Expanding the organizational design space: the emergence of AI robot bosses

Richard M. Burton, Børge Obel*, Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


AI robot bosses are becoming increasingly prevalent in organizations, and they expand the traditional organizational design space. Organizations can benefit from utilizing both robots and humans as bosses, as they can substitute for each other and work together as complements across different organizational structures. This expanded design space includes different kinds of AI robots and humans as bosses, rather than limiting robots to just being helpers. By considering the different capabilities and relationships of humans and robots, we argue that the organizational design space is expanded to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency. However, the effectiveness of a robot boss depends on the organizational situation. Robots excel at managing organizational rules and processing large data sets for certain environments. AI robots also excel at predicting future patterns based on large sets of data, while humans are better suited for uncertain situations requiring judgement and creativity. We develop four types of AI robot bosses based on: explainability or how easy it is to understand and explain the decisions made, and supervised learning or how the robots learn and are trained over time in usage. These four types are then matched with leadership styles and organization forms. Organizational charts, or hierarchy charts, visually depict an organization’s structure, showcasing reporting relationships and chains of command. Employees’ names, titles, and job positions are typically represented in boxes or circles connected by lines, indicating their affiliations. However, traditional organization charts lack icons or representations of Artificial intelligent or AI robot bosses. This discrepancy prompts the question not of their inclusion, but of why they are omitted.

TidsskriftJournal of Organization Design
Sider (fra-til)13-22
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2024


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