Friday, June 22, 2012

A good story on structural unemployment and an excuse to bring up intra/inter-group dynamics again

From Marketplace:
Basically, [Management professor Peter Cappelli at the Wharton School] thinks employers are just being cheap. He says this is something they learned from the downsizing of the 1980s. It was so easy to snap up laid-off workers somebody else had already trained. So then companies downsized their own training programs to save money. 
Meanwhile, they’ve steadily raised the bar on job applicants -- demanding ever-more credentials and work experience -- then complain they can’t find good help.
And which employees do companies provide with the most skills-enhancement? According to the training organization’s data, it’s not production workers, or customer service reps or new employees. It’s supervisors, managers and executives.
For a variety of reasons (demographic, economic, political, educational), I suspect that the group cohesion in management and the associated social classes has gotten stronger over the past few decades. If this is true, we would expect executives to hold an increasingly high perceived value for executive work while seeing non-executive work as less valuable and more interchangeable.

You can make the case that much of the training given to executives is of limited value. By comparison a strong and unambiguous case can be made for training that, for example, increases workers' relevant computer skills. If we're spending more on the first than on the second, there's something wrong. My theory is intra/inter-group dynamics. Any other suggestions?

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