Organizational Implementation of AI: Craft and Mechanical Work

Konstantin Hopf, Oliver Müller, Arisa Shollo, Tiemo Theiss

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Recent years have brought major technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI), and firms are expected to invest nearly $98 B in 2023. However, many AI projects never leave the pilot phase, and many companies have difficulties extracting value from their AI initiatives. To explain this contradiction, this article reports on a study of 55 projects implementing AI in organizations. It shows that organizational challenges in implementing AI projects are a result of a paradoxical tension created by two different perspectives on data science work: craft and mechanical work. Executives, managers, and data scientists should actively manage this tension to enable and sustain value creation through AI.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCalifornia Management Review
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)23-47
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 19 September 2023.


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Value creation
  • Organization
  • Workplace
  • Implementing innovation

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