The impact of job automation on shifts in levels of work [Whitepaper] (C Bezuidenhout, A Wöcke, N Plint & M Mthombeni)

The purpose of this research was to determine the impact of technological change on workforce structures and industries. Previous studies forecasted the impact of automation on jobs and categories of jobs, but did not deal with the structure of organisations, particularly levels of work. This study applied Jaques’ Stratified Systems Theory model of job analysis to identify occupational groups with higher susceptibility to job automation and project changes in workforce structure for various industries. It was found that automation would shift lower-level tasks to higher strata of work and that it was not possible to generalise the impact of automation across industries, as there would be differences in industries and bureaucracies, which are described here.