Breakthrough Work Automation Research

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Beyond Upskilling:  Using Work Automation Climate to Drive Organization Effectiveness

A new research opportunity with Dr. John Boudreau, USC CEO Marshall School of Business Sr. Research Scientist, and Dr. Benjamin Schneider, CEO Affiliate and Professor Emeritus.

Work automation is driving unprecedented investments in upskilling workers, but CEO affiliate Dr. Benjamin Schneider, and CEO Sr. Research Scientist Dr. John Boudreau realized that a myopic focus on upskilling overlooks many human and organizational factors that are pivotal to work automation success. Work automation climate includes upskilling, but also how work automation is promoted by organizational leaders, rewarded and recognized, supported by managers, and embedded in worker experience.  Tracking only skills overlooks these key factors.  Dr. Schneider is an award-winning researcher who has developed game-changing measures of workplace climate in areas like safety, service and innovation. This initiative will apply those findings to work automation.

The Work Automation Index (WAI), the first measure of how work automation introduction and use is experienced by a firm’s employees, is now available for use where automation is being introduced and/or changed. The WAI measures the climate created for employees by a firm’s policies, practices and procedures and provides an index also of work automation engagement.

Suggested Criteria for participation includes:

  • Organizations with multiple locations
  • Organizations with large worker populations
  • Varied levels and stages of automation across different units and different types of work automation

How can you apply to participate? Please send an email to Jennifer Sparks Taylor, Director of Corporate Relations & Executive Education, USC CEO Marshall School of Business.  We will contact you to explore how your organization may join us in this important project.