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The future of work

7th January 2022

The future of work is a key contemporary area of debate both in business and management research, but also in wider social, political and economic discourse.

Global issues including the ageing workforce, gig economy, workplace automation, changing forms of business ownership, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic are all regularly the subject of debate in both academic research and the mainstream media, with wider professional and public policy implications. Take a look at how we are contributing to this debate and how you can join the conversation.

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Our future of work podcast series

We've brought together a multi-disciplinary group of experts to discuss what we can expect from the future of work. Take a listen now.

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Read our author blogs on the future of work

The future of work landscape: one version – Karen Jaw-Madson

Future of work tends to come out in snippets – a piece here, another there. It’s hard to find a comprehensive picture. A recent literature review that covered over 250 studies made it easier to visualise and, in doing so, inform new interpretations.

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Your career; your future – Julia Ivy

Envisioning the future is important for our lives and well-being. Most meaningfully, our thinking about the future stimulates our actions today. And yet, this is not straightforward, given how much disruption has occurred not least due to the current global pandemic with its far-reaching economic outcomes.

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Explore the latest research in teaching and learning

We’ve made the following articles free to access until 30 September 2020.

Here are some relevant chapters from recent books that you can access for free until 30 September 2020.

Here are just a few of our cases on the future of work.

  • All of the people, all of the time: click on the link to join the meeting
    Authors: Adrian Mark van Eeden in Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

    The case is based on a fictitious South African company going through emergency response conditions analogous with what many businesses are encountering during the COVID crisis. Students should be able to use the case study in debate, and apply theories relating to the subjects specified.

  • Uber’s bumpy ride in China
    Authors: Geeta Singh, Rishi Dwesar and Satish Kumar in The CASE Journal

    This case is developed considering the bent of today’s consumers toward sharing economy. The scope of businesses based on the concept of sharing economy is very wide and is increasing. China’s sharing economy sector was one of the fastest economies in the world. The case chronicles ride of Uber in China: from its entry in the country, strategies adopted, challenges faced and to the exit from China.

  • John Lewis partnership approaching 100 years – what now?
    Authors: Frank Shipper and Richard C. Hoffman in The CASE Journal

    John Lewis Company has been in business since 1864. In 1929, it became the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) when the son of the founder sold a portion of the firm to the employees. In 1955, he sold his remaining interest to the employee/partners. JLP has a constitution and has a representative democracy governance structure. As the firm approaches the 100th anniversary of the trust, it is faced with multiple challenges. The partners are faced with the question – How to respond to the environmental turmoil?

  • Yongye Group: trust-based management
    Authors: Pablo Cardona, Jiming Bao and Isabel Ng in Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

    Yongye Group is a biotechnological enterprise in Inner Mongolia, China. In China, people lack trust in economic transactions due to the transitional state of the economy, especially regarding food safety. To respond to this situation, Wu Zishen, the chairman of the Board of Directors of Yongye Group, was determined to build trust among employees, distributors, farmers, and consumers towards the company. To this end, he started using a creative incentive system with employees and stakeholders: the pay-before-performance incentive system. According to this system, the reward is delivered in advance, contrary to be paid after the fulfillment of the task. This practice is meant to transform employees' work attitude from a passive “being told to work” to a more proactive “I want to work” mentality.

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Featured books

Careers: Thinking, Strategising and Prototyping

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Conflict and Shifting Boundaries in the Gig Economy: An Interdisciplinary Analysis

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Understanding Industry 4.0: AI, the Internet of Things, and the Future of Work

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Future of work

Our digital age was already reshaping the world of work before COVID-19 led to radical changes in workplace practices. Many people have been disproportionately impacted leaving uncertainty as to what the future holds. Read/watch our latest research, blogs, video and infographic.

Get in touch

Would you like to join the conversation? Get in touch with our team to discuss your different routes to publication: journals, books, cases, and our open access programme.

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