From Widgets to Digits: Employment Regulation for the Changing Workplace

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 26, 2004 - Business & Economics - 300 pages
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From Widgits to Digits is about the changing nature of the employment relationship and its implications for labor and employment law. For most of the twentieth century, employers fostered long-term employment relationships through the use of implicit promises of job security, well-defined hierarchical job ladders, and longevity-based wage and benefit schemes. Today's employers no longer value longevity or seek to encourage long-term attachment between the employee and the firm. Instead employers seek flexibility in their employment relationships. As a result, employees now operate as free agents in a boundaryless workplace, in which they move across departmental lines within firms, and across firm borders, throughout their working lives. Today's challenge is to find a means to provide workers with continuity in wages, on-going training opportunities, sustainable and transferable skills, unambiguous ownership of their human capital, portable benefits, and an infrastructure of support structures to enable them to weather career transitions.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Artisanal Production in the Nineteenth Century
13
The Labor System of the Industrial Era
27
From Scientific Management to Internal Labor Markets
51
The Changing Nature of Employment
67
The New Employment Relationship
87
Implications of the New Workplace for Labor
119
Disputes over Ownership of Human Capital
127
The Changing Nature of Employment Discrimination
157
Unionism in the Boundaryless Workplace
196
Reimagining Employee Representation
217
The Crisis in Benefits and the Collapse of the Private
243
Income Inequality
258
Index
293
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