The Slovenian Academy of Management,

together with Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia,

is announcing its

 

5th International Conference on Management and Organization

to be held on June 14–15, 2018

at Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia

 

Conference theme:

MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION IN THE DIGITAL SOCIETY

 

1 Main theme

 

The digital economy, also called the Internet economy, denotes a new environment for organizations that is based on digital computing technologies. As advances are made in these digital and especially social-collaborative technologies, firms, groups, and individuals need to become even more flexible and adaptive while capitalizing on the availability and diffusion of digital technology. This is leading to changes in organizational structures and processes in response to the new nature of work. The organizational processes, along with the nature and meaning of work, continue to develop, resulting in work becoming ever more granular, modular, and decontextualized. This development allows larger projects to be broken down into smaller tasks that can be distributed among a digitized workforce. These tasks can call for unskilled work such as what is frequently being requested and paid for at extremely low hourly rates via crowdsourcing platforms. Yet today’s increasingly digitized workforce also includes highly specialized as well as creative and innovative labor due to improvements made in technology and organizational design (e.g. via platforms that enable instantaneous collaboration, joint remote work, and idea input from other stakeholders). One can also imagine that the majority of unskilled tasks will become automated and robotized, necessitating the even more prominent role of coordination and management. Due to these dramatic transformations in how work is being organized, the “digital workforce” and the “workplace of the future” were chosen as topics of recent editorials in both Human Resource Management Review (January 2015) and The Academy of Management Journal (Fall 2016). These contributions emphasized the relevance, timeliness, and crucial need for research on topics such as technology usage and generational issues, the role of information technology in decision making, new working arrangements, and organizing approaches that have emerged as a result of these advancements, and how technology influences the way work is structured and carried out. Most importantly, the key question is how structures and processes at the level and across levels of an organization, groups, and individuals should be designed and put into operation.

 

Research is therefore required about the effects of the changing workforce and its context at work. It is important to understand how digital and mobile technologies are shaping organizational phenomena, in particular the dynamic relationships between individuals at work. Entities accounting for the digital workforce’s capabilities (i.e., flexibility, digital literacy, access to working platforms beyond the traditionally designated workplace) as well as the power of technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence, bring challenges, opportunities yet also demands for a radical change in organizational designs, structures, and processes. Adequate and rapid responses in these areas can benefit firms and institutions by increasing customer satisfaction, ensuring faster new product development with a shorter time to market, customization, innovation, and ultimately greater efficiency and effectiveness. However, it is important to also recognize the downsides of extensive technology use for concentrated and ever-present work with its reduced levels of job security, close relationships and the social aspects of digital work, fair pay, and effective collaboration. Research needs to examine the shaping conditions and effects of the growing use of technology by a digital workforce, and also to provide guidance on how best to utilize technology to meet organizational goals.

 

With technology unraveling many traditional forms of employment and organization, many questions remain about how organizations, but also the broader context of society, should coordinate fair exchanges between workers and employers, and help in shaping the dynamic relationships between them, and among the employees themselves. For employers, it is easy to misconstrue the digitized workforce (be it in the emerging micro-work space such as Mechanical Turk or in the platform micro-entrepreneurship space such as Uber) as a shapeless crowd of exchangeable and inexpensive workers instead of a community of skilled and valuable individuals. Positive attributes associated with these crowd-based forms of digital labor are “participatory”, “peer-based”, and “accessible”. Digitized workers are in fact often self-employed. In the digital sphere, work relationships are becoming more flexible, fluid, and short-lived. Most digital service platforms function as spot markets, which impedes the establishment of substantial, long-term work relationships, and means work is organized in the way it was in the past. Temporary, part-time, remote, mobile, networked, and other nonstandard work arrangements are on the rise, once again contributing to the transactional nature of working exchanges resurfacing due to the lower transaction costs of performing work with digital tools. This provides challenges for organizing digital work in a humane and business-efficient way.

