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EMAC 2023 Annual

Sharing the Same Workspace: The Effect of AI Task Deployment on Job Satisfaction

Published: May 24, 2023


Kshitij Bhoumik, University of Leeds; Reika Igarashi, Edinburgh Napier University


Rapid growth in automation has enabled many organizations to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) in frontline services. While previous research has mostly documented the benefits of AI implementation in enhancing frontline efficiency and factors that improve AI–consumer interactions, this study investigates how AI task deployment in frontline services affects employees’ job outcomes and consumers’ attitudes and perceptions of service quality. Across seven highly powered studies (six experiments and an employee survey), we show that deploying empathetic (vs. mechanical) tasks to AI negatively affects human frontline employees’ (HFLEs’) job satisfaction and increases their fear of replacement. Similarly, when AI and humans share the same workspace, consumers prefer that AI performs mechanical tasks and HFLEs perform empathetic tasks. This research contributes to the literature on the feeling economy, task intelligence, and job characteristics theory and provides practical recommendations to managers on how to mitigate the negative effects of AI task deployment. Keywords: AI, Frontline, Task Intelligence Track: Services Marketing