Economics RSS

  Future-proofing Your Job From Robots  Premium

Print Share

Will a robot take your job? Although workers have worried about being replaced by a machine since the Industrial Revolution, the changes brought by computerization, digitization and robotization are being felt more profoundly. One study predicts that 47 percent of 400 million U.S. jobs are considered at high risk. This article summarizes the latest research, which includes interviews with executives from Spanish corporations, to help separate science fiction from business reality. Armed with this deeper understanding, executives may start to view technological change not with fear but with flexibility, and identify some practical actions they can take to ready themselves for whatever lies ahead.

Tools and Frameworks:
> "Levy & Murnane's Matrix" presents one way of assessing which jobs may be at risk.
> "The Impact of Digitization on 5 Sectors" analyzes the impact on people, the organizational effects, and the training and development needs for five sectors: leisure and services; agriculture and agri-food; manufacturing; construction; and financial services.
> "8 Ways to Future-proof Your Firm" offers top tips to stop the hand-wringing and get a grip instead.

Examples Cited:
Uses the example of the typewriter and secretaries to show the path that technological innovation, and the consequent effect on jobs, usually takes; ATMs and other self-service operations; a major hotel group; agricultural producer; manufacturer using robots; construction company headquartered in Madrid; big banking group; 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Research Basis:
Tracked employment and wage trends from 1985 to 2014 using publicly available data; and sent a questionnaire to, and did follow-up interviews with, a sample of executives from several Spanish corporations

About the Authors:
Alfredo Pastor is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Economics and holder of the Banco Sabadell Chair of Emerging Markets at IESE Business School.

Bartolomé Mercadal Dupree is the General Manager of Myotragus Balearicus.
This article is based on:  Future-proofing Your Job From Robots
Publisher:  IESE
Year:  2016
Language:  English