 

These contrasting views on how to organize in the digital society pose interesting challenges to the current theories and practices in management and organization. Established findings are hardly applicable to an emerging, dispersed, desynchronized and anonymized workforce. Moreover, given that crowdsourced digitized labor is a relatively recent phenomenon, at the moment there is little theory and research on the nature, desirability, advantages, disadvantages, and fairness of these emerging forms of work and ways of organizing it. Despite the importance of advancing our understanding of how we might better organize future work, research on these issues is rare. The conference’s overarching goal is to extend our understanding of organizational structures and processes that coordinate work in the digitized economy, whether this includes classic, open, networked, and virtual organizational structures, the context and specifics of flexible working arrangements, or crowdsourced digitized workers.

 

2 Call for papers

 

Two sub-themes are proposed: (1) structures in the digitized economy; and (2) processes in the digital era.

 

1. The first sub-theme of our discussion focuses on structures in the digitized economy. Possible areas within this sub-theme are:

- Ecosystems and the institutional setting supporting the gig economy; labor policies, the roles of governments, organizations, and unions

- Platforms and crowdsourcing: meaning, forms, and manifestations (e.g., contractual, distributed problem-solving, solo, and reciprocal coordination), taxonomy

- Networked, mobile crowdsourcing tools, digital and IT infrastructures supporting the processes in the digital economy

- Organizational structures supporting digital work like the network organization, and open innovation systems, other changes in existing organizational structures

- Changes in the structure of collaboration among firms and institutions, networks, virtual structures, platforms for interconnecting different entities

- Alterations in the organizational structure of firms and institutions; the tasks, duties, responsibilities, and authorities of individuals

- Relational job design in the digital economy, stimulating perceptions of meaningfulness, social identity, and professional identity, fostering feedback, task complexity and balancing the effects of isolation and autonomy

- Desirability, fairness, and ethical issues related to piecework performed in crowdsourcing systems

- Contingency factors (related to the environment, firm strategy, technology and employees) of flexible work

 

2. The second sub-theme concentrates on processes in the digital era. Possible topics within this sub-theme are:

- Managing digital organizations (planning and controlling the digital business; planning, actuating, and controlling the digital organization)

- Changes in the role of corporate governance in the digital era (e.g., governance of platforms and ecosystems)

- Human resource management (HRM), HRM digital competency, virtual collaboration, and digitized HRM practices (training, coaching, performance management etc.) through electronic-HR, media properties/ affordances, virtuality, media richness

- The role of leadership and new leadership styles in a digitized or distributed workplace, leadership emergence, leadership substitutions, implicit leadership, leader-follower relations, triggers of leadership perceptions, and key leadership competencies and mechanisms in the digital age

- Communication in the digital workplace: horizontal, lateral communication, Information and Communication Technology, communication channels, tools, and means of communicating, gamification and enabled flexibility

- Motivating employees in the digital workplace: reward systems, intrinsic motivation, psychological motivation for performing crowdsourcing work (e.g., knowledge sharing or hiding motivation, feelings of pride and respect, prosocial motivation)

- Control mechanisms, monitoring relationships, the network effect, metrics, and approaches via digital means

- Shaping the organizational culture within organizations of the digital economy, development of an informal organization, values in the digital era

- Digital work in an international setting, diversity management, cultural dimensions (e.g. tightness-looseness), different development patterns, mechanisms, and outcomes across cultures, the effect of Internet penetration and other macroeconomic contextual factors

- Conflict management across the digitized workforce and the role of trust in building virtual relationships

- Project management, resource allocation, and task division within large-scale projects supported by IT

- The emergence of collective action and digital teamwork (virtual cooperation in teams, across teams, within the digital community) and the enablers and obstacles to organizational learning, and knowledge and ideas being transferred, generated (exploration, creativity), and implemented (exploitation, innovation)

- Employee well-being, labor fairness, and protection of workers’ rights, implications for occupational health and safety, perceived organizational justice, and expectations

- Intergenerational issues related to digital work and the use of digital means at work

 

Papers and discussions will not be restricted to these issues; papers connecting the two streams are also invited. Papers from organization science, management, law, cognitive science, computer science, information systems, and other fields are welcome since the conference promotes an interdisciplinary approach. Theoretical and empirical papers employing qualitative or quantitative methods, as well as work-in-progress, PhD research and practical cases are all welcome. Papers accepted for the conference are to be published in the conference proceedings. High quality papers will be considered for publication in either the Dynamic Relationships Management Journal published by the Slovenian Academy of Management (SAM) or the Slovenian SAM journal Management Challenges.

