2021 Industry Studies Association
Annual Conference

Come to Boston! June 2-4, 2021

Come to MIT Sloan School’s Samberg Center for the 2020 ISA conference, which will include two days of paper sessions, two plenaries, and a pre-conference Professional Development Workshop for early career scholars and of course, our fabulous networking opportunities and receptions!

2021 Theme: Work of the Future

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and other related technologies are creating new technological capabilities that can both replace and enhance human physical and increasingly, cognitive activities. This creates significant possibilities for reimagining and redesigning work, enhancing the human-technology interface, increasing the connectivity within supply chains, and many other positive implications for workers, firms and society at large. But it also generates uncertainty and anxiety about the future of work, particularly for workers with less education. There is a sense of collective concern about how fast technological innovations are moving and whether and how they can be harnessed for social benefit. An increase in income inequality in most industrialized nations, a decline in middle-skilled jobs, as well as social and political disruption, has led to greater focus on the role of automation and globalization in exacerbating these trends. How firms, industries, regions and nations respond to and anticipate these changes will shape technological trajectories, firm and industry performance, economic growth and social cohesion. This year’s ISA conference aims to draw upon the multidisciplinary nature of this topic to explore these and other related issues related to the future of work.

Topics of interest relevant to this theme include but are not limited to:

  • What are characteristics of the work of the future? How do these characteristics manifest similarly or differently across industries?
  • How might work be redesigned to leverage the strengths and weakness of recent technological innovations? How do industries, organizations and workers revise systems and practices to integrate AI, machine learning and other innovations effectively?
  • What industrial policies and strategies are facilitating or undermining the work of the future? Additionally, in what ways does the flexibility (or inflexibility) of a local labor market influence a region’s ability to embrace the work of the future?
  • How does the changing nature of work influence other intra- and inter-industry dynamics?
  • Are some industries immune to the changing nature of work? Will the future be delayed for some, and why?

While the ISA welcomes papers and panels related to the conference theme, a tie to theme is not mandatory. Any papers or panels that build upon the ISA’s foundational interest in firms and industries are welcome.

Call for Papers | Click Here


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