Click for next page ( 396


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 395
Managing Technological Change: Responses of Government, Employers, and Trade Unions in Western Europe and Canada FELICITY HENWOOD AND SALLY WYATT NEW TECHNOLOGY IN THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE Technological change has always been a major factor in the uneven development of industries and occupations. It is often sug- gested that the development of radical new technologies has pro- vided the impetus for major changes in the pattern of economic development both within and between countries. The restructur- ing of industry that accompanies such technological innovation then leads to significant changes in the level and structure of em- ployment and in the nature and organization of work. The ways in which these changes are managed differ between countries ac- cording to the part played by governments, employers, and work- ers' organizations. Furthermore, the role of each of these groups changes over time and is closely related to the overall economic cI~matc in particular, the level of unemployment. In the 30 years after World War IT, many Western industrial- ized countries experienced faster technological change than during any period since the Industrial Revolution, and yet these changes were largely managed within a cooperative environment, by mu- tual agreement between unions and managers. The relative lack 395

OCR for page 395
396 MANAGING TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE of worker resistance to technological change during this period is, of course, directly related to the fact that this was also a period of economic growth and prosperity in most western European coun- tries. By the mid-1970s, however, economic recession and rising unemployment had led to the reemergence of debates about the relationship between technological change and unemployment. It has been during this last decade or so that there has been, in most of these countries, a serious challenge to the established framework for managing technological change. Clearly, on one level, employers can be seen as having the prerogative in many of the decisions surrounding technological change. It is they who make investment decisions and they who have the final right to hire and fire their employees. The relation- ship between labor and capital in market-oriented economics has been described as a "compulsory symbiosis in which the employers are\ in a fundamentally favorable position" (Markmann, 1985:141~. There are many examples, however. of government int~r~r~nt.inn and worker participation in technological decision making that have resulted in more favorable outcomes for employees. Through government initiative in establishing more progressive frameworks for labor-management negotiations around technological change, many countries are now realizing the benefits of involving workers in such negotiations. In the next section, we discuss and com- pare the parameters of government, employer, and trade union intervention in technological decision making in several western European countries and Canada. This discussion forms the back- drop for the discussion in the following sections, which examines, in some detail, the part played by each of these groups in resolv- ing conflicts over specific issues related to the introduction of new technologies, such as job design, changing locations and hours of work, and education and training. The overall aim of this paper is to examine these issues with specific references to women and women's employment. We shall pay particular attention to the different experiences of women and men. It is important to examine women and men as distinct groups when analyzing the relationship between new technology and paid work and, therefore, when developing policies aimed at alleviating the problems that are encountered when new technology is intro- duced into the workplace. Reasons include the following: First, the labor markets in the countries under consideration are char- acterized by a high degree of occupational segregation in which ~ , i, ~ ,.

OCR for page 395
FELICITY HEN WOOD AND SALLY WYATT 397 women are concentrated primarily at the lower levels in a few occupations. Not only does this help to explain women's lower earnings on average and their relative powerlessness, it also makes women more (or less) vulnerable to changes in technology. Second, women's participation and experience in paid work will continue to be different from men's as long as women continue to bear major responsibility for household work and child care. (Table 1 presents indicators of women's position in-the labor market for selected industrialized countries.) Government legislation against sex discrimination and in favor of equal pay exists in most West- ern industrialized countries; it is generally recognized, however, that these measures have not yet achieved equal opportunity in the workplace nor have they begun to address women's and men's unequal family roles. THE MANAGEMENT OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE The management of technological change takes different forms in different countries according to the political organization, indus- trial relations, and cultural environments of the different countries (Evans, 1983:154~. However, it is possible to point to three main methods of management which, to a greater or lesser extent, can be found in most western European countries. Jostein Fjalestad of the Norwegian Computer Centre has described these meth- ods as (~) regulationbased on legislation, standards, and rules; (2) negotiations resulting in technology agreements; and (3) lo- cal developments which ensure that agreements are relevant to particular workplaces (Fjalestad, 1981~. Table 2 summarizes the variety of procedures adopted in different European countries. Evans (1983:156) has argued that regulation, negotiation, and local developments should be seen as complementary approaches to the effective management of technological change: Laws and standards define minimum requirements. National, sec- toral and corporate technology agreements establish the procedures and broad actions to be followed and the mechanisms to resolve conflicts. They set out the framework to be used in negotiating acceptable arrangements at local levels. Without genuine local agreement, however, the other methods will fail to achieve their . alms. We shall discuss briefly the relative importance of each of these methods for the management of technological change in several

OCR for page 395
398 ~ . - ~;s U. C. v C~ oo a: ._ L~ o v ~s C) U] s" ~: o ~Q ._ o ._ _ ~n o m o 3 o o C. u ._ ~_ - V) ~ b4 ._ ~ ~ ._ _ ~ M s" o :~ ~ ~ L4 P: ~ ~: Ll C' 6 - m ~ s" ~ 0 m ~ 3 co c~ . u, co ~1 co 0 . . C9 0 ~Q1 u~ u: . co e~ o; u Ql oo C~ U: Q CO . . U. ~ ~1 C~ O oO O O C~ ~ oO Co CO - 00 U} O <9 oo oo O oo a: ~ oo ~1 {D ~:h e9 a, O 0,:} ~ oo ~21 ~QI 0 00 . U~ C~ ~ 00 ~ ~ C53 ~ 00 ~1 ~QI 00 0 . . O oo {D ~ O CO co ~ co ~ e~ ~ eS o ~ 1 O ~ ~ ~ ~ c, ~ ~ ~ S ~ ~ S ~ ~ o 3 ~ ~' ,,, S ~ C S o u S S ~ ~ S 3 ~ 3 ~ ~

OCR for page 395
399 - u~ oo rQ1 o e~ o o o u: . . co ~ . e~ , ~1 u, u, o o o . . . co~ ch u) a,1 o o. o 0 e~ ~ ~ ~p o o u, ~ ol ~ ~p ~ ~ o o u) e~ L. 3 o b05 E e ~ ~ 3 o E _ l ~ 3 = - C: o ._ _ ~ oo ~ a, _ ~ o ~ ._ o , - L) _ ~ aS o o v ~ 0 ._ . - o ~ ~ o ~ o ~ oS m ~ ._ _ _ ~_ _ - ~ CO 00 _ - L. ~ _ E ~o m m ~. _= _ - c~ ao ~ ~ ~ a' _, _. _ _. o ~ ~ ~ _._ ~ es ,!5 ~ ~ o~ ^ _ _ ~ E zo o ~ ~ s-O q, L, ~ ~a 0 OO - m ~ C~ X ~ ~ ~ V ct ~ a' ~ ~v ~ ~ ~ _ ~ ~ ~,a~o 0 ,~ 0

OCR for page 395
400 - oo o ~ - a' - s~ v p. ~o s" u] - b4 v ce - - o ~o o o - b4 s" ~q o s" o ~n a x e~ m S" O :^ O V O C) GQ 00 E E > ~ ~ o _ _ o ~ V ~ o ._ C. bO oo 3 o v ~n a) ~4 C. o o ~ o oo al ~ ~ o S o ~ .c .o e~ ~ O ~V ~ c, ~ ~ o o o ~ ,~; {. ~ ._ o.= ~ 3 ~ ~ ~ S X `~, O o: ~ E o .= s" ~ o ~ O ,~o rQ z z; co ~ oq ~ g ~ ~ ~ o ~-- :~. g >, bO C~0 (5} ~ ~ - v t- u) c) ~ ~ 0 ao ~ ~ 0 5 ~ ~ ~o ~ ~ 5 ~ ~3

OCR for page 395
401 so ~ O ~ O I, ~ ~` a ~ O ~ O O ~ ~ be ~ ~ O ~ ~~ =~.~0 a a ~ ~ .m ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I ~ ~ ~ _ O ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ O ~ bO ~ ~ O ~ 3 ~ v ~ ~ ~ 1 a' be V ~ ~ ~ i.. ~ at, . be o ~ o ~ o _ .> c.O so CS -I s-O ~ o ._ it, so :^ o o _ ~ A: to 3 A a o ~ oo o ~ o. ~ ~. a c O ~ ~ O ~ == 3 ~ ~ v 4} a, 3 U] ._ C~ ,~ _ ~ ~ o ~ a a~ I,, =~. a ,,,- .=mo o ~ ._ O ,,54 CO I,4 ~ P. ~ a~ :^ ~ ~ ~ ~ C ~ 3 3 ~ ~a oo o ._ a' ._ - P~ ._ oo ._ o ._ a a~ ._ 3 ._ s" - U: . ~ CO oo C~ _' o, C: . . V o U)

OCR for page 395
402 MANAGING TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE European countries, in some cases comparing European experi- ences with those of the United States and Canada. THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENTS Most western European governments take the view that em- ployment will be generated only if and when the "new technology" industries are established. Thus, a major part of government ac- tivity in the new technology area is concerned with the promotion of research and development (R&D) in the fields of microelectron- ics, telecommunications, and computers and in the strengthening of links between government, research establishments, ant] indus- try. There are important differences between countries regarding the extent and nature of government intervention in such pro- grams. For example, the French government, unlike the United Kingdom and West German governments, believes that it is le- gitimate and necessary for politicians to control industry overtly, not only to strengthen it in a general way. Over the last few years, several broad, new programs were launched: for example, the 3-year program for the promotion of "productique" in France, the Technological Development Program in Denmark, and the Alvey program in the United Kingdom (Commission of the Euro- pea~ Communities, 1984b). In early 1984, a European Economic Community (EEC) initiative the European Strategic Program for Research on Information Technologies (ESPRIT) was given the go-ahead. Like the national programs, the main purpose of the EEC program is to promote cooperation among enterprises, research centers, and universities through public subsidies, with a view to creating or consolidating European industrial potential in new technology fields such as advanced microelectronics, software technologies, advanced information processing, office automation, and computer-integrated manufacture. The above examples of government initiatives to promote new technologies illustrate the separation that is so often made by governments between the growth of new technology industries and the employment problems that such growth may cause. In many cases, the priority for governments is the development of the new technologies. The "ejects of the new technology, such as job displacement and changing skill requirements, are generally dealt with "after the facts by separate employment and/or training policies, usually administered by various government departments.

OCR for page 395
FELICITY HEN WOOD AND SALLY WYATT 403 Governments in some countries, however, are beginning to take a more interventionist role in attempting to prevent, rather than simply alleviate, the most adverse ejects of new technologies. Of course, the relationship between technology and the de- mand for workers is complex. The industries based on the new technologies, once established, may or may not generate many jobs. And job displacement and changing skill requirements can occur for reasons unrelated to technological change. Uneven eco- nomic growth, international competition, and shifts in demand generate employment change as well. Moreover, changes in work organization, such as subdividing or integrating jobs, occur more or less continuously, often without the facilitating influence of specific innovations. Nevertheless, current technological develop- ments are widely recognized as having enormous potential for both productivity improvement and work reorganization, with substan- tial, if not totally known, effects on workers. And, as noted above, these rapid technical developments have also occurred during a period of economic difficulty. Interventions by government aimed at shaping technological change, though important, necessarily do not address all factors affecting employment. Legislation to set minimum standards in technological deci- sion making Is used in several countries in two key areas: health and safety and Determination." The 1977 Norwegian Work Environment Act is a good example of government intervention to ensure that the health and safety of employees is maintained with the introduction of new technologies. Among its provisions (quoteclinDeutsch,1986:37)are the following: ~Technology,orga- nization of the work, working hours and way systems shall be set up so that the employees are not exposed to undesirable physical or mental strain and so that their possibilities of displaying caution and observing safety measures are not impaired." The Act also extends to encouraging workers' personal and professional devel- opment, avoiding undiversified and repetitive work, and involving employees and their elected representatives in planning work and work changes. Another example of legislation being used to set minimum standards is the 1976 Swedish Act of Co-determination. Employers are required by it to inform trade unions about plans for future developments and to initiate discussions and negotia- tions on new technology before any changes take place or any final decisions are made on the nature of the system (Evans, 1983: 157~. West Germany also has a form of co-determ~nation legislation.

