Friday, September 09, 2011

A Threat to White Collar Workers

Susan Hall has a good post on the ITBusinessEdge blog. It is especially valuable for the links it provides.

Hall suggests that we may be starting a process of breaking white collar work into bite size pieces, much as factory work was broken into bite size pieces by Taylorism, and organized into chains much as factory work was organised into assembly lines in the early 20th century. Now, however, the Internet will be used to link the white collar workers and presumably means will be developed to manage the process for speed and efficiency. If so, a lot more U.S. white collar workers are going to feel economic competition from smart, well educated white collar workers from countries with lower salaries.

Of course, the other side of this coin is that opportunities will be created to build the middle class more rapidly in India and other developing countries. The success of Asian manufacturers in finding and dominating niches in international manufacturing value chains might be followed by similar successes of developing nations in finding and dominating niches in international white collar work value chains.

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