Revisiting the 'virtues' of information technology-dominated work by considering its potential to produce 'repetitive brain injury' (RBI)
- Document type
- Conference Paper
- Baruch, Yehuda; Shapiro, Debra
- British Academy of Management
- Date of publication
- 9 September 2014
- British Academy of Management Conference Proceedings 2014
- Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production
- Business and management
- Material type
[Authors' original abstract]
Using the well-known Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) as a metaphorical parallel, in this paper we introduce the concept of Repetitive Brain Injury (RBI) to sensitize managers as well as management scholars to potentially negative effects associated with the repetitive and controlling aspects of information technology (IT) dominated tasks that involve behavioral scripts for employees. Such behavioral scripts typically occur in service-intensive roles involving frequent telephone- and/or email-responses to customer-inquiries or complaints. In addition to explaining what the qualities that comprise RBI are, we identify its likely antecedents and consequences. We emphasize that RBI threatens to harm, both, organizations and their employees. As a result, we also identify strategies that seem likely to mitigate RBI’s onset, and thereby moderators of the relationship that more (versus less) behaviorally-scripted IT-dominated tasks has with RBI. Such strategies, in turn, help us identify an agenda in need of future research.
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