Algorithms Creating Paradoxes of Power: Explore, Exploit, Embed, Embalm

Lauri Paavola*, Richard Cuthbertson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Algorithms play an increasing role in food retailing and distribution. Through a longitudinal study supported by qualitative interviews, we explore how such technologies have turned the sourcing of food into a highly automated transaction, moving from explore and exploit to embed and embalm. We demonstrate the impact that embedding algorithms can have on organizational processes and structures and that this may shift the balance of power within the value chain without being visible to management.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jun 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Algorithms
  • big data
  • coronavirus
  • power
  • technology-in-use
  • Tesco


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