Reconstruction of Meaningful Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution


  • Michelle Ru Hui Ng


The 4th industrial revolution is often characterized by the embracement of digitalization, automation, and artificial intelligence that are cheaper, faster, and more reliable than cognitive human functions. Therefore, the new era of industrial revolution sparked much interests for productivity particularly the increase in output as a result of improved efficiency and the improvement in product quality prioritizing customization. However, the integration of technology at the workplace also introduces changes to the landscape of work involving disappearance of work and a shift in job structures. Such implications on work design, interpersonal relationships, and ethics are pillars to meaningful work. As meaningful work is essential for coveted work outcomes on a personal and organizational level, there is a pivotal need to look into the possible reconstruction of meaningful work following the changes in work orientation brought by the wave of the fourth industrial revolution. This paper conceptually discusses three imprints of the fourth industrial revolution namely continuous learning, changes in work design, and work-life permeability, and their possible roles in redefining meaningful work.