Generative AI and the Transformation of Software Services Sectors in India and Australia

About this project

Project description

The proposed project aims to investigate the profound changes occurring in the software engineering domain due to the integration of generative AI, with a focus on social and psychological consequences for the professionals. The project shall be undertaken in India and Australia where the impact of Generative AI is likely to be significant.
Indian information technology (IT) sector has a revenue of US$227b in 2022 with half of it coming out of exports of IT services. The sector employs five million people directly and contributes to GDP by 9.5%. In Australia, there are over 260,000 IT Professionals and 74,000 IT Managers in the workforce, and the broader tech sector generates US$111b annually, which is equivalent to 8.5% of the country’s GDP. The Tech Council of Australia has set a target for technology to deliver US$167b per annum by 2030 with over 1.2 million tech jobs. Hence, the proposed project has important implications for both countries in the areas of future of work, talent mobility and industrial policy.
The research will adopt a mixed-method design approach to gain in-depth insights into the social and psychological consequences of the software engineering job category transformations and professional identity shifts. It will undertake a content analysis of job advertisements and discussions on social media platforms. Primary data will be collected using qualitative in-depth interviews with human resource managers and other stakeholders. A few focus group discussions with software engineers in both Australia and India will be done to understand the driving forces behind AI-influenced job descriptions and the implications on the Asia-Pacific software talent market.
The research will further investigate the impact of generative AI on collaborative practices and professional identity in cross-cultural settings. It will attempt to unravel how emerging software engineering practices such as “prompt engineering” and “problem decomposition” influence collaborative dynamics and decision-making processes. By applying an institutional theory lens, the study will uncover cultural and institutional factors influencing the adoption and adaptation of AI-driven practices.
The project seeks to offer valuable insights into the transformative impact of generative AI on software engineering careers, job categories, and professional identity. The findings will have implications for industry stakeholders and policymakers in both Australia and India, and contribute to a deeper understanding of the implications for knowledge worker mobility in the software engineering domain.


1. Understanding the impact of generative AI on software engineering in India and Australia.
2. Identification of social and psychological consequences experienced by professionals.
3. Insights into job shifts and transformations within the software engineering sector.
4. Implications and recommendations for industry stakeholders and policymakers.

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Excellent writing skills, Prior experience in qualitative research

Desireable capabilities

Communication skills, Broad knowledge about AI and/or software engineering

Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)

MBA or Masters in social sciences, UGC – JRF or relevant funded fellowship

Additional information for applicants

note: i-students must have own scholarship to apply (CSIR, UCG-NET, etc)

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Dr Saeed Akhlaghpour

UQ Business School
IITD Supervisor

Dr Vigneswara Ilavarasan

Professor in Charge of the Academy at IITD
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi