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The initial impact of information technology involved a shift from manual to computer-mediated information processing, but more recent applications involve the manipulation of a variety of software programs and databases. Even more recently, the rapid diffusion of access to the Internet has increased the potential for greater information processing and cognitive complexity. Secretaries at universities, for example, now often act more like research assistants than typists or receptionists. In the mids, the National Research Council b signaled the potential for information technologies to increase the skill and complexity of clerical work; over the last decade, there is more evidence of that trend occurring.

An additional source of cognitive complexity is the growth of business strategies that compete on product variety, customization, and innovation rather than low-cost, standardized goods. Workers who service and sell "mass customized" goods with shorter product development time and shorter product life cycles Pine, must absorb much more product knowledge and constantly changing information that corresponds to the particular features, pricing, servicing, and legal regulations governing the products for which they are responsible.

Many companies also have adopted business strategies that compete on service quality, as advocated by management consultants from the mids on e. Arguably, to do so requires the redesign of customer service approaches so that workers have more autonomy, a variety of responses, and the ability to interact personally with customers and provide "one-stop shopping" Schlesinger and Heskett, The approach advocates a "bridge from service to sales"—blurring the line between occupations that primarily service the customer inquiries, billing, repairs and those that primarily sell.

The difference is that service providers are now based in large-scale organizations and service is customized through the use of databases of information. The customer usually develops a relationship with the organization through brand loyalty, frequent flyer programs, special cards, etc. In any case, the content of service work involves considerably more discretion, variety, and cognitive complexity and use of technology than that found in a strict production line approach. Case studies of the adoption of this approach are found in a wide range of personal service, clerical, and sales work across various industries—including nursing homes Eaton, ; Hunter, b , insurance Carre, ; 9to5, , secretaries in manufacturing concerns 9to5, , retail banking Hunter and Lafkas, , commercial banking Keltner and Finegold, , telecommunications Batt, a , and retail stores such as Home Depot and 9 West Bailey and Bernhardt, Examples also exist of better performance outcomes associated with the use of self-managed teams in services see Cohen and Bailey, In sum, there is evidence of adoption of both strategies of rationalization and of relationship management in the last two decades.

The second dynamic of change—variation in the skill content of jobs within occupations—has also occurred to a greater extent in clerical and sales work than in personal services.

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Within-occupation variation has grown as a result of the combined effects of new technologies and markets and management strategies in response to these changes. Increased variation in products and services has led to a growth of specialization in service jobs not unlike what has occurred in technical and professional occupations. In addition to product-based specialization, customer segmentation strategies have created new forms of within-occupation stratification that differ in important ways from the past.

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One indicator of this change is in the extent of variation in the level of formal education within occupations. With respect to product-based specialization, the argument is that, under mass production, new technologies gave rise to new generations of products and services, but variation within each product line was not great.

Under mass customization, if workers are responsible for too many different products, the costs of training increase and the ability to sell or provide quality service decreases. For both quality and efficiency reasons, therefore, there is a tendency to shift to greater specialization in jobs in service delivery and distribution.

This increased specialization does not show up in statistical data, however; a sales representative is still referred to as a sales representative, although the qualitative evidence suggests that specialization within the category has grown. Differentiation by customer segment, made possible through advances in marketing research and information systems, has also emerged as an organizing principle for work Ames and Hlavacek, ; Day, ; Whitely, Moreover, variation in the ability to pay has increased with the growth of income inequality, with the population at the higher end of the distribution with more disposable income for luxury goods and services.

A succinct statement of the principle comes from Pine Segment your customers and potential customers into meaningful groups that have homogeneous needs within each group. Target those market segments that 1 match the capabilities of the firm and 2 have the highest business potential generally done in terms of revenue, profit, or return on assets. Position your firm and its existing and potential products and services in each of the target segments; positioning provides the reason for being, the unique differentiating characteristics that would cause targeted customers to purchase from you.

Finally, create the products and services that meet the requirements of your target market segments. Customer segments are then linked to groups of service providers, with variation in the content of work and human resource practices driven by customer characteristics. There is nothing new about attempts to find the right match between the social characteristics of the service workforce and the clients that they.

After passing extensive entrance examinations, women received intensive training in rules of behavior, speaking, and scripts that constituted an important dimension of work content Schacht, The large sociological literature on stratification also shows the historic significance of gender, race, age, and sexuality as important characteristics in defining the content of work Hochschild, ; Rollins, ; Woody, What is qualitatively different is that new matching processes are based not on identity characteristics per se, but on skill, specialized knowledge, or formal educational criteria.

In remote service centers, automatic call distribution and skill-based routing systems link customer segments directly to service workers based on specialized customer or product knowledge, language, or other characteristics. The result has been a distinct reconfiguration of customer service and sales jobs: Service jobs at the low end are transactional and have low autonomy, variety, and complexity but high levels of computer-related skills. Jobs at the high end are the opposite. This approach to work organization is in distinct contrast to the direction of change in blue-collar jobs in manufacturing, in which high-involvement work systems offering high skill and high pay, such as those at Toyota and Saturn, produce cars for the large low-end or middle-market customer base.

An example of matching based on product complexity comes from an information services help desk. Callers who phone in to ask for help are sorted according to the type of software program they need help on, for example Microsoft Word. A skill-based routing system links them to a worker who specializes in providing support for the program.

A skill-based pay and occupation ladder is in place so that, once certified in a simple program, an employee can be trained and certified on the next more complex program at a higher pay grade, provided there is a need. There are 12 grades in all; however, no employee is allowed to provide. Interactions with customers are much more transactional for calls pertaining to simple programs, but they increase in relational content as the complexity of the software and the problems increase.

An example of customer segmentation comes from telecommunications Batt and Keefe, In the past, business office employees had broadly defined jobs, handled a wide variety of customers and types of inquiries, and received the same rate of pay. They provided personal, face-to-face and phone service to an undifferentiated public. Under reorganized market-driven business units, they now serve particular customer segments: Job functions are further divided into sales and service, billing, collections, and repair services.

A typical residential call center houses between and 1, customer service representatives, who handle 90— customers per day and have a call cycle time of about 3—5 minutes. They complete transactions with customers on-line and are discouraged from interacting with fellow employees. As soon as one call ends, an automatic call distribution automatically sends another customer call to the "open" representative. Despite the use of automation and reductions in cycle time, these jobs are not low-skilled; they usually require manipulation of several software systems, knowledge of the product and service information in databases, the ability to integrate new product information on a daily basis due to constant change in marketing campaigns, and customer management and negotiation skills.

The extent to which customer interactions are scripted varies across employers. Customer service representatives need to master the art of sincere and authentic customer interactions while manipulating several databases or reading from a scripted text. Electronic monitoring records the content of customer-employee interactions and the time employees spend in each type of work activity. Call centers for small business representatives generally house to employees, and business representatives handle approximately 30 calls per day.

Because their orders are somewhat complex, they cannot be handled on-line with the customer on hold. Rather, the business representative takes down the infor-.

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  6. More complex order entry may also be handed off to another employee. The pace in small business centers is moderate, and representatives freely consult with each other to solve nonroutine problems or get advice on how to handle a customer. For large business and institutional accounts , companies hire college-educated account executives who are supposed who serve as case managers to corporate clients. Job titles vary by the value of the client served. Employees provide customized and personalized service through on-site and electronic exchanges and usually rely on teams of additional support staff and customer service representatives to handle the mechanics of orders and service requests.

    Advanced information systems serve as a resource for product information and service order processing, but it is not the main tool that case managers or account executives use as they spend considerable portions of their day in the field. Skill in the manipulation of computer software and databases is not as important here as it is for customer service representatives serving customers with less complex needs. Evidence of the extent of diffusion of segmentation strategies is scarce. Keltner and Jenson's quantitative case study of banks, insurance, and telecommunications shows that segmentation strategies are viable in each, but do not address the diffusion of segmentation strategies throughout the industries.

    Batt b finds that customer segmentation is a primary determinant of work content in a nationally representative sample of customer service and sales establishments in telecommunications. Hunter a , by contrast, finds that retail banks have had difficulty developing a coherent strategy of customer segmentation because segments are difficult to identify and because top managers disagree on the future functions of branch banks.

    Existing research suggests that, in jobs serving the mass market, there has been a shift from unsystematic and labor-intensive work to more routinized processes through consolidation into remote delivery channels, adoption of standard work practices, and. At the same time, there has been some increase in specialization, information processing, and cognitive complexity associated with mass customization. When these trends converge, the content of work in these jobs includes less independent discretion and scope than in the past, more surface acting than involvement in relationships or negotiation with customers, and more computer use and cognitive complexity.

    Whereas standardization or rationalization of work has been an ongoing historical process, the combination of process reengineering, information systems, and customization has produced jobs that differ considerably in content from those of the past. These changes have cut across jobs in personal, clerical, and sales occupations. At the same time, variation within occupations is greater than in the past because of greater variation in product demand and customer characteristics.

    The majority of jobs continue to serve the mass market, but jobs serving high-end retail, specialized niches, and business clients offer greater opportunities for independent discretion and complexity, and require a more sophisticated set of communication and negotiating skills than previously.

    However, given the ubiquitousness of computer-mediated work, a much larger proportion of service work, even in these more autonomous settings, is electronically monitored and measured by standard performance criteria. This review of historically low-skilled occupations has some interesting implications for the military in terms of opportunities for reentry into civilian life.

    Given the type of technical training that the military provides and the predominantly male recruits, the low-skilled, predominantly female service occupations are not of particular interest.


    There may be a better match of skills, however, in information service jobs that offer greater cognitive complexity and opportunities for the use of computer skills. To the extent that rationalization and other management strategies improve productivity and added value, these jobs may also offer higher wages.

    In addition, the relative proportion of men in service jobs has increased, and to the extent that services are provided remotely rather than in person, the importance of gender in employee selection is likely to decline. Managerial workers, a broad and diverse group, generally include managers, executives, and administrators. One way of thinking about what managers do is to argue that they process information and pass on the results to higher levels Scott, Technical developments that increase the effectiveness with which information can be processed may therefore reduce demand for managers.

    Clearly the explosion of distributed computer power in recent years lends considerable plausibility to this explanation. It does not necessarily follow that technical change that can substitute for managers will reduce their overall employment. This is because the change may be so powerful that product price reductions will increase product demand sufficiently to offset the reduced use of managers for a fixed level of production.

    It is also true that some managers—for example, managers of information systems—are complements to computers. Nonetheless, what evidence we have suggests that increased computer power will lead to a fall in managerial employment e. Scott, O'Shaughnessy, and Cappelli describe how the spread of expert systems in the insurance industry has reduced the need for some categories of managers Scott et al.

    Greater efficiencies can be gained not simply through physical technology, such as computers, but also via new ideas and insights about how to organize people. There is good reason to believe that this is an important part of the recent story. In the decades from the end of World War II to the mids, the role of management was viewed in both the academic and the business literature as a defense and justification of formal and fairly lengthy managerial bureaucracies Chandler, ; Thompson, ; Williamson et al. The organizational forms implied by this research were widely accepted when the environment was stable.

    From the mids onward, however, the economic environment facing American firms became increasingly. Production processes, both in manufacturing and in services, are being transformed via innovations such as total quality management and just-in-time production. As we discussed in Chapter 3 , management itself is changing, as ad hoc teams become more common and firms seek to break down traditional internal boundaries, such as those between design and manufacturing or between marketing and manufacturing.

    Changes in the way firms are organized have exerted changes on the career structure of managers; however, it is also apparent that the trends are not unidirectional. Indeed, two quite different tendencies that appear in the data can be characterized as a conflict between cost-cutting and empowerment Batt, Another useful distinction is between centralization and decentralization. This is made possible by concentrating more power in headquarters and making greater use of information technology and expert systems to manage. This model essentially represents an effort to perfect the traditional hierarchical model of organizations.

    It does not represent a fundamental shift in views about the purpose or structure of organizational forms. Traditionally, the most distinguishing feature of managerial work has been its place in the vertical division of labor. From the earliest days of classical management theory and scientific management, the function of management was conceived of as planning, directing, supervising, and controlling the use of resources to achieve the organization's goals. Although these functions and. With management positions normally came status, power over subordinates and resources, and employment security.

    However, as corporations have downsized, flattened their large bureaucracies, and moved from impersonal and authoritative controls to team-based peer controls, the role of managers has changed. New forms of work organization are based less on individuals' compliance with rules or supervisors' orders, and more on their commitment to organizational goals, fellow workers, and to satisfying their customers both inside and outside the organization.

    In these new organizational forms, managers' jobs have been redefined. No longer supervisors issuing commands, they are now called on to be social supports and coaches of the teams that nominally work for them. Donnelly and Kezsbom The researchers surveyed project specialists, project managers, and their functional managers, in a variety of technology-oriented companies, to ascertain which skills and competencies are required to effectively lead cross-functional, multidisciplinary teams.

    According to the results of their survey, five fundamental skills are necessary in the new organization:. Managerial competency , the interest and ability to use varying combinations of directive and supportive relationships appropriate to the particular subordinate and situation;. Analytical competency , the ability to understand complex situations, make decisions involving many elements, and retain overall vision;. Integrative competency , the ability to synthesize a useful systemic outcome from the varying points of view expressed by individuals and organizational units;.

    Collaborative competency , interest and ability to work with others, placing value on the formation of alliances; and. Organizational know-how , the ability to practice one's work within the context of the organization, insight into organizational. The results of this survey clearly show that managerial jobs in project team organizations involve the successful management of social processes within the team, as well as relations between teams and the rest of the organization.

    Another trend is the growing importance of skills in dealing with organizations and people external to the firm. For senior management, according to Useem , this means a focus on external investors and relationships with groups such as boards of directors.

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    For manufacturing managers, there is an increased premium on the capacity to work effectively with external suppliers as the boundary of the firm has weakened and more operations take place through outsourcing and joint ventures Cappelli, The importance of teams is growing, as is the consequent premium on team skills. As discussed in Chapter 3 , required skills are becoming less functionally oriented and, in some senses, broader in response to the demands of managerial teams that substitute for bureaucratic hierarchies. Managers need to be much more flexible, working in organizations with multiple bosses and at the same time having many more direct reporting channels as the hierarchies flatten.

    An important aspect of managers' jobs today is the requirement that they "coach," and many business press and managerial articles have explored this metaphor. For example, Hodes compares business to sports, with the manager as coach. According to him, in sports a game is fun, an activity that engages one passionately and voluntarily.

    All players, regardless of their skill level, need coaches who are instrumental to their development. Coaches never get on the field because their main task is to ensure the effectiveness of the players. In the coaching model, Hodes says, the manager is a resource for employees and his or her role is to empower them. Standing on the sidelines gives the coach a perspective different from those on the field and allows him or her to intervene in the process, not in the execution of the work. Critical to coaching in sports and business is maintaining the emotional energy and direction of the team.

    Emotion management by supervisors is often described as "leadership," "fa-. In industries in which innovation, rather than standardized performance, is at a premium, managers-as-coaches have become a common conceptualization of the managerial role. In contrast, a traditional, hierarchical structure assumes that "the manager knows best" and does not provide for employees' input. Olalla and Echeverria The job of coach is to "provide resources, remove obstacles and support the team's well-being so that it can learn, solve problems and continually enhance its effectiveness.

    Olalla and Echeverria, typical of the managerial literature, argue that managers should have a wide range of emotion management and social process skills and should be able to facilitate open conversations that support productivity, display sensitivity to employees' moods, generate trust, help employees accept their shortcomings so they can learn and move on, listen and observe in order to identify breakdowns in conversational flow, promote autonomy, ask rather than tell, and accept the emotional aspect of work rather than promote a "rational" orientation. As is typical of the literature, the authors base their list on nonsystematic observation.

    However, if this list is indeed representative of work in "new" organizations, there has been an incorporation of multiple forms of emotional labor into managerial jobs. Confirmation of these general statements comes from case studies of managerial work. She found that The overall picture that emerges from survey data is of managers in the midst of a transition to a more decentralized and participa-. With respect to decentralization of decision making, the evidence shows that middle and lower managers are experiencing more discretion.

    The evolution of a more participatory culture is also evident: Similar patterns emerge in other industries. For example, John Paul MacDuffie examined the changing role of managers in automobile companies with the introduction of "lean production," the system of operation that all American firms are borrowing from the Japanese. He found that Finally, Sara Beckman describes similar patterns at the high-technology firm, Hewlett-Packard That environment [for managers] is more networked externally, with more critical vendor relationships and tighter outbound partnerships, as well as internally across both functional and divisional boundaries.

    Many manufacturing managers in today's environment share the need to accomplish their objectives through influence rather than direct control. Forced to operate in teams. In the post-World War II era, there were several studies of the rise of the new class of managerial workers.

    Books such as White-Collar Mills, and The Organization Man Whyte, chronicled the personal and professional lives of the corps of people, mostly men, managing the large new firms of America's industrial economy. In recent years, however, there has been little scholarly study of this group of workers, and we can say less with certainty about how their jobs have changed than with any other group of workers.

    Much of what we think we know comes from the popular press and by inference from popular management books. There appears to be some loss of directive autonomy by managerial workers, particularly loss of control over subordinates by low-level supervisors. Many of these managers are now coaches and facilitators of work teams. The rhetoric of management has changed to conceptualize supervisory work as responsible for mentoring and supporting subordinates.

    The scope of managerial work appears to have moved away from concern with downward control issues to a focus outward toward colleagues in the organization and toward customers. Because more work in firms is organized by project, managers are increasingly project managers rather than functional managers. Project managers manage the process and flow of work, rather than people. Traditional management work was cognitively demanding, but new ways of managing are demanding different forms of cognition. Managers now need coordination skills as much as control skills, and many managers appear to have direct responsibility for the financial performance of their units or projects.

    Indeed, performance-based pay, such as stock options, appears to be increasingly important for all levels of management, not just executives. Managers no longer appear to have job security. Like blue-collar workers, more of them are subject to dismissal when business declines.

    This, along with a speed-up of work generally, probably has made managerial labor more subject to stress. The most significant development in professional and technical work is its increase in number and importance in the overall workforce and economy. The professional and technical workforce has figured prominently in discussions of the future of work since Daniel Bell published his influential treatise on the rise of the service economy 25 years ago. Bell was among the first to argue that experts and knowledge workers would become increasingly critical to economic growth in industrialized countries.

    Although he conceded that managers and lower-level service workers might constitute the majority of a postindustrial workforce, Bell argued that its elite would be those who create and deploy scientific and technical knowledge. Among the elite Bell counted scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, computer programmers, technicians, and most other occupations that sociologists and economists classify as professions or semiprofessions. Although Bell's thesis was hotly contested until the late s, trends seem to have vindicated his vision Block, ; Barley, a.

    Analysts most commonly define the professional and technical labor force using the two broad occupational categories of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Professional Specialty Occupations" and "Technicians and Related Support Personnel. Since mid-century these occupations and the work they perform have become increasingly prominent in the U. Although there is a long-standing debate among sociologists over how to define who is and who is not a professional Wilensky, ; Carey and Eck, ; Nelson and Barley, , we use these categories as our working definition for the purposes of this analysis.

    We combine the Bureau of Labor Statistics categories "Professional Specialties" and "Technicians and Related Support Occupations" in discussing the professional and technical workforce. The combination is warranted because doing so offers a better sense of the importance of technical work in the contemporary economy and avoids the problem of having to decide who is a technician and who is a professional. Database administrators, computer support specialists, and all other computer scientists. Four related trends account for the expansion of the professional and technical labor force: Organizations, like individuals, consume professional services, and corporate growth has both directly and indirectly increased the demand for professional services.

    As organizations have become more numerous over the 20th century, corporate demand has augmented individual demand for professional services, thereby enlarging the market for professionals. In some occupations, such as law and accounting, corporate demand has surpassed individual demand Derber and Schwartz, Corporations have also discovered that it is sometimes cheaper, if not more effective, to provide for themselves some of the expertise that they formerly purchased from solo practitioners or professional firms. Thus, corporations widely hire their own professionals, which has further increased demand.

    Corporate growth has affected the demand for professional services indirectly as well. Aside from engineers, most professionals at the turn of the century worked as solo practitioners or in small partnerships. Doctors, lawyers, and accountants served clients from homes or offices and played economic roles similar to small business owners.

    Over the 20th century, solo practice dwindled. Between and , self-employment among physicians fell from 80 percent to about 50 percent Derber and Schwartz, Similarly, less than one-third of all lawyers in the United States now work as private practitioners, whereas in over half were so employed Spangler, Even in relatively rural areas, professional services are now dispensed by law firms, accounting firms, hospitals, urgent care centers, and other. Professional bureaucracies create employment opportunities for professionals in two ways. First, because hospitals and other professional bureaucracies have access to more resources than do solo practitioners, they can afford equipment and facilities that enable them to provide services that clients could not otherwise obtain.

    The availability of such services, in turn, increases the population's demand for professionals' expertise, thereby enabling professional bureaucracies to support more practitioners per capita than would have worked under a regime of solo practice. Second, professional bureaucracies create an organizational context supportive of specialization.

    Because professional bureaucracies collocate practitioners, they can employ specialists and still provide broad expertise to clients. However, providing breadth of expertise under a regime of specialization means that more practitioners must become involved in a case. Thus, as specialists replace generalists, more professionals are required to meet a client's needs.

    The increasing economic importance of scientific knowledge is the second reason for the expansion of the professional and technical workforce.

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    One researcher has estimated that, by the s, scientific output was doubling every 6 to 10 years, a rate of growth "much faster than that of all nonscientific and nontechnical features of our civilization" Price, He also noted that 90 percent of all scientists who ever lived are alive today. The explosive growth of science has been sustained, in part, by the realization that scientific and technical knowledge can generate considerable profit.

    The commercialization of chemistry and physics during the late 19th and early 20th centuries gave rise to the industries on which the U. Advances in the life sciences, especially in immunology, microbiology, biophysics, and biochemistry, underwrote the expansion of the health care industry that began after World War II. More recently, molecular biology and its associated technolo-. The explosion of scientific activity, both basic and applied, created a wellspring of demand for scientists, engineers, technicians, and health professionals.

    However, the commercialization of science did not simply enlarge existing fields; it triggered a proliferation of new technical occupations via two processes: As the stock of knowledge in a discipline becomes more complex, scientists and related professionals find it difficult to remain generalists. Although generalists may be effective at screening problems, they are less prepared than specialists to advance a field's knowledge or provide state-of-the-art services.

    Because the latter activities are highly valued in technical cultures, most of the sciences and professions have adopted a strategy of carving cognate areas into ever narrower subfields. Specialization increases the number of professionals by opening up new territory and by requiring collaboration: Overburdened professionals have also sought to curb workloads by allocating routine duties to other groups.

    Many of the technician occupations that have flourished in the latter half of the 20th century originated in the giving off of "dirty" work by the established professions. The phenomenon has been most visible in the health care industry: The dynamic is also prevalent in other industries, where it has given birth to a plethora of technical occupations ranging from the well-known—paralegals, electronics technicians, chemistry technicians—to the obscure—test and pay technicians see Kurtz and Walker, Increasing life spans and the upward shift in the age distribution have also contributed to the increasing prominence of professional and technical work.

    As people age, they require more. A significant proportion of these services are delivered by doctors, nurses, health care technicians, social workers, and other professional and technical occupations. Between and , the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects professional and technical health and social service occupations to create 1. Since BLS estimates that all professional and technical occupations will generate 5. Perhaps the most important reason for growth in the professional and technical labor force is technological change. New technologies have shifted the workforce toward professional and technical occupations in several ways.

    The first has been by generating entirely new occupations. Throughout history technologies have spawned occupations: In the past, technologies created occupations across the entire division of labor. Although modern technologies have also sired occupations in all strata, those with high technical content appear to have become more common Adler, Commentators usually credit this change to the advent of the computer.

    In , few people worked with computers, and most who did were mathematicians Pettigrew, By the s, computers had given birth to such well-known occupations as programmer, systems analyst, operations researcher, computer operator, and computer repair technician.

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    4. These occupations, which now employ over 1. By , computer-related occupations are anticipated to provide employment for 3 million people or 2 percent of the labor force Silvestri, The explosion of occupations directly related to the computer, however, is only the most visible sign that technology may now favor the professional and technical workforce. Numerous professional and especially technician occupations have been created over the last four decades by technologies other than the computer: Although many technician occupations that have arisen de novo center on the maintenance of a technology, not all of them do.

      For instance, sonographers rarely repair ultrasound equipment, yet their work arose with the use of ultrasound in medical imaging Barley, Technicians who monitor the controls of nuclear power plants and EEG technologists are further examples of occupations spawned by new technologies that have little role in the technology's maintenance. Ironically, technological change has also augmented the professional and technical labor force by automating blue-collar and lower white-collar jobs. Computerized technologies typically automate the most routine parts of a job simply because routines are easier for designers to program.

      To successfully deskill or eliminate workers via automation, firms must also reallocate the more complex aspects of a target occupation's work to another occupation. Since the occupations that benefit from such reallocations tend to acquire cognitive and technical responsibilities, deskilling unintentionally expands the number of technical workers.

      For instance, Smith has argued that a reallocation of tasks once exercised by craftsmen and foremen was largely responsible for the birth of such technician occupations as rate-fixers, estimators, and inspection and planning engineers. Similar arguments have been made for the rise of programmers and schedulers in machine shops Braverman, Even when skills are not reallocated, automation may still skew a firm's labor force toward technical and other highly skilled employees, if the employment of unskilled and semiskilled labor declines disproportionately Spenner, Several researchers have shown that two decades of computerization have altered the mix of jobs in the insurance and banking industries by precisely such a path Baran, ; Attewell, , Although office automation enabled firms to reduce their reliance on lower-level clerks, the relative importance of more highly skilled workers particularly those who program and maintain computers and databases increased as the number of clerical employees fell.

      Thus, when computerized automation occasions layoffs among lower-skilled workers, it leaves in its wake a work structure more heavily weighted toward members of professional and technical. For similar reasons, the trend toward downsizing, even in the absence of computerized technology, should have favored the increasing importance of professional and technical work, since professionals and technicians are less likely to be downsized than are middle managers and members of other occupational categories. Professional and technical workers have never fit easily into the hierarchical structures of most bureaucratic organizations Whalley, ; Freidson, As Weber long ago noted, the legitimacy of a vertical division of labor is premised on the assumption that expertise can be nested: But unless a professional's superior is also a member of the same profession, the superior's ability to understand and thereby legitimately direct or control the subordinate's work becomes suspect.

      Historically, three organizational forms have emerged to manage discontinuities between hierarchies of authority and expertise. The first is the staff department. Locating professionals in staff positions removes them from the vertical division of labor and places them in the role of advisers to top executives. Organizations often use staff positions to manage lawyers and information systems specialists, for instance. The difficulty is that staff positions are only viable when the number of professionals is relatively small and when their work is not central to the organization's primary line of work.

      Second, some organizations in which professional and technical work is crucial to the primary mission create two hierarchies: Most hospitals and many research and development laboratories have such a structure. A hospital's administrative hierarchy handles such tasks as admissions, billing, procurement, and personnel, and the medical hierarchy, which is managed by physicians, coordinates patient care.

      Note, however, that the organizational logic of the medical hierarchy differs substantially from the organizational logic of a bureaucratic hierarchy. Whereas the nodes of a bureaucratic hierarchy are composed of positions, the nodes of a medical hierarchy are typically composed of occupations: Occupational hierarchies not only tend to be flatter than bureaucratic hierarchies, but also they are more loosely coupled with respect to task performance. Doctors certainly set the agenda for a patient's care, but they often do not possess the specific skills or knowledge of a nurse or a technician.

      Accordingly, nurses and technicians are typically given considerable leeway to perform their duties as their occupational expertise dictates. As Derber , Bailyn , and other observers of professional work in organizational contexts have repeatedly noted, in an occupational hierarchy, superiors may be able to set goals but they are less capable of dictating practice. The third organizational form, which Stinchcombe called "craft administration," is currently best exemplified by the construction industry.

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      Construction projects are typically managed by a contractor who takes responsibility for coordinating the project. The contractor, in turn, usually subcontracts aspects of the project to tradespersons: Although the contractor sets timetables, secures resources, and ensures that the work meets specifications, the contractor does not manage the actual details of how the work is performed. The latter is the domain of the trades.

      Craft forms of administration are notable because they function by all but eliminating hierarchy. Although craft coordination is most well known among the trades, which are typically considered blue-collar occupations, it is also common in research and development laboratories, in advertising, in film making Faulkner, and in other. There is evidence that project organization is spreading to other organizational contexts, in part, because of the spread of professional and technical work.

      The parallels between craft, professional, and technical forms of organizing highlight a crucial and often overlooked implication of the spread of professional and technical work: A horizontal division of labor implies a dispersion of authority among experts from distinct occupational groups.

      The logic behind this way of dividing work and authority is that knowledge and skills are domain specific and too complex to be fragmented and nested; thus individuals, rather than positions or jobs, become vessels of expertise. Knowledge is preserved and transmitted through extended training rather than through the rules and procedures that characterize bureaucracies. Occupational groups retain authority over their own work, while interacting with members of other groups to manage their respective components of a task. In a horizontal division of labor, knowledge and skills tend to be transportable across work sites.

      Prior to the industrial revolution, except for the military and the church, horizontal divisions of labor were the primary forms of organizing. It was only with the development of the factory system that vertical divisions of labor become more prominent. A resurgence in the horizontal division of labor should pose problems for organizations and individuals quite distinct from those they have faced in the recent past.

      One such problem concerns the nature of careers. Research has long demonstrated that relatively few scientists, doctors, or lawyers desire careers structured around hierarchical advancement. The same is true for most engineers. Although the literature frequently suggests that engineers desire managerial careers and although there can be no doubt that engineers move into management at greater rates than do members of other professions Perrucci, ; Ritti, ; Zussman, ; Whalley, , surveys of engineers nevertheless routinely indicate that two-thirds of all engineers are more interested in careers that involve increasing technical challenge Bailyn and Lynch, ; Allen and Katz, In a series of studies of technicians, Zabusky and Barley report that most techni-.

      The difficulty for both technicians and engineers is that organizations have historically not supported careers of achievement for three reasons. First, the range of work that most organizations can offer is not sufficiently broad to provide most technical workers with substantive challenges that are occupationally meaningful. Second, offering careers of achievement requires that organizations and human resource managers understand how members of an occupational community conceptualize skill and then plot opportunities in those terms.

      Such career paths are difficult to envision if one is not also a member of the occupation, which is certainly the case for most managers. Finally, definitions of success in most organizations, if not society as a whole, are still defined in terms of advancement.

      Thus, to pursue careers of achievement, technical professionals must often move from organization to organization in search of new challenges and skills. The desire for careers of achievement partially explains the growing popularity of contract work among technical professionals.

      Thus, as the professional and technical labor force expands, one might well expect independent contracting to become increasingly common. Professional and technical work has always required considerable cognitive and analytical skill and familiarity with esoteric bodies of knowledge. There is little reason to believe that this will become any less or any more common among most established professional and technical occupations.

      Far more likely is the possibility that scientific and technical developments will require professionals to learn new bodies of knowledge continually in order to avoid becoming obsolete. Technological obsolescence has long been a concern among scientists and engineers; advanced technologies may increase the risk in other professions as well.

      For instance, Barley demonstrated how the advent of computerized medical imaging has inverted the status hierarchy in most radiology departments, because younger radiologists. As work becomes increasingly technical, however, we can expect analytical skills to become more important for an ever-larger segment of the workforce and even in lines of work that have not historically been viewed as requiring analytical skills. For instance, the digitization of control systems and the integration of previously discrete subcomponents of production systems requires operators to begin to coordinate production systems via a symbolic interface instead of relying on immediate sensory data such as tastes, smells, and sights Zuboff, Symbolic interfaces require individuals to work with increasingly abstract representations of phenomena.

      However, it would be a mistake to believe that technical work eliminates the need for contextual knowledge of materials and techniques, as some analysts have suggested. What is more likely is that work will increasingly require a more complex interweaving of analytical and contextual knowledge that the culture's current system for classifying work has difficulty accommodating. Technicians' work illustrates the point.

      Most technicians work at an interface between the material world and a world of representations Barley, b. Using sophisticated techniques and technologies, they transform aspects of the material world into symbols that can be used for other purposes and by members of other occupations, typically professionals or managers. For instance, in medical settings, technicians produce images, counts, and other data useful for medical diagnosis. Technicians in nuclear power plants and other automated facilities create and monitor flows of information on production systems.

      Science technicians reduce physical phenomena to data or "inscriptions" from which scientists construct arguments, papers, and grants Latour and Woolgar, Technicians, however, do more than generate representations and information; most are also responsible for taking care of the physical entities they oversee.

      Technicians ensure that machines, organisms, or other physical systems remain intact and in good working order. Care taking often requires technicians to make use of the very representations they create. Thus, emergency medical technicians take action on the basis of diagnoses made at the site of an acci-.

      Microcomputer support technicians use the results of tests and probes to alter the functioning of computer systems. The dual processes of transformation and care taking that define the core of technical work also make it culturally anomalous. To be effective troubleshooters at an empirical interface, technicians must comprehend the principles of the technologies and techniques they employ as well as be familiar with more abstract, systematic bodies of knowledge. In this respect, technicians resemble professionals. For instance, emergency medical technicians require knowledge of biological systems, pharmacology, and disease processes to render diagnostically useful information.

      And because technicians manipulate entities to achieve practical ends, they must also possess extensive contextual knowledge of their materials, technologies, and techniques. It's just not clear from the relevant passage what that argument is. At the end of Chapter IV, Russell writes: In general, as Russell says here, adjectives correspond to class terms, whereas verbs correspond to propositional functions. We thus have something roughly akin to the modern distinction between a monadic and a polyadic predicate. The distinction is highly significant, of course, since for one thing, monadic predicate logic is decidable, but polyadic predicate logic is not.

      The most glaring fault in King's historical discussion of Russell's views on propositions in Principles , is the lack of any mention of Russell's Paradox of Propositions as I will call it; and it is not to be confused with Russell's Paradox set forth in Section Appendix B. It was this contradiction that led Russell to abandon the simple theory of types in favor of the ramified theory, with all that entails, e.

      Here is Russell's argument, as formulated by Alasdair Urquhart, which closely follows Russell's original:. This proposition itself can be either a member of the class m or not. Let w be the class of all propositions of the above form that are not members of the pertinent class m; that is,. Thus we have derived a contradiction. That is, it appears that the structured view of propositions is especially vulnerable to this contradiction.

      The essential assumption is that if a and b are distinct objects, then the propositions having them as constituents differ. As one might expect, after examining the foregoing argument, King's theory falls prey to this same contradiction, though an extra premise or two is needed to show that, by King's own lights, the diagonal proposition, r, exists; but I daresay King is not alone. Turning now to King's theory, King presents it so simply and economically that it is easy to summarize.

      King works within a "minimalist" Chomskyan framework. So there is the distinction between the surface sentence and the LF level the level of "logical form". The syntactic structure of sentences is analyzed semantically in terms of the LF representation. According to King, the structure of the proposition expressed by 'Rebecca swims' is given by the diagram 4b, p. Here the branching lines represent the "sentential relation," R, holding between 'Rebecca' and 'swims' at the LF level. The ovals are the relation between properties of joint instantiation of properties of words.

      There are words in some language occurring in the sentential relation R as follows:. King adds in a footnote that for complete generality we have to existentially generalize the language parameter as well. King claims at least two advantages of this account: First, it makes it obvious that propositions exist; and secondly, it makes it clear how propositions "represent" the world. I don't think that either of these claims is obviously true, and there are other difficulties as well. First, it is King's view that propositions are not mathematical objects for the Benacerafian reason -- which entails, if you think about it, that nothing whatever, given pretheoretically, is a mathematical object!

      But the diagrams he employs in order to display the structure of a proposition must be mathematical objects; they are graphs of a certain kind as in "graph theory". So he certainly cannot identify the diagram with the proposition whose structure it displays. This raises all over again the question of what propositions are. I myself would be content, others things being equal, to identify the proposition with its diagram, qua mathematical type. But King does not have this option. So the question to which King's book is devoted remains open: Secondly, King never tells us what a language or a sentence of a language is ontologically.

      There are hints that King's view is that languages natural languages and their sentences are empirically given phenomena, occurring in the actual world. So there is no more problem about their existence than there is about the tree in my front yard. But there is still a problem for King's view. Given that a language, such as English, is productive , that is, given knowledge of the finite lexicon, one can produce a sentence never produced before.

      Since propositions, on King's account, are tied to sentential relations, it is not clear how this productivity is possible. One would have thought that first one has the thought, or "entertains" the proposition, and only then one tries to put it into words. But for King, until the words are out, the proposition doesn't exist. So, should we conclude that we can "entertain" non-existent propositions?

      Of course, the view that propositions are pre-linguistic, contrary to King's view, may seem to put propositions back on the dark side; but one bit of evidence that they are indeed pre-linguistic is the fact admittedly disputable that animals, dogs, say, can have propositional thoughts. To put the point more neutrally and critically of King's theory: Thirdly, King simply assumes that there are properties and relations, but has nothing to say about what they are. Those who think that propositions are obscure entities are likely to think the same of properties and relations.

      For him the only reality was linguistic behavior. Given this, it is hardly obvious as King insists it is, that propositions in his sense exist, since it's not obvious what properties and relations are, and hence not obvious that they exist. Furthermore, propositions can be readily thought of as properties -- properties of the actual world or of worlds in general or even properties of truth values. King might protest that, unlike properties and relations, which simply hold or don't of the world, propositions represent it. I find this a very peculiar idea -- but very common in the literature -- as if propositions were symbols or pictures as are sentences , whereas properties and relations are non-representational aspects of reality.

      But when I believe that G. Bush is President of the U. That is, I believe that the actual world has the property that G. Bush is currently President of the U. Perhaps one will complain that I am confusing the proposition with the fact that makes it true. But I think that itself is a confusion.

      We don't represent the world by means of propositions, we describe it, or state what it is like. As producers of propositions, we are not like painters; we are more like plumbers. A plumber who believes that your water lines are clogged, will try to fix it, not because he stands in the believes relation to some representation, some sort of picture of the state of your water lines, but because he believes that reality has the property that your water lines are clogged. Finally, as I said above, I believe that King's theory is subject to Russell's Paradox of Propositions , and hence is inconsistent.

      The relevant sentence occurs in a number places, e. So the relevant sentential relation and Chomskyan tree or the bracket version exists. That's enough to show that King's theory, or any theory meeting Russell's criterion -- that if a and b are distinct objects then the propositions mentioning them are distinct -- falls prey to this contradiction. The philosophy of language needs a coherent background logical theory that these philosophers have not, it seems, thought about, much less formulated.

      Kaplan, I believe, may be old fashioned enough to insist that, like Church, the ramified theory of types is what is needed. Let me now turn to King's Chapter 3 in which he replies to the objections he chooses to reply to -- in particular, not the ones mentioned above about animal thoughts and propositions as properties of the world. According to King, propositions came into existence with the advent of language and did not exist prior to that, and so, although things were "a determinate way" pre-linguistically, nothing was true or false, since the bearers of truth and falsity did not exist.

      King does not develop this distinction -- between things being a determinate way in the past , and its being true, then , that things were that determinate way -- but it would seem to be a natural consequence of the view that propositions, like some paintings, are representational in nature. Just as paintings did not exist before painters and paint, so with propositions. But in the case of propositions, this seems to me to be a distinction without a difference. We need not think of propositions as representational at all. We can think of them simply as properties that hold or do not hold of the world.

      All this gets King into a tangle of unwieldy distinctions over the analysis of true modal claims such as "It is possible that there should have been no life. King appears to be a serious actualist. But ultimately the issues stem from a general problem not apparently well understood or recognized by the SRP group concerning contingency and modal logic first observed by Prior.

      All this was discussed in great detail in rather important papers from the early nineties by Christopher Menzel, Bernard Linsky, Edward Zalta, and myself. Likewise 'Snow is white' and 'Schnee ist weiss' express different propositions. King, however, makes a case for it based on work of Richard. See King's book for the references. But making a case for it is not, in my opinion, enough. Perhaps the most fundamental role played by propositions, and the one we advert to when introducing the notion in, say, courses in elementary logic , is that of explaining translation.

      What do 'Snow is white' and 'Schnee ist weiss' have in common? Well, they express the same proposition. In the last two chapters King defends the view that propositions vary in truth value with respect to possible worlds, but not with respect to more "local" parameters, such as place and time contrary to the view of, e. Montague Grammar , and he "solves" the paradox of analysis by appeal to the super fine-grainedness of his propositions.

      There is then an appendix on quantification. I've already mentioned that King has missed the opportunity to defend his view by showing that it has a way of dealing with Frege's Puzzle; and I have commented that this puzzle arises not merely within philosophy, but within mathematics itself -- a point not often noted, especially by mathematicians.

      As for the issue of variation in truth value: What is abundantly clear is that allowing variation with respect to one truth value determining parameter, but not others, that seem to function similarly, is certainly inelegant; and it is equally abundantly clear that sentences , including propositional attitude reports , can vary in truth value with respect to local parameters.

      The idea that the propositions don't vary in truth value, coordinately, simply makes them even more of a mystery. I would recommend King's book to anyone who wants to know where King's School of philosophy of language has headed. In my opinion, it is far too certain of itself and has exerted far too much influence. The general problem raised by Russell's Paradox of Propositions has yet to be solved, and it must be, if we are to proceed. Kripke, who one might well look to, has made no contribution to this issue. Instead, he has focused attention on a special case of the converse of Russell's assumption about the identity of propositions.

      Russell's assumption, recall, is that if a and b are distinct objects, then propositions about them are distinct. The converse principle that if a and b are identical objects, then propositions about them are the same, is obviously false. But the special case of this known as "Leibniz's Law" has been the focus of much of the philosophy of language of proper names, since Kripke's Naming and Necessity.

      Let us put that to rest for a while, and look at other issues. Let me repeat the main point of the foregoing, lest it be misunderstood. Philosophers have taken refuge in the structured propositions view largely because of what I termed above "Soames' complaint. King's theory is inconsistent, as is every other one I know of.

      The underlying fact was observed by Russell more than one hundred years ago, and the issue was studied carefully by Church almost twenty-five years ago. All of the confident theorizing about structured propositions by the SRP group, is thus suspect; and from the point of view of scholarship, it has developed in ignorance of issues it should have been least ignorant of. This is harsh criticism, I know, but these are the facts.

      The SRP school of the philosophy of language has also developed, it seems, in ignorance of the discussion of contingency and modal logic that took place in the early nineties -- as referenced above. Many issues concerning propositions, now broached by the SRP group -- such as the question whether propositions can have truth values at worlds where they don't exist if they don't -- were discussed at length back then. In fact, Kripke wrote a paper unpublished in which he takes just that approach. And the characterization of rigidity and related notions in Naming and Necessity is in terms of possible worlds semantics.

      It is true, however, that in "A Puzzle About Belief" Kripke articulates a view of substitutivity that suggests -- but does not entail -- the structured propositions viewpoint. See also the other articles by Soames, especially, "Lost Innocence," referenced in the bibliography of this fine collection. No doubt there is further relevant discussion in Soames' more recent work. But I have not studied that as of yet.

      Soames' argument is clever and important, and I certainly do not mean to disparage it. Soames carefully proves that when a set of situations view is combined with the Millian view of proper names, and such sets of situations are taken to be the objects of propositional attitudes -- belief in particular -- one gets the result that we must attribute certain beliefs to the agent that are logical consequences of what the agent does believe from which the agent would clearly dissent. We end up, in particular, attributing to the "Ancients" the belief that 'Hesperus' and 'Phosphorus' are coreferential!