Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

Spring 1-1-2021


human-robot interaction, human-robot collaboration, robots as leaders and followers, robots as partners, levels of analysis


In an era of rapid advances in artificial intelligence, the deployment of robots in organizations is accelerating. Further, robotic capabilities are expanding to serve a broader range of leadership behaviors related to task accomplishment and relationship support. Despite the increasing use of robots in various roles across different industries, research on human-robot collaboration in the workplace is lagging behind. As such, the current research aims to provide a state-of-the-science review and directions for future work in this underdeveloped area. Drawing on current leadership paradigms, we review human-robot collaboration studies from four academic disciplines with a history of publishing such work (i.e., management, economics, psychology, engineering) and propose that the research trajectory of human-robot collaboration parallels the evolution of leadership research paradigms (i.e., leader centric, relational view, and follower centric). Given that leadership is an inherently multilevel phenomenon, we apply a levels-of-analysis framework to integrate and synthesize human-robot collaboration studies from cross-disciplinary research areas. Based on our findings, we offer suggestions for future research in terms of conceptualization, theory building and testing, practical implications, and ethical considerations.


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