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Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization

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  • Lindbeck, Assar
  • Snower, Dennis J

Abstract

The article analyzes an important aspect of the contemporary reorganization of work within firms: the shift from "Tayloristic" organization (characterized by specialization by tasks) to "holistic" organization (featuring job rotation, integration of tasks, and learning across tasks). We examine four driving forces behind this restructuring process: advances in production technologies promoting technological task complementarities, advances in information technologies promoting informational task complementarities, changes in worker preferences in favor of versatile work, and advances in human capital that make workers more versatile. Our analysis also helps explain the recent widening of wage differentials and disparities in job opportunities within narrowly defined groups. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-376, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:3:p:353-76
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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