Emerging Industry 4.0 technologies (ET), such as Robotics, Cyber Physical Systems, etc. will provide tremendous shifts with regard to working processes, e.g. increasing human-robot-interactions and similar technological advancements. However, in the debate about the possibilities of ET, their technical norms and standards, one of the most central aspects– the effects on employees, organizations, and work structures – has been often neglected. We still lack knowledge about the deeper implications of the ET: How ET will change work design in organizations? How do ET affect employees and their attitudinal and behavioural outcomes? How individual employees at different life and/or career stage may better adapt to the changes at work? How Human Resource Management may neutralize potential negative effects and demands of ET and ensure long-term employee well-being?
The objective of the research is to explore the effects of ET on work design, to identify individual factors related to adaptability to changes at work across the life-span and to disclose the role of Human Resource Management in this relationship. The research
will be based on micro- and meso-levels of analysis using longitudinal qualitative, meta-analytical, and quantitative methods. Longitudinal qualitative study will be performed in German and Lithuanian companies operating under conditions of Industry 4.0. The research has important theoretical and practical contributions. First, the project will advance the literature on HRM, work design, and individual adaptability, as it will deepen our current knowledge of HRM in the context of emerging technologies. Furthermore, it answers the call for more contextual as well as longitudinal studies in organizational research, thus, providing an important methodological contribution. Second, our findings will substantially increase the practical understanding of human resources management in the context of Industry 4.0. Our findings will help companies operating under conditions of Industry 4.0 to ensure long-term individual adaptability, well-being, and performance across the life-span of employees. This project will considerably develop research skills of Lithuanian researchers, as young researchers will work together with established international scholars and new research methods, such as quantitative meta-analysis and longitudinal cross-cultural qualitative study, will be acquired.
Project duration: 2018 – 2021
Budget: 599 287 EUR
Research leader: Prof.dr. Ilona Bučiūnienė
Project reseach team: Patricia Allison Reay, Antonio Paulo Brandao Moniz De Jesus, Eglė Staniškienė, Bernadeta Goštautaitė, Živilė Stankevičiūtė, Irina Liubertė
Funding: This project has received funding from European Social Fund (project No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0156) under grant agreement with the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT)