Automated decision-making using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is increasingly found in public- supported social work. This study analyses two cases in which RP A was implemented and disseminated in social work in Sweden. The first case took place in a Swedish municipality; the second case took place in a project conducted by the Swedish national agency for municipalities. These cases involve translations of aspirational changes related to RPA in decisions on social assistance. The study uses Actor-Network Theory to highlight organizational areas and issues in social work that must be addressed when RPA is implemented and disseminated. The study’s research questions are the following:
What are the leading actors ́ ideas about aspirational changes related to RPA in decisions on social assistance?
- What is the role of technology in this context?
The study revealed some similar aspirational changes in the two cases related to change management and maximization of services. Variations were found in other aspirational changes for RPA such as the issue of trust in applicants and the role of caseworkers. The study points to the need to increase applicants’ use of, and facility with, information technology. The formulation of “a why” behind these changes is important for caseworkers’ future role and use of discretion.
Ranerup, Agneta, "TRANSLATING ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION IN SOCIAL WORK: ASPIRATIONAL CHANGES AND THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY" (2020). 11th Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems. 9.