2021 Special Focus - Preparing Organizations for New Digital Futures: New Rules of Engagement for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

As we move into a new epoch—a so-called fourth industrial revolution—defined by big-data, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things, digitally informed organizational principles are being reconfigured. So, too, are logics of innovation, understandings of growth, and visions of human development. This structural transformation appears in the everyday: in how we communicate, collaborate, and understand rules of engagement, in the broader context of societies that are macro-organizations, and in how we situate the constellation of micro-organizations of personal and professional life. The challenges for organizations—for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental—is how to take advantage of the affordances of this Fourth Industrial Revolution. Internally, how do organizations offer new tools to foster the development of new competencies and deliver resources to frame human resource development? And in the broader context of societies, the challenge for the organization as "actor" within the community is how does what we do internally reflect, guide, or offer alternatives within broader scope of the societies in which we want to live? What are the ethical challenges, the notions of good citizenship, and ecological sensitivity they can be offered "out"? What are the intangible drivers that determine not only the livability of organizations for insiders but also their credibility and attraction to outsiders?

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