An introduction to the nature of the work

The rise of IT-based work platforms that support new definitions and distributions of work tasks in new ways provides another illustration of the variable potential for application and use of technologies. Such platforms employ Internet-based communications and smartphone applications to make work available, and then assign that work to individuals or groups based on bid, proposal, or contest mechanisms. Crowdsourcing, open-call, and open innovation platforms can be used to redefine the nature of tasks themselves and to change how that work is organized and distributed both within and across organizational bounds.

An introduction to the nature of the work

Third are the organizational, social, and institutional contexts in which work takes place. For example, one of the most widely recognized forces shaping work is technology. Indeed, one of the reasons there is so much debate today over how work is changing is that some are persuaded that the world is in the midst of another era of transformation in the technological infrastructure similar to those that triggered the first industrial revolution in the late s and the early s and the second industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century.

For example, by the beginning of the 20th century, interchangeable parts, electric power, the electric motor, dedicated machine tools, the internal combustion engine, the telephone, and a number of new office technologies including the Page 16 Share Cite Suggested Citation: The Changing Nature of Work: Implications for Occupational Analysis.

The National Academies Press. New occupations such as automobile mechanics and electricians were born, and existing occupations such as clerical work became increasingly mechanized and differentiated into such subspecialties as typist and filing clerk. The context of work was also irrevocably transformed by the advent of large corporations and urbanization that, in turn, created the milieu for unionization.

Several investigators argue that current changes in the nature of work driven by the multiple uses of digital technologies digitization are symptomatic of a third industrial revolution Bell, ; Dertouzos and Moses, ; Nora and Minc, ; Perrole, ; Negroponte, ; Block, ; Stewart, They observe that the technology of microelectronics, robotics, and computer-integrated manufacturing, the advent of artificial intelligence, experimentation in electronic data exchange, and the explosion of digital telecommunications evidenced by the unprecedented growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web have brought the world to the verge of a transformation similar to the second industrial revolution.

The Nature of Work: An Introduction to Debates on the Labour Process by Paul Thompson

Three other external forces are frequently identified as contributors to the changing nature of work. These are the demography of the workforce, the globalization of markets, and the laws and regulations governing work and employment relations.

The changing demography of the workforce includes the growing presence of women, especially young mothers, in the labor Market; increasing racial and ethnic diversity, including a declining majority of white workers; an increasing number of dual-career families; increasing levels of educational attainment; and the aging of the workforce.

These demographic trends are well documented; not only do they increase the heterogeneity of the working population, but they also create pressures for expanding existing lines of work and for creating new ones to address the needs of a labor force that were previously handled outside the paid economy, through the family and the community.

Globalizing product markets creates greater and more uncertain competitive pressures, larger labor markets, and the tendency to- Page 17 Share Cite Suggested Citation: In order to regain competitiveness, American and European firms have embarked on a quest for increased flexibility.

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Key components of this flexibility include lean production and quality management, downsizing, the outsourcing of business services, the use of contract labor, and the growing acceptability of strategic alliances, even among competitors.

A full treatment of the effects of the laws and regulations governing work and employment lies well beyond the scope of this analysis. Although we recognize that legal structures and their enforcement play important roles in the workplace, we diagram these forces outside of the dotted line in Figure 1.

Indeed, we do so because it is our judgment that changes in law should be informed by analysis of changes in how work is being performed.

Thus, this report may be a useful input to some future analysis of the implications of changes at work for public policies regulating work and employment.

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Having said this, we make two points about how legislation and workplace regulations intersect with our analysis. First, the basic framework for labor and employment law in place today originated from the New Deal legislation of the s.

An introduction to the nature of the work

Thus, much of it still reflects the images of industrial work and organizational structures that dominated at that time. That is, the dominant image of work embedded in most of these laws and regulations carried over from that era—the unemployment compensation system, the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, etc.

Thus, it may be problematic that the workforce, family structures and household work hours, and the organization of work have changed considerably since the s while the basic structure of labor and employment law has remained essentially the same.

Second, although the structure of labor and employment laws has not changed, they have expanded considerably in number, scope, range of issues regulated, and complexity. In addition to those cited above, the workplace is now regulated by laws and Page 18 Share Cite Suggested Citation: One study estimated that the number of regulatory programs administered by the U.

Department of Labor expanded from 43 in to by and has continued to grow since then Dunlop, Moreover, the growth in legislation and regulations has outpaced the ability of agencies and courts to resolve complaints of violations filed under these statutes, with long backlogs of cases reported at agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Wage and Hour Division, and the unit responsible for administering the Family and Medical Leave Act, among others Commission on the Future of Worker Management Relations, Thus, there are good reasons to believe that the current structures and content of workplace regulations are having two effects at work:An Introduction to the Work of Rousseau, including discussions of On the Social Contract, The First and Second Discourses, and link to bibliography.

An introduction to the nature of the work

Nature of Science in Social Work. Scientific Inquiry in Health and Human Services Nature of Science in Social Work Summary of Feminism and Political Philosophy In setting out to explore various philosophies in the realm of scientific development it becomes apparent that we continuously search, build, and modify methods to further understand our world and one another.

An Introduction to the Work of Rousseau, including discussions of On the Social Contract, The First and Second Discourses, and link to bibliography. Paul Thompson provides a concise and comprehensive introduction to the debates on the labour process.

He sets out and compares the established traditions in industrial sociology and the analyses of Marx and Braverman. He goes on to explore contemporary debates on deskilling and degradation, and /5. The Nature of Work: An Introduction to Debates on the Labour Process [Paul B.

Thompson] on initiativeblog.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Paul Thompson provides a concise and comprehensive introduction to the debates on the labour process. He sets out and compares the established traditions in industrial sociology and the analyses of Marx and initiativeblog.com: Paul B.

Thompson. chapter 1 | introduction: the nature of science and physics 13 Figure These two applications of physics have more in common than meets the eye. Microwave ovens use electromagnetic waves to heat food.

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