AI tools can have unanticipated consequences for managers
When a Los Angeles law firm began adopting new artificial intelligence tools to automate contract reviews, it looked like junior lawyers and paralegals might be out of a job. Yet, even as these tools conducted increasingly complex tasks, the firm’s workforce didn’t suffer. However, this shift to AI taking on some tasks previously performed by humans forced the firm to reconfigure its organizational structure. The result was that some paralegals reported to multiple managers, and a new study from McGill Desautels’ Professors Matissa Hollister and Lisa Cohen found that this created tensions between managers who wanted to maintain their span of control and authority.