Managerial Robotics: A Model of Sociality and Autonomy for Robots Managing Human Beings and Machines

Gladden, Matthew E. “Managerial Robotics: A Model of Sociality and Autonomy for Robots Managing Human Beings and Machines.” International Journal of Contemporary Management 13, no. 3 (2014), pp. 67-76. [MNiSW 2014 List B: 9 points]

Abstract. The development of robots with increasingly sophisticated decision-making and social capacities is opening the door to the possibility of robots carrying out the management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the work of human beings and other machines. In this paper we study the relationship between two traits that impact a robot’s ability to effectively perform management functions: those of autonomy and sociality. Using an assessment instrument we evaluate the levels of autonomy and sociality of 35 robots that have been created for use in a wide range of industrial, domestic, and governmental contexts, along with several kinds of living organisms with which such robots can share a social space and which may provide templates for some aspects of future robotic design. We then develop a two-dimensional model that classifies the robots into 16 different types, each of which offers unique strengths and weaknesses for the performance of management functions. Our data suggest correlations between autonomy and sociality that could potentially assist organizations in identifying new and more effective management applications for existing robots and aid roboticists in designing new kinds of robots that are capable of succeeding in particular management roles.

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