OCR for page 395
404 MANAGING TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE Under this law, any plant or company of more than five employ- ees must have a works council composed solely of representatives of employees. Works councils have found it difficult, however, to use information disclosed to them because they are outside the mainstream of collective bargaining, which takes place be- tween employers' associations and union confederations (Evans, 1983:164~. THE RoLE OF EMPLoYERs AND TRADE UNIONS The role of government in influencing the pattern of intro- duction of new technology in any particular workplace is limited. The most important negotiations about technological change at this level take place between the employers or management and the workers, often, although not always, via the local trade union branch. During the 1970s, a fairly coherent and comprehensive approach toward negotiating about technology began to emerge in several western European countries. The anew technology agree- ments" or "technology agreements" had the effect of placing on the agenda of collective bargaining "a range of topics which affect all aspects of technological and mr~.ni~.nt.imna1 rho ~~ On ~~ ~~- (Evans, 1983:158~. This development has been an important one that has marked a shift, on the part of organized labor, from what might be seen as a reactive strategy toward new technology, to a more proactive one. The 1975 agreement between national management organiza- tions and unions in Norway can be seen as the archetypal tech- nology agreement that influenced discussions and actions around the world. Evans (1983:158) has described the principle stated in that agreement as one where The social ejects of new technology should be regarded with equal importance to economic and techni- cal considerations. Both procedural and substantive elements are found in technology agreements. The former is concerned with the methods of introducing the new technology and the latter with the operational conditions once the technology is implemented. A summary of the main clauses to be found in most technology agreements can be found in Table 3. In spite of a great deal of discussion among organized workers concerned with broad issues such as the future of work and the ways In which different groups of workers are affected by the in- troduction of new technology, technology agreements on the whole

OCR for page 395
FELICITY HEN WOOD AND SALLY WYATT TABLE 3 Summary of Main Clauses Found in Technology Agreements Procedural provisions in technology agreements A commitment by all parties to encourage the introduction of new technology and the successful management of change. The provision by management of full and timely information, in clear and jargon-free language, about plans for technological change. To be useful, the information must be provided at an early stage, before decisions are implemented. The agreement should be explicit about the likely effects of change and the options available. The establishment of joint management/union bodies to discuss, monitor, and negotiate change at corporate and local levels. The opportunity for the election and training of "technology representatives" or "data stewards" with responsibility for monitoring the introduction of new technology on behalf of staff, and who keep in close touch with grassroots experience and . . Oplnlon. The arrangements by which unions can have access to outside expertise, just as management hires external consultants. The establishment of a procedure for monitoring and regulating the collection and use of personal data on individuals working in the organization. A status quo clause which gives the unions a right to veto changes unless they have been consulted and an agreement reached. Substantive issues on technology agreements Job security following the introduction of new technology. This could aim to maintain the same number of job posts (total volume of employment) or, if some reduction in employment is unavoidable, to offer guarantees of no compulsory redundancy. The provision of adequate retraining opportunities to staff whose jobs are changed or eliminated by new technology and the establishment of guidelines on the maintenance of status and pay in the new job. Methods for sharing the benefits of new technology with employees through, for example, improved pay, shorter working hours, and a better working environment. For older staff, the offer of adequate schemes for voluntary early retirement. Monitoring of the impact of new technology on the workplace in terms of issues such as stress, alienation, reduced social contact, or increased central control and supervision. Health and safety regulations on aspects of working with computers, based on independent guidelines encompassing physