Titel: Public Administration Work Revisited. Dimensions of digital literacies analysis beyond the automation paradigm

In the current discussion about the consequences of digitisation in the workplace, concrete qualifications and literacies that are useful in the context of these new working worlds are rarely discussed. The question which competencies could be transferred to artificial intelligence dominates, which is often reduced to the question of man or machine. Another approach is to explore which competencies and skills are needed in the course of an ongoing digitisation of our lives. In this context, ICT-related skills are named but referred to mainly as instrumental competencies for the use of information technology or on the level of management. To cope with work in digital work contexts, a broader approach to competences in terms of digital literacy is needed, which does not refer to the simple addition of competencies and skills, but identifies digital literacy as part of a person’s identity (Martin 2008: 167). There are several literacy conceptions that can be drawn from literature, e.g. the concept of digital competence offered by Larraz (2013: 90) for the context of universities. It includes information literacy, computer literacy (handling of technology), media literacy (for multimedia messages) and communication literacy for participating ethically and democratically in digital communication. Our aim is to identify further dimensions of digital literacies to develop this subject further.

To do so, we analyse the field of publicadministration work. In this field of work, the greatest automation potentials are expected due to the high formalisation of work. Yet, there is currently no evidence to support such an assumption. On the contrary, already in earlier discussions in the 1960s and 1970s under the term "administrative automation", it became clear that this is not a compelling development. So far, a standardisation of work (Carter et al. 2011) and, at the same time, a subjectivisation of work have become apparent. Characteristic of the latter development is the emergence of more complex activity and responsibility contexts and also an emancipation of rigid hierarchies through information. Recent evidence from an exploratory study (Gerberet al. 2018) shows that employees demand for support to develop digital literacies. Against this background, in a project we are investigating the transformation of work and the practices in dealing with technology in public administration work. Our goal is to gain new insights into the formation of digital literacies. To do so, it is important to identify dimensions for further research on digital literacies. Hence, we will discuss those dimensions with the ILPC audience and present first empirical insights of our research in progress. 

Typ: Angemeldeter Vortrag
Homepage: -
Veranstaltung: International Labour Process Conference ('Wien)
Datum: 25.04.2019


Organisation Adresse
Fakultät für Kulturwissenschaften
Institut für Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft
Universitätsstraße 65 - 67
A-9020  Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
zur Organisation
Universitätsstraße 65 - 67
AT - A-9020  Klagenfurt am Wörthersee


  • 504002 - Arbeitssoziologie
  • 508 - Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaften
  • 503006 - Bildungsforschung
  • Humans in the Digital Age
  • Bildungsforschung
  • Science to Science (Qualitätsindikator: I)
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