Module: Work and Study in onlife retail

"There has never been a better time to be a worker with special skills or the right education, because these people can use technology to create and capture value. However, there’s never been a worse time to be a worker with only ‘ordinary’ skills and abilities to offer, because computers, robots and other digital technologies are acquiring these skills at an extraordinary rate.” Andrew McAfee and Eric Brynjolfsson



Businesses and staffers are both reeling from the immense consequences of Internet and digitization. Gradually, computers are replacing people, entire businesses and even whole sectors. CEOs and other executives in retail are up against huge challenges, compelling them to choose their strategies wisely. As onlification ripples through society, it requires new kinds of organizations and a new perspective on the job market and education.


In the first part of this chapter, we will discuss the rapidly evolving job market, where old jobs are being exchanged for entirely new professions. In the second part of the chapter, we turn to two opposite forces: analogue bureaucracies and digital network organizations. Neither one is inherently superior, though the latter is likely to be a better fit for a society in transition and for new generations of staffers.


Those very staffers are the focus of part three of this chapter, thanks to the War on Talent spreading like wildfire. What is the best way for education and retail to join forces and ensure talented young people grow up to be fully fledged e-business professionals who can boost the competition between national economies?


Topics in this module:

  • The retail job market
    • Robot tax or employee benefits and rights for robots
  • New jobs
  • The strange eventful history of jobs
    • Store floor opportunities
  • Old-school and new-style retailers
    • A digital boardroom buddy
    • Analogue bureaucratic businesses
    • Flip the system
    • Digital network organizations
    • Startups
    • Gradual change
    • What does the millennial want at work?
  • Physical network organizations
    • Holacracy at Zappos
    • Human capital
  • War on talent
    • Education system
    • T-shaped retail education
    • Lifelong learning in retail

Target group: Manager

Module level: Starter

Version | 13 - 08 - 2018

Part of course: Ecommerce Strategy (ECON2)

Topics in this module: Ecommerce Strategy, Online Marketing Plan, Personalization, The New Store