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Research projects

Hands on the wheel? Managing automation processes in social work

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress 2021 - 2024


Annika Andersson

Research subject

Research environments

This project investigates a selection of social service authorities regarding their understanding and managing of the ongoing automation process. What measures do they take to achieve improvement and avoid negative effects on the core values that, by law, policies and professional standards, guide the social services? How is the automation process monitored and adjusted?

Automation, machines taking over humans’ judgement, is everywhere. For example, self-driving cars are today able to take over many decisions from a human driver. When humans learn that machines can do a good job, we tend to “take our hands off the wheel”.

Automation within social work is controversial and meets both professional and legal resistance. But this project will show that automation is not a foreign attack by technology that causes sudden change, it is a social change process that can be managed. 

Research funding bodies

  • The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE)