Article révisé par les pairs
|New technologies with unprecedented agentic capabilities (i.e., action selection, protocol development) are now introduced in organizations such as Big Data, 3D printing or artificial intelligence. Because they are endowed with novel capabilities that might compete with human agency, they might disrupt the way employees work. Based on the work design model, this study aims to examine their introduction in the daily work activities and the consequent perceptions of the work characteristics. Building on Murray's et al. (2020) proposal, we offer a classification of the digital technologies to conceptualize their relationship with the work characteristics. To explore the changes induced by two digital technologies (i.e., drones, robotic automation process), we interviewed 3 types of employees (i.e., experts, managers, users) from an organization which has started a digitalization process and we conducted a thematic analysis. Our analysis revealed three main themes that are discussed: A technological theme (arresting, assisting), a work characteristic theme and a theme about the human-technology relationship (agentic, non-agentic). Results showed that employee autonomy has not been reduced when digital technologies executed repetitive and unmotivated tasks and that jobs in the digital work context may be marked by a high level of knowledge characteristics. Moreover, technologies with agentic capabilities may be perceived as a non-human agent. Theoretical contributions for the work design model are then examined.