- Three-quarters of executives say AI implementation improves team morale, collaboration and collective learning, according to a research paper published Tuesday by MIT Sloan Management Review. Researchers surveyed 2,197 global managers and interviewed 18 executives.
- The upside in organizational culture isn't tied to the use of any one specific type of AI application, said Sam Ransbotham, co-author of the report and professor in the information systems department at the Carroll School of Business at Boston College. "There are lots of different ways and lots of different types of businesses that are seeing this sort of effect," said Ransbotham.
- More than half (58%) of executives say teams turning to AI implementation also translated to improved efficiency and decision quality.
Enterprise IT leaders already know automating a process frees up resources and bandwidth, moving rote tasks off workers' desks and onto an algorithm. Researchers now suggest AI's advantages for company culture can trickle-down: a work environment with less repetitiveness can boost productivity, thus lifting worker satisfaction and strengthening teams.
The bigger picture emerging is that AI can lead to new company dynamics. Leaders used AI to identify new performance drivers, "which led to new assumptions, objectives, measures, and patterns of behavior, along with new areas of accountability," according to the report.
"When you put AI in and it goes, then 79% of those people, those organizations, those teams, think that their morale improves, and 78% of the people think their collaboration improved," said Ransbotham. "That's a pretty huge change."
Despite the measured upside to AI implementation in organizational culture, there is risk associated with AI technology in the enterprise.
"I think we have to be careful not to call these things perfect," said Ransbotham. There are many ways in which AI implementation can go wrong, including the impacts of bias in the ways AI arrives at a decision.
The majority of businesses are still trying to bring their AI implementation to a mature stage. Just 20% of organizations sit at the highest levels of AI adoption and deployment, according to a report from Cognizant. And businesses most often grapple with three key areas of responsible AI maturity, BCG GAMMA found: fairness and equity; social and environmental impact mitigation; and whether a system is able to safeguard human well-being and preserve human authority.
IT leaders can assist their organizations by supporting the full cycle of AI adoption, Ransbotham said.
"When people have a culture that is trusting and accepting of artificial intelligence, then they use it," said Ransbotham. "When they use it, then they improve their effectiveness. When that effectiveness improves, what we're seeing is that it's also improving their culture."