The opportunities and challenges of big data and algorithmic decision-making

The opportunities and challenges of big data and algorithmic decision-making


Prof. Sue Newell


Monday 10th of April 2017

Abstract:          In this talk we will identify how recent IT developments, especially in relation to social software and the digitization of everything, are presenting new opportunities (and challenges) for organizations, in particular in relation to how they can manage knowledge workers. Having reviewed the general issues we will then examine a specific case as an illustration of the opportunities and challenges. This is the case of using a ‘people analytics’ tool across two universities in North America. In examining this case we focus on the impact of using the tool for the creation of meaningful work in the 21st century. We indicate that datification may be, paradoxically, driving individuals towards practices that help with alienation, while simultaneously increasing anomie. We will finish by considering the implications of this for the design of technologies for both work and meaning enrichment. 

Biography:   Sue Newell is Professor of Information Systems and Management, at Sussex University ( She has most recently worked at Bentley University in the USA and at Warwick University in the UK. She has a BSc and PhD from Cardiff University, UK. Sue’s research focuses on understanding the relationships between innovation, knowledge and organisational networking (ikon) – primarily from an organisational theory perspective. She was one of the founding members of ikon, a research centre based at Warwick University (

Her research emphasises a critical, practice-based understanding of the social aspects of innovation, change, knowledge management and inter-firm networked relations. Sue has published over 100 journal articles in the areas of information systems, organization studies and management, as well as numerous books and book chapters.