Introduction to the Study
A recent study from the University of Eastern Finland has highlighted the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the job roles of middle management within the financial services sector. This research reveals how the integration of AI systems into service teams significantly elevates the demands and expectations placed on managers in this rapidly evolving field.
AI Integration: A Complex Phenomenon in Financial Services
The study involved interviews with 25 experienced managers from a leading Scandinavian financial services company, exploring their experiences with AI integration. The findings indicate that AI has been rapidly adopted in recent years, automating a large proportion of routine tasks previously performed by human workers. This shift has introduced a complex set of challenges and demands for middle managers responsible for overseeing teams composed of both humans and AI systems.
Changing Dynamics of Work and Management
Integrating AI into service teams has led to increased productivity as routine tasks are delegated to AI systems. However, this transition has also made work more demanding, requiring managers to constantly learn and adapt to new technologies. Managers find themselves balancing a variety of tasks, from monitoring AI operations to focusing on work development and innovation. Surprisingly, new routine tasks have emerged, particularly related to overseeing the functioning of AI systems.
Social Features and Relationships with AI
The study also delves into the social aspects of integrating AI into the workplace. Managers perceive AI systems differently, viewing them as either technical tools or colleagues, especially when interacting with more advanced AI like chatbots. This perception affects the nature of relationships formed between humans and AI systems, influencing how AI is integrated and utilized within teams.
Ethical Considerations and Managerial Concerns
With the integration of AI, ethical considerations have become more prominent in managerial roles. Concerns about the fairness of decisions made by AI and the implications for continued employment are prevalent among employees. Managers are increasingly dedicating time to addressing these ethical issues and ensuring the responsible use of AI in decision-making processes.
New Skills and Knowledge for Managing AI-Integrated Teams
The study emphasizes that managing service teams integrated with AI requires a new set of skills and knowledge. Middle managers need to possess technological understanding, interactive skills, emotional intelligence, problem-solving abilities, and adaptability to continuous change. As AI cannot replace all aspects of human management, particularly in motivation and inspiration, the importance of interaction and empathy in managerial roles is underscored.
Conclusion and Future Implications
This research from the University of Eastern Finland sheds light on the dynamic and complex nature of integrating AI into the financial services sector. As AI continues to reshape the landscape of work, middle managers must evolve and adapt to meet the new challenges and opportunities presented by this technological revolution. The study’s insights contribute to a deeper understanding of the impact of AI on management practices and the future of the financial services industry.