Micro?level dynamics in digital transformation: Understanding work?life role transitions

Feb 29th, 2024 | By | Category: RSS Feed


The transitions individuals make between roles are critical for navigating professional and private life domains. These role transitions involve physical and psychological movements between positions and statuses in social structures. Today, digital technologies are becoming increasingly pivotal in these transitions. However, neither existing theory on role transitions nor recent contributions to the digital transformation literature have unpacked the connection between digital technologies and role transitioning. Based on a qualitative inquiry involving knowledge workers from the Global South, we develop the concepts of role emancipation, role confinement, and role conflation and examine how these types of role transitioning relate to the capabilities of digital technologies. We find that digital technologies can introduce levels of rigidity or flexibility that, in turn, either solidify or soften the domain boundaries influencing work-life role transitions in the context of digital transformation. We abstract these ideas into a theoretical model and chart a course for consolidating a ‘micro-level of analysis frontier’ within digital transformation research.


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