New questions are leading the ethics agenda about how emerging technologies are affecting workers and society. The way organizations combine people and machines; govern new human-machine work combinations; and operationalize the working relationship between humans, teams and machines will be at the center of how organizations can manage ethical concerns for the broadest range of benefits.

Organizations that tackle these issues head-on — by changing their perspective to consider not only “could we” but also “how should we” — will be well-positioned to make the bold choices that help build trust among all stakeholders.


Artificial intelligence and other technologies make ethics more relevant in the future of work because the proliferation of technology is driving a redefinition of work. The question attracting the most attention is how technology affects the role of humans in work. Organizations implementing technologies that drive efficiencies will need to decide whether and how to redeploy people to add strategic value elsewhere. And, if they eliminate jobs, decide what they will do to support these displaced workers.


A closer look at our respondents’ views on organizational readiness reveals an interesting insight: the area where organizations are the least prepared is in handling ethical dilemmas where humans and technology intersect. We believe this gap is mainly due to organizations’ tendencies to treat technology and humanity as distinct paths with separate programs, processes and solutions. Now, as the boundaries blur between humans and machines, organizations are not ready to bring the two paths together.


By considering the broader implications of and an expanded focus on how to integrate teams, people and technology, organizations can evolve an ethical approach to the future of work that goes beyond technological feasibility to consider technology’s impact on humans and business results.


Rather than reacting to ethical dilemmas as they arise, organizations wishing to lead on this front will need to anticipate, plan for and manage ethics as part of their strategy and mission, focusing on how these issues may affect stakeholders both inside and outside the enterprise. The challenge is to move beyond the view that ethical issues involve trade-offs and competition, and instead focus on how to operationalize and govern the combination of humans, machines and algorithms working as a team. This can enable organizations to harness the power of humans and technology together to truly operate as a social enterprise.


In this series of articles, we introduced you to each of the 2020 Deloitte Global Human Capital trends and showed how organizations can work within an environment shaped by the fusion of technology and people to embed purpose, potential and perspective into the DNA of how they operate. If you would like more information on our last 2020 trend of Ethics and the future of work: From “could we” to “how should we”, please contact the Deloitte Banking and Human Capital Leader, Pascal Martino (


And if you would like to view the full 2020 Human Capital Trends report, please download it here:


Communicated by Deloitte Luxembourg

Publié le 12 octobre 2020