New Faculty Seminar Series - Mayur Joshi
Custodians of Rationality: Business Managers, Data Scientists, and the Work of Solving Business Problems with AI
*** This is not part of the TRSS
The intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and organizational theories of rational choice has been historically rooted in Herbert Simon's conceptualization of procedural rationality––emphasizing efficient means to achieve predefined ends. Traditionally, AI served as a tool that aided domain experts, as the custodians of rationality, in achieving these predetermined ends more efficiently. However, recent AI advancements challenge this paradigm by evolving into more data-induced algorithms, surpassing predefined means-ends relationships, and introducing technical experts like data scientists as new custodians of rationality. This study delves into the evolving relationship between traditional and emerging custodians in integrating AI-based models in problem-solving processes. Based on a qualitative study of three large banks, we highlight a fundamental divergence in the visions of rationality between business managers and data scientists, leaving both custodians dissatisfied in putting their visions of rationality into practice. We show how this impasse is resolved when data scientists learn to redirect managerial attention. Our study contributes to the literature on rational choice as well as the literature on work and occupations.
About the Speaker
Mayur Joshi is an assistant professor of information systems at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. He earned his PhD in information systems from Ivey Business School at Western University. He previously served at Alliance Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester as a lecturer (assistant professor). Before his career in academia, he was a banker for several years overseeing functions including technology implementation, process improvement, and branch banking operations. His research interests are at the intersection of information systems and organization theory and examine the phenomenon of digital transformation. His overarching research objective is unpacking how digital technologies shape and are shaped by the fundamental practices, processes, and strategies of organizing. His research has appeared in the MIT Sloan Management Review, the Journal of the Association for Information Systems, and the Cambridge Handbook of Qualitative Digital Research. He is the recipient of the AIS Outreach Practice Publication Award, MIT Sloan Management Review annual top-10 articles recognition, and Outstanding AE awards for serving at conferences––Academy of Management and European Conference on Information Systems––, among others.