Re-visiting the Leadership Gap
Cover of GJSD Vol. 4 Issue 1.


task-focused work
gig economy


How to Cite

Turnbull, H., & Murphy, L. (2024). Re-visiting the Leadership Gap: How to lead in a task-focused work system. GILE Journal of Skills Development, 4(1), 151–156.


The organisational focus on workplace automation is fuelling the evolution of the labour market towards task focused work systems, and an emerging gig economy. This evolution creates new demands on organisational leaders to introduce flexible and agile management techniques, whilst maintaining a strategic focus on upskilling and reskilling their employees for a digitalised world.  We revisit our previous GJSD paper, “Mind the leadership gap”, to further emphasise these aspects of the changing work environment and introduce 1. Their potential influence on organisational belonging, and 2. The resultant impact on leadership styles and skills.  This paper presents a short synthesis of the complex challenges faced by leaders within such an operating environment. This is followed by four further proposals for the future research agenda along with two suggested research methods which enhance our previous call to action on the leadership gap.


Allen, K., Kern, M., Rozek, C., McInerney, D., & Slavich, G. (2021). Belonging: a review of conceptual issues, an integrative framework, and directions for future research, Australian Journal of Psychology 73(1): 87-102.

Ashford, S., Caza, B., & Reid, E. (2018). From surviving to thriving in the gig economy: A research agenda for individuals in the new world of work. Research in Organizational Behavior, 38, 23-41.

Bankins, S., Ocampo, A. C., Marrone, M., Restubog, S. L. D., & Woo, S. E. (2023). A multilevel review of artificial intelligence in organizations: Implications for organizational behavior research and practice. Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Boudreau, J., & Donner, J. (2021). Are You Ready to Lead Work Without Jobs? MIT Sloan Management Review, 62(4), 1-5.

Braganza, A., Chen, W., Canhoto, A., & Sap, S. (2022). Gigification, job engagement and satisfaction: the moderating role of AI enabled system automation in operations management. Production Planning and Control, 33(16), 1534-1547.

Brewerton, P., & Millward, L. (2006). Organizational research methods. SAGE Publications Ltd. UK, London.

Coghlan, A. T., Preskill, H., & Tzavaras Catsambas, T. (2003). An overview of appreciative inquiry in evaluation. New Directions for Evaluation, 2003(100), 5-22.

Dogan, M., & Yildirim, P. (2022). Managing automation in teams. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 31(1), 146-170.

Kwiotkowska, A., & G?bczy?ska, M. (2022). Job satisfaction and work characteristics combinations in industry 4.0 environment—Insight from the Polish SMEs in the post–pandemic era. Sustainability, 14(20), 12978.

McGuinness, S., Pouliakas, K., & Redmond, P. (2023). Skills-displacing technological change and its impact on jobs: challenging technological alarmism?. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 32(3), 370-392.

Medici, G., Grote, G., Igic, I., & Hirschi, A. (2023). Technological self-efficacy and occupational mobility intentions in the face of technological advancement: a moderated mediation model. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 32(4), 538-548.

Michael, S. (2005). The promise of appreciative inquiry as an interview tool for field research. Development in Practice, 15(2), 222-230.

Mondolo, J. (2022). The composite link between technological change and employment: A survey of the literature. Journal of Economic Surveys, 36(4), 1027-1068.

Murphy, L. (2023). Work automation and the rise of virtual teams: how to lead employees in the post-pandemic world. Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print).

Murphy, L., & Turnbull, H. (2023). “Mind the leadership gap!”: A call to action for the future research agenda. GiLE Journal of Skills Development, 3(2), 26-33.

Noffke, S. & Somekh, B. (2011). Action Research in ed. Somekh, B. & Lewin, C. (2011). Theory and methods in social research. SAGE Publications Ltd. UK, London.

Ozmen Garibay, O., Winslow, B., Andolina, S., Antona, M., Bodenschatz, A., Coursaris, C., Falco, G., Fiore, S. M., Garibay, I., Grieman, K., Havens, J. C., Jirotka, M., Kacorri, H., Karwowski, W., Kider, J., Konstan, J., Koon, S., Lopez-Gonzalez, M., Maifeld-Carucci, I., . . . Xu, W. (2023). Six human-centered artificial intelligence grand challenges. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 39(3), 391-437.

Rotatori, D., Lee, E., & Sleeva, S. (2021). The evolution of the workforce during the fourth industrial revolution. Human Resource Development International, 24(1). 92-103.

Sampson, S. E. (2021). A strategic framework for task automation in professional services. Journal of Service Research, 24(1), 122-140.

Silard, A., Watson-Manheim, M., & Lopes, N. (2022). The influence of text-based technology-mediated communication on the connection quality of workplace relationships: the mediating role of emotional labor, Review of Managerial Science.

Sony, M., & Mekoth, N. (2022). Employee adaptability skills for Industry 4.0 success: a road map. Production & Manufacturing Research, 10(1), 24-41.

Spring, M., Faulconbridge, J., & Sarwar, A. (2022). How information technology automates and augments processes: Insights from artificial?intelligence?based systems in professional service operations. Journal of Operations Management, 68(6-7), 592-618.

Van den Groenendaal, S., Freese, C., Poell, R., & Kooij, D. (2023). Inclusive human resource management in freelancers' employment relationships: The role of organizational needs and freelancers' psychological contracts. Human Resource Management Journal, 33, 224-240.

Waschull, S., Bokhorst, J. A. C., Molleman, E., & Wortmann, J. C. (2020). Work design in future industrial production: Transforming towards cyber-physical systems. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 139, 105679.

Wiklund, J. (2022). Working in Bed—A commentary on “Automation, algorithms, and beyond: Why work design matters more than ever in a digital world” by Parker and Grote: International Review of Applied Psychology. Applied psychology, 71(4), 1210-1214.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2024 Helen Turnbull, Liam Murphy


Metrics Loading ...