A Postdigital Perspective on Organisations

Abstract

This article proposes that a postdigital perspective on organisations offers the potential to push against, or move beyond, the ‘solutionist’ view of digital technologies that is often promoted by technology companies. The author identifies how aspects of postdigital thinking might be used to offer a fresh perspective on the implications of the increasingly digital operations of organisations, and proposes that a postdigital perspective on organisations is a potentially valuable way to mitigate the growing inequality resulting from what has variously been termed ‘digital capitalism’, ‘cybernetic capitalism’, ‘algorithmic capitalism’, and ‘bioinformational capitalism’. By reviewing literature at the intersection of organisational complexity, organisational learning, and customer experience, the author argues that the system-level view of organisational activity provided by the customer experience function aligns with the anti-reductionism that is central to postdigital discourse. An under-researched aspect of the customer experience function is its potential to reflect customers’ experiences back into an organisation with the aim of changing established routines, an aim that can be interpreted as organisational learning. The author argues that the work of the customer experience function can inform a postdigital conception of organisations by integrating digitally mediated representations of customers with embodied, emotional experiences of organisational activity. In doing so, the customer experience function offers the potential to allow for greater human agency in shaping the increasingly digital operations of organisations.

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Correspondence to Tony Reeves.

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This article uses sections of the PhD thesis Learning in adaptive spaces: How customer experience professionals experience learning during technology-mediated interaction, and implications for organisational learning by Dr. Tony Reeves (2018), supervised by Professor Don Passey and Dr. Murat Oztok.

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Reeves, T. A Postdigital Perspective on Organisations. Postdigit Sci Educ 1, 146–162 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-018-0018-3

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Keywords

  • Organisational complexity
  • Customer experience
  • Postdigital
  • Organisational learning
  • Organisational routines
  • Solutionism