Abstract: This research study explores the nuanced impact of the Generative Artificial Intelligence’s emergence (GenAI) on employee stress levels, expectations, and challenges within the consulting and audit sector. The study was inspired by realizing the unregulated and under-acknowledged usage of GenAI tools, particularly ChatGPT, within Deloitte, a phenomenon termed ‘shadow use.’
The study strives to discern whether employees view this trend as a boon or a bane for
their professional roles and to identify the measures they consider necessary to ensure this
disruptive technology does not adversely impact their careers and work-life balance.
An interpretive exploratory research approach was employed to attain a comprehensive
and in-depth understanding of the issue at hand. This method involved conducting extensive interviews with Deloitte France employees across different hierarchical levels and an AI expert to gather diverse viewpoints. This qualitative research strategy gave an enriched perspective on how GenAI is perceived, used, and regarded within a well-established consulting firm among the market leaders.
The findings from the study reveal a spectrum of opinions and apprehensions among
employees about the advent of this technological innovation. While many consultants
acknowledge the significant potential of GenAI to automate tedious tasks, there is a general unease related to job security as the capabilities of AI continue to escalate. Various GenAI adoption challenges were identified during the research, with paramount emphasis on data confidentiality and the veracity of information. These concerns are especially significant in light of Deloitte’s responsibility to safeguard sensitive client data.
The study offers a set of pragmatic recommendations for Deloitte and analogous consulting firms. Those aim to help them facilitate an efficient, ethically compliant, and secure transition towards a generalization of GenAI in the workplace to minimize adverse impacts on employees’ well-being while optimizing productivity.