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The Individual Impacts of Commoditization


  • John Ryan

    () (Cass Business School)

  • Andrew Holmes



The process of commoditization has now entered its most significant phase. White collar work long the preserve of the educated elite is now going undergoing a significant transformation as it starts to commoditize. The principal impacts on the white collar employee include: One company, but many owners as the impacts of foreign ownership, buy-outs by private equity and takeovers by rivals continue to change the pattern of company ownership as well as employment. Few of us can expect to remain within a single company that retains its ownership for a lengthy period of time and with this comes additional uncertainty and insecurity The potential for most if not every white collar job being at risk from commoditization; perhaps not now, but certainly in the future. Remember, any job that can be codified is potentially at risk An increase in low level, routine work at the expense of the intrinsically interesting work most white collar workers have come to expect. This does not necessarily mean that work will be any less pressured. Evidence is pointing to the intensification of routine white collar work which is becoming more demanding not less. The loss of an obvious career path making it much harder to navigate through your working life. This is further compounded by the weakening of the relationship between education and employability which has until very recently been central to a successful career Economic instability and income stagnation as the China Price moves to the white collar labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • John Ryan & Andrew Holmes, 2008. "The Individual Impacts of Commoditization," Working Papers 2008_17, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  • Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2008_17

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    Commoditization; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General

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