Algorithmic Management practices in regular workplaces: case studies in logistics and healthcare

An analysis of algorithmic management in logistics and healthcare, examining its global impact on job quality and work organization

This report has been drafted jointly by the JRC and the International Labour Organization. The report is part of a series of four joint publications that together represent the main final outcomes of a 2.5-year joint research project on the changing nature of work at a global level. The objective of this study is to understand better the algorithmic management practices adopted by regular workplaces. We investigate the degree of penetration and impact of algorithmic management on work organisation, job quality and industrial relations focusing on the logistics and healthcare sectors. The research has been conducted in two European countries (Italy and France) and two non-European countries (India and South Africa), allowing for a comparative analysis across countries in the Global North and Global South. We show that algorithmic management is widely present in traditional sectors, with benefits in terms of streamlining and simplification of work processes and efficiency gains. The implications of these new forms of work for work organisation and working conditions are also discussed. We show significant challenges in terms of potential deterioration of job quality as well as concerns regarding the strong potential for intrusive worker surveillance.