BLOG: KIN Summerschool 2018 on Digital Transformation, AI, and The Future of Work

This KIN Summer School is organized by the KIN Center for Digital Innovation of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, together with the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI). During 4 intensive days participants and faculty will discuss research in the field of Technology, Knowledge and Innovation. This year’s summerschool has been designed to help develop the insights and skills of PhD and early career researchers in theory development and methodologies within this multi-disciplinary field of knowledge, information and innovation research. The purpose is to expand academic insights and skills in order to conduct and publish valuable research.


From Monday July 9th until Thursday the 12th, we hosted this years’ KIN Summerschool again with an inspiring group of international scholars. This year, we welcomed Diane Bailey (University of Texas at Austin, USA), Ola Henfridsson (Warwick Business School, UK), Samer Faraj (McGill University, Canada), Ann Langley (HEC Montreal, Canada), and of course our own Marleen Huysman, as faculty.


Theories of Technology & The Future of Work and AI

In the first part of the summerschool, Marleen Huysman talked about Theories of Technology, and in particular how technologies are inherently social, dynamic, and subject to the interaction with actors. Her talk set the stage for the rest of the summerschool to understand that technologies are not merely deterministic entities that change whatever people (can) do in organizations. She continued with her talk on the Future of Work, and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) has consequences for the ways in which we work and organize. She emphasizes, though, that we also have to understand how AI systems are built and imbued with meaning and ideas from the people who design them. Lots of food for discussion of course.


Talking About Digital Transformation

A standard part of the summerschool is that participants get the opportunity to present their ongoing research to discuss some of their empirical findings and emerging theories. This is always an inspiring element of the Summerschool. It allows senior PhDs and junior Faculty to collectively make sense of some highly complex phenomena in the realm of digital transformation.


Collective Learning Experience

Each year participants are assigned a number of top-tier studies related to digital innovation, collaboration, knowledge, and doing research. These studies are always used as food for interesting debates. For example, drawing on their highly interesting study at the Police, Samer Faraj discussed the intricacies of coordination practices in extreme settings, and invited participants to share their thoughts on what we can learn from such extreme cases. Drawing on extreme cases helps us theorize how, in other organizational contexts, actors work with and respond to changes in their environment.


Join us next year at the KIN Summerschool 2019!