawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)
Publication date2023
ISBN (Electronic)9780998133164
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventThe 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. HICSS 2023 - Lahaina, United States
Duration: 3 Jan 20236 Jan 2023
Conference number: 56


ConferenceThe 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. HICSS 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences


  • Digital work
  • Typology
  • Conceptual discussion
  • Digital embedded work
  • Digital enabled work
  • Digital engaged work

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