 

3. Submission of abstracts and other important deadlines

 

Authors interested in participating at the conference are invited to submit an abstract. The abstract should not exceed 500 words and should include the names and affiliations of the author(s). It should clearly state the problem, purpose, and goals of the paper, the approach taken and the main contribution(s) made. Abstracts may be submitted as a .pdf file, .doc file or .docx file. The number of submissions is limited to one individual paper, one individual and one co-authored paper or two co-authored papers. The submission of abstracts will take place via e-mail alesa-sasa.sitar@ef.uni-lj.si 

  

After the abstracts have been received, they will undergo a review process and authors will be informed of their abstract’s acceptance/rejection. Guidelines for preparing the papers and other information will then be given to the authors of the accepted abstracts. The submission of abstracts starts on October 11, 2017 and the deadline for submitting them is December 6, 2017. You will be informed about the acceptance of your abstract/paper by January 10, 2018.

 

Please note the following key deadlines:

-        Formal announcement of the conference and call for papers: September 2017

-        Submission of abstracts: October 11 to December 6, 2017

-        Acceptance/rejection of abstracts: January 10, 2018

-        Submission of papers: April 11, 2018

-        Notification of acceptance of papers with reviewers’ comments: May 9, 2018

-        Submission of final papers: May 23, 2018

-        Registration: May–June 2018

-        Conference: 14–15 June, 2018

 

4. Registration fee

 

EUR 190 for Slovenian authors, who are members of the SAM and foreign authors

EUR 250 for Slovenian authors, who are not members of the SAM

EUR 190 for conference participants, who are members of the SAM

EUR 250 for conference participants, who are not members of the SAM

EUR 150 for participants attending only the first day of the conference

EUR 100 for participants attending only the second day of the conference

 

Registration fee covers conference proceedings (with full papers), refreshments during breaks, lunch and farewell lunch, and conference gala dinner. Doctoral students have 30% discount, undergraduate and masters students have 60% discount (discounted fees do not include conference gala dinner).

Program Committee:

-     Jon Aarum Andersen, Örebro University School of Business, Örebro University, Sweden

-     Saša Batistič, Tilburg University, Netherlands

-     Andrej Bertoncelj, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management, Koper, Slovenia

-     Tomaž Čater, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Ljubljana, Slovenia

-     Matej Černe, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Ljubljana, Slovenia and COBIK

-     Vlado Dimovski, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Ljubljana, Slovenia

-     Horatiu Dragomirescu, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania

-     Christian Fieseler, BI Norwegian Business School, Norway

-     Mihály Görög, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

-     Tomislav Hernaus, The University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business, Zagreb, Croatia

-     Jure Kovač, University of Maribor, Faculty of Organization Sciences, Kranj, Slovenia

-     Darja Peljhan, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Ljubljana, Slovenia

-     Amila Pilav-Velić, Sarajevo School of Business and Economics, B&H

-     Aleš Popovič, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Ljubljana, Slovenia

-     Rudi Rozman, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Ljubljana, Slovenia

-     Aleša Saša Sitar, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Ljubljana, Slovenia

-     Aziz Šunje, Sarajevo School of Business and Economics, B&H

-     Nina Tomaževič, Faculty of Administration, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

-     Petar Vrgović, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Novi Sad, Serbia

-     Sut I Wong, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway

-     Ivan Župič, Faculty of Business and Law, Kingston University, London, UK