Robot as a ‘co-worker’, social order and communication: pouring new wine into old wineskins

Irina Liuberté, Bernadeta Gostautaitė, Živilė Stankevičiūtė, António Brandão Moniz, Trish Reay, Egle Staniskiene, Ilona Buciuniene

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Organisational practices preserving conventional social orders and past practices – inertia of the past – are fundamental in trying to understand organisational change when adopting new technologies. Nevertheless, in studies of technological change in organisations, it is more common to treat inertia as the opposite to change, consequently, as the source of resistance to technological advancement. It is therefore less known how inertia enables change, also how both are enacted through social practices as bodily, cognitive, affective, purposeful and communicative engagement. Thus, we take communicative approach and practice theory framework in order to analyse how conventional linguistic means help organisational members to make sense of the technological change at their workplace. We use interviews with workers and managers from two manufacturing firms, in which production processes are continually transformed from manual work to industrial robot-assisted work. Based on preliminary findings, organisation members use conventional discourse for making sense of changed social and communicative practices at work. We suggest conventional linguistic means of human-human interaction that may be used to give sense to organisational change (human-robot interaction), and to retain old rules of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Event35th EGOS Colloquium: Enlightening the Future: The Challenge for Organizations: Sub-theme 05: [SWG] Organization as Communication: Exploring the Communicative Incarnation of Organization - University of Edinburgh Business School, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jul 20196 Jul 2019


Conference35th EGOS Colloquium: Enlightening the Future: The Challenge for Organizations
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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