Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Capitalism; Learning; Social Change; Knowledge.
Kelloway, K., & Barling, J. (2000). Knowledge work as organizational behaviour. International Journal of Management Reviews, 2(3), 287-304.
The authors review and critique the definitions of knowledge work and put forth the idea that it can best be understood as a discretionary behaviour in organizations. The discretionary acts in organizations are understood to compromise the creation of knowledge, the application of knowledge, the transmission of knowledge, and the acquisition of knowledge.
KEY WORDS: Knowledge Workers; Human Capital.

Kevatsalo, K. (2001). Confidence and commitment in postindustrial work organizations. Sosiologia, 38(4), 260-273.


Many analysts agree that the mid-1970s was a turning point in the organization of production and markets during the last of the industrial age. The period of change that followed has been described as a transition from "Fordism" to "post-Fordism". This period has even been called the information age because of the rapid adoption and diffusion of information technology. This article elaborates on employee commitment to management and trade unions throughout this period of transition.
KEY WORDS: Management; Unions; Workers; Labor Process; Employment Changes; Postindustrial Societies; Flexible Specialization.

Kim, S. (2000). The roles of knowledge professionals for knowledge management. Inspel, 34(1), 1-8.


This paper starts by exploring the definition of knowledge and knowledge management; examples of acquisition, creation, packaging, application, and reuse of knowledge are provided. It then considers the partnership for knowledge management and especially how librarians as knowledge professionals, users, and technology experts can contribute to effective knowledge management. It is concluded that knowledge professionals will have to move from the background to the center of the organizational stage to jointly hold the reins of knowledge management.
KEY WORDS: Information Professionals; Knowledge Management; Information Management; Information Technology; Librarians; Library Role; Library Services; Organizational Development; Users (Information).

Kleinman, D. L., & Vallas, S. P. (2001). Science, capitalism, and the rise of the "knowledge worker": The changing structure of knowledge production in the United States. Theory and Society, 30(4), 451-492.


This paper explores the paradox of increasing scientist/engineer autonomy in the private sector versus decreased academic freedom for university researchers in the context of capitalism's growing dependence on scientific/technical expertise. The concept of "asymmetrical convergence" is applied to describe the simultaneous penetration of industrial codes & practice into the academy & emergence of academic norms for knowledge workers in the high-tech sector. In light of problems in existing scholarship on scientific & technical workers, a divergent conceptual model for viewing knowledge work under contemporary capitalism is outlined, demonstrating new knowledge production structures, particularly as the academy aligns more frequently with industry.
KEY WORDS: Science and Technology; Scientists; Engineers; College Faculty; Knowledge; Production; Academic Freedom; Autonomy; Public Sector Private Sector Relations.

Kurzman, C., & Owens, L. (2002). The sociology of intellectuals. Annual Review of Sociology, 28, 63-90.


The sociology of intellectuals has adopted three fundamentally unique approaches to its subject. The Dreyfusards, Julien Benda, "new class" theorists, and Pierre Bourdieu treated intellectuals as potentially a class-in-themselves, that is to say, as having interests that distinguish them from other groups in society. Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault, and theorists of "authenticity" treated intellectuals as primarily class-bound, representatives of their group of origin. Karl Mannheim, Edward Shils, and Randall Collins treated intellectuals as relatively class-less with the ability to transcend their group of origin to pursue their own ideals. These approaches divided the field at its founding in the 1920s, during its mid-century peak, and in its late-century revival.
KEY WORDS: Intellectuals; Knowledge Workers; New Class; Class Analysis; Professionals.

Leadbeater, C. (2000). The weightless society: Living in the new economy bubble. New York: Texere.


Today more and more of us make our living from our ideas. The Weightless Society demonstrates why entrepreneurship will become a mass activity, companies will need to be structured as if they were brains, ownership must be broadly spread, networks will become the main way of organizing our knowledge economy, and truth and collaboration will be the new ethics of the new economy. Perhaps most compellingly, the author shows how the same principles are being applied in the public sector. The author argues for a radical overhaul of corporate and government institutions inherited from the industrial era which are ill suited to the knowledge economy, including new approaches to measuring economic value, taxation and social entrepreneurship.
KEY WORDS: New Economy; Knowledge-Based Economy; Weightless Society; Knowledge Work; Knowledge Workers.

Machin, S. (2003). Skill-biased technical change in the new economy. In D. C. Jones (Ed.), New economy handbook (pp. 565-581). San Diego: Elsevier.


This chapter examines changes in the skill structures of labor demand. It places attention on changes in the relative wages and employment of more skilled–educated workers as compared to their less skilled–educated counterparts. The chapter discusses the main explanations for why relative demand has shifted in favour of the more skilled, arguing that skill-biased technical change has been an important factor behind the observed changes in the organization of work in the new economy. It also examines some of the technology–trade debate, arguing that trade-based explanations are difficult to maintain. It concludes by discussing the possible policy implications that run alongside these changes in labor market structure.
KEY WORDS: Skill; KBE; Knowledge-Based Economy; New Economy.

Malhotra, Y. (2002). Is knowledge management really an oxymoron? Unraveling the role of organizational controls in knowledge management. In D. White (Ed.), Knowledge mapping and management (pp. 1-13). Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing.


Many current implementations of organizational knowledge management, although based on the most advanced information technologies, are challenged by the pervading organizational controls. Often, such failures of knowledge management systems implementations come about from incorrect understanding and misapplication of the notion of “controls.” Therefore, it is critical to develop a better understanding of information systems related organizational controls so that they can facilitate the success of knowledge management systems implementations. This chapter fills the critical void of incomplete and commonly incorrect interpretations of organizational controls by developing a better theoretical and conceptual understanding of organizational controls and their pragmatic implications. The chapter proposes an organic model of organizational controls for design of knowledge management systems that can effectively enable creation of new knowledge, renewal of existing knowledge and knowledge sharing.
KEY WORDS: Knowledge Management; Knowledge; Knowledge Work; Discretion; Decision-Making; Management Theory.

Meyerson, H. (2006, April 8). Not your father's Detroit. Retrieved July, 2006, from http://www.americanprospect.com/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewPrint&articleId=11300


The author debunks a number of myths concerning the 'new economy': namely, that wages are improving with productivity and that the future for the US will be a place where the highly educated are richly rewarded. Instead, he argues that offshoring practices will move any and all jobs that can be moved to countries where wages are lower and governments pursue more aggressive, strategic industrial policy. Using statistics from a range of mainstream sources, the author paints a bleak future for the worker in the America and other advanced capitalist economies. He recommends that the US change its industrial policy to provide incentives for corporations to invest and stay in the country, that the US pursue and upgrading policy (unionization) for all service work, especially non-offshorable jobs; and, finally, that corporate governance be changed so that employees and public members have a significant say instead of CEO-dominated boards of governors simply rewarding each other and the shareholder at the expense of employees.
KEY WORDS: Outsourcing; Offshoring; Economics; Restructuring; Industrialism; Globalization.

Mokyr, J. (2002). The gifts of Athena: Historical origins of the knowledge economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


The increase of technological and scientific knowledge in the past two centuries has been the overriding dynamic element in the economic and social history of the world. Its result is now called the knowledge economy. But what are the historical beginnings of this revolution and what have been its mechanisms? The author constructs an original framework to analyze the concept of "useful" knowledge. He argues that the growth explosion in the modern West in the past two centuries was driven not just by the appearance of new technological ideas but also by the increased access to these ideas in society at large--as made possible by social networks comprising universities, publishers, professional sciences, and kindred institutions. Through a wealth of historical evidence set in clear and lively prose, the author shows that changes in the intellectual and social environment and the institutional background in which knowledge was generated and disseminated brought about the Industrial Revolution, followed by sustained economic growth and continuing technological change.
KEY WORDS: KBE; Knowledge-Based Economy; Knowledge; Post-Industrial.

OECD. (2001). Competencies for the knowledge economy. Retrieved July, 2006, from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/42/25/1842070.pdf


Pressures to increase the role of information and knowledge in national economies have provoked a wide-ranging debate about what kinds of competencies young people and adults now require. The workforce is “upskilling”, both in terms of the average educational level of workers and the kinds of job that they are performing. White-collar, high-skilled jobs are driving growth in employment. This is not simply a question of the growth in knowledge “sectors”. Work is becoming increasingly skilled across industries and within individual occupations. A group of “knowledge workers” can be viewed as those performing knowledge-rich jobs. Such workers are usually but not universally well educated. Some knowledge workers possess high levels of literacy and lower levels of education, implying that basic skills obtained beyond education are recognised in the knowledge economy. Communication skills, problem-solving skills, the ability to work in teams and ICT skills, among others, are becoming important and harmonizing to basic core or foundation skills. Even more than other workers, knowledge workers depend on workplace competencies. However, further research is required to inform education policy makers about how to develop the right skills for a knowledge economy, rather than assuming that high levels of education alone, as conventionally defined, will be enough.
KEY WORDS: KBE; Knowledge-Based Economy; Competencies; Education; Learning; Skills.

Powell, W. W., & Snellman, K. (2004). The knowledge economy. Annual Review of Sociology, 30, 199-220.


The authors define the knowledge economy as production and services based on knowledge-intensive activities that contribute to an accelerated pace of technical and scientific advance, as well as rapid obsolescence. The key aspect of a knowledge economy is a greater reliance on intellectual capabilities than on physical inputs or natural resources. The authors provide evidence drawn from patent data to document an upsurge in knowledge production and show that this expansion is driven by the emergence of new industries. The authors then review the contentious literature that assesses whether recent technological advances have raised productivity. Also, the authors examine the debate over whether new forms of work that embody technological change have generated more worker autonomy or greater managerial control. Finally, the paper assesses the distributional consequences of a knowledge-based economy with respect to growing inequality in wages and high-quality jobs.
KEY WORDS: Knowledge; Productivity; Workplace Reform; Distributional Effects of Technological Change.

Sam, T. X. (2002). New characteristics of knowledge-based economies. Nature, Society, and Thought, 15(4), 469-481.


The scientific & technological revolution led to globalization and this event in turn has become a driving force for the alteration of science into a direct labor force. Knowledge is the decisive element in economic development, & knowledge-based, nonmaterial commodities will soon govern the market. Changing a knowledge-based economy depends on a strong development strategy by a country or business. There is a clear gap between the developed & less-developed capitalist countries. The uneven development of the capitalist transnational corporations situated in the developed capitalist countries are using their domination of the knowledge-based economy to deepen the exploitation of the less-developed nations. The result is that the class struggle becomes more sophisticated while remaining just as fierce.
KEY WORDS: Scientific Knowledge; Economic Models; Development Strategies; North and South; Capitalist Societies; Class Struggle; Economic Underdevelopment; Information Society; Globalization; Work and Learning.

Sengupta, S., Whitfield, K., & McNabb, B. (2007). Employee share ownership and performance: Golden path or golden handcuffs? International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(8), 1507-1538.


Using matched employer-employee data from the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey, it is suggested that the presence of employee share ownership at a workplace is not significantly associated with employee commitment to the organization. There is evidence of a significant negative relationship between share ownership and workplace turnover, which explains part of the positive share ownership/performance relationship. This calls into question the postulate that share ownership has its main impact upon performance via the closer alignment of employees' and employers' values and interests - the golden path - rather than the lowering of employee turnover - the golden handcuffs.
KEY WORDS: Employee Share Ownership; Performance; Turnover; Commitment.

Stewart, T. (1997). Intellectual capital: The new wealth of organizations. New York: Doubleday.


The author demonstrates that the emergence of the Information Age has changed the nature of wealth and wealth creation, and offers new ways of looking at what companies do and how to lead them. In a knowledge-based economy, intellectual capital--the untapped, unmapped knowledge of organizations--has become a company's greatest competitive weapon. Intellectual capital is found in the talent of the people who work there; the loyalty of the customers it serves and learns from; the value of its brands, copyrights, patents and other intellectual property; the collective knowledge embodied in its cultures, systems, management techniques, and history. However, these vital assets are nowhere found on a balance sheet, only rarely managed, and almost never managed skillfully.
KEY WORDS: Creative Ability in Business; Human Capital; Success in Business.

Thompson, P., Warhurst, C., & Callaghan, G. (2000). Human capital or capitalising on humanity? Knowledge, skills and competencies in interactive service work. In C. Prichard, R. Hull, M. Chumer & H. Willmott (Eds.), Managing knowledge: Critical investigations of work and learning (pp. 122-140). New York: St. Martin's Press.


This article critically examines the claim that there has been a striking growth in ‘knowledge work’ in advanced economies. Using the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey, the authors examine occupational change from 1986 to 2000 to evaluate the support for this claim. Researchers usually rely on aggregate level data to justify the presence of a burgeoning knowledge-based workforce, but the authors contend that we must ‘get below the surface’ of the major occupational groups by disaggregating the data. This enables the authors to demonstrate that a substantial component of the apparent growth in knowledge work is accounted for by an increase in low-level information handling occupations rather than by a growth in knowledge work as it is commonly conceived. The article then develops an interpretive framework that makes sense of the data in a manner that avoids both over-estimating the prevalence of the ‘knowledge worker’ and underestimating the knowledge-related activities in jobs usually considered to be low-skilled and bereft of important competencies.
KEY WORDS: Knowledge; Knowledge Work; Knowledge Workers; Skill; Human Capital Theory; Human Capital; KBE.
Thurow, L. C. (2000). Globalization: The product of a knowledge-based economy. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 570, 19-31.
The shift to an era of manmade brainpower industries is devising the technologies that are creating a global economy. Leaving behind the role of regulator or the function of controlling their national economies, governments are becoming platform builders that invest in infrastructure, education, and research and development to allow their citizens to have the opportunity to earn world-class standards of living. Countries themselves are being put into play, and inequality is rising. The rest of the world sees an invasion of the US system, but in reality, it is a brand new global system. Intellectual property rights have become a central and contentious unresolved issue.
KEY WORDS: Globalization; Knowledge; Property; Property Rights; State Intervention; Economic Development; World Economy; Research and Development; Infrastructure.

Thursfield, D. (2000). Post-Fordism and skill: Theories and perceptions. Aldershot: Ashgate.


Taking three companies, one from the glass, electronics, and chemical industries, as case studies, the author addresses the trend of general neglect of manager and worker perceptions of skill, and uses that evidence to construct a model to explain subjective perceptions of skill and the causal processes that shape them. Thursfield connects definitions of skill by sociologists to those grounded in the perceptions of those involved.
KEY WORDS: Occupations; Great Britain; Sociological Aspects; Skilled Labor; Ability; Evaluation.

Wigfield, A. (2001). Post-Fordism, gender and work. Aldershot: Ashgate.


In recent years there has been extensive debate concerning the way in which advanced industrialized nations have encountered economic restructuring, experiencing a shift away from the dominance of Fordism and the emergence of more flexible modes of production. The principal theoretical perspectives in this field, the Institutionalist theory of flexible specialization and the regulationist theory of post-Fordism, fail to adequately incorporate a gender informed analysis into their respective models of economic restructuring. This book redresses the gap in existing post-Fordist literature and is the first of its kind to comprehensively explore gender relations in the post-Fordist economy. The book incorporates a gender dimension into the economic restructuring debate on both a theoretical and a practical level. It also explores the implications of economic restructuring in the workplace for gender relations. Several questions emerge from this discussion relating to issues around numerical flexibility, functional flexibility, and technological change. This book provides an important and original contribution to both post-Fordist and feminist literature, whilst at the same time providing a practical insight into post-Fordist methods of work organization based on the concept of team working.
KEY WORDS: Teams in the Workplace; England; Nottinghamshire; Case Studies; Women; Employment; Feminist Economics; Labor Economics.



Section 2.3

Changes in Paid Work & Employment Statuses




Aaronson, D. P., Kyung-Hong; Sullivan, Daniel. (2006). The decline in teen labor force participation. Economic Perspectives [Chicago], 30(1), 10-16.
The pattern of steady decline in teen work from the 1970's is escalating beyond 2000. The authors argue that much of this pattern is due to a significant increase in the rewards of formal education. The study also explores changes to labour demand, crowding out by substitutable workers, the increased work activity of mothers and the rise in wealth as possible explanations.
KEY WORDS: Labor Market; Demographics; Teenagers; Education; Employment Changes.

Anonymous. (2003). A snapshot of Canada's workforce. Canadian HR Reporter [Toronto], 16(19), pp.17.


Three researchers, sociology professor Cynthia Cranford at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, professor Leah Vosko of the School of Social Sciences at York University, and Nancy Zukewich at Statistics Canada, have thoroughly counted the labour force in contingent work. Their results show that the contingent workforce grew in the early 1990s and has stabilized thereafter.
KEY WORDS: Research; Temporary Employment; Labor Market; Canada; Forecasts; Canada; Changes in Paid Work; Contingent Work.

Appelbaum, E. B., Annette; Murnane, Richard J; Weinberg, Jeremy A. (2005). Low-wage employment in America: Results from a set of recent industry case studies. Socio-Economic Review, 3(2), 293-230.


National survey results show the changes that have taken place in the US wage structure over the past 3 decades. These data provide only very limited information about the complex reasons why changes have occurred and why there is significant variation in the wages of workers with similar education levels employed in similar industries. Industry case studies, on the other hand, document how firms' responses to economic pressures have affected working conditions, work rules, productivity pressures, skill requirements, & opportunities for training & advancement for workers with less than a 4-year college education. Reviewed are a series of recent case studies on low-wage employment in America funded by the Russell Sage, Rockefeller Foundations, and examines the pressures to cut costs and how these pressures have affected firms' treatment of frontline workers.
KEY WORDS: Wages; Employment Changes; Income Inequality; Labor Market; Industry; United States of America; Changes in Paid Work; Survey; Employment Status.

Aronowitz, S. (2001). The last good job in America. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.


This book argues for the decline of the job as the backbone (along with family) of American society. New economic and global technological changes have enabled an emerging culture of cynicism between workers and their employers that threatens social stability and well being.
KEY WORDS: New Economy; United States; Changes in Paid Work.

Bailey, T. (2001). Changing labor markets and the U.S. workforce development system. In I. Berg & A. L. Kalleberg (Eds.), Sourcebook of labour markets: Evolving structures and processes (pp. 429-449). New York: Kluwer Academic /Plenum.


America's workforce development system and policy during the 80's and 90's is first described. Then, changes in America's economic system and the workplaces are analyzed. These changes are arguably, a basis for an agenda of reform and possible reforms are examined and assessed. Concludes by looking at how the latest economic changes have affected both the workforce development system and education reform.
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