Artificial Intelligence and Business Logistics: A Dynamic Work Role Performance Perspective

Nov 4, 2019

Ajay Kumar (emlyon business school), Shivam Gupta (Montpellier Business School)

Work roles are constantly being changed as the organizations are experimenting newer and more advanced versions of AI based solutions in their operations. In such a dynamic environment, work roles are more fluid than static and demand constant updation on the part of job incumbent. Work role performance at the level of an individual employee is reflected in ‘individual task proficiency’, ‘individual task adaptivity’ and ‘individual task proactivity’ (Griffin et al., 2007).

Individual task proficiency covers the employee behaviors which indicate the extent to which they are able to meet the known expectations of their roles. The roles are clear and unambiguously explicated such that performance can be clearly articulated on the basis of tasks performed (Johnson, 2003). It generally is expected in environments and task contexts where uncertainty is relatively low (Griffin et al., 2007). With the increasing complexity and dynamism in the present day work context, it becomes imperative for the employees to not only to perform their jobs efficiently but also adapt to the changing environment. Individual task adaptivity covers the employee behaviors which indicate the extent of their adaptive response to any change in the environment and consequently work roles (Griffin et al., 2007). Changes such as organizational wide strategy shift or technology adoption leads to change in the work roles which further needs an adaptive response from the incumbent employees. Moreover, individuals are not only expected to be adaptive in response to change but rather they are expected to foresee changes in the environment and prepare for those challenges to maintain their performance. This kind of future oriented behavior is covered by individual task proactivity. It covers the extent of all those work behaviors that involve taking initiative and equipping oneself to face the unforeseen challenges that may arise in future (Johnson, 2003; Griffin et al., 2007). Since artificial intelligence based solutions change the way work is performed, it logically follows that individual level work role performance will also be affected. Hence, the present study explores how individual level work role performance is affected by the introduction of artificial intelligence based technological solutions in the logistics industry. The study intends to bring out the various aspects related to job performance and skill enhancement in response to change in the nature of work. The study falls in the domain of technology induced change and future of work in general.