Publications Keying In


Keying In
March 2003, Volume 13, Number 4

The Changing Shape of Corporations
Over the last few decades there has been an economic shift in the U.S. from producing physical goods to providing abstract goods like services and information. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2005, the percentage of workers employed in physical-goods producing industries (mining, construction, manufacturing, etc.) will fall below 20%, the lowest level since 1850. As the nature of work is evolving from lower-skill, physical labor jobs to higher-skill knowledge jobs, the centuries-old tradition of one-way, top-down management hierarchies in corporations is giving way to more flat, more interactive structures that give employees greater responsibility and more input into management decisions. In this issue of Keying In, we explore some of the trends accelerating this shift: information and communication technologies, globalization, the 24/7 service ethic, more educated consumers, and the aging and increasingly diverse workforce. We also examine some of the important skills students will need to acquire in order to compete in the new, more decentralized workplace: self-direction and self-reliance, communication skills, decision making skills, teamwork skills, leadership skills, and a commitment to continual learning. A decision making exercise and a communication exercise are included as well.

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Catalog No. 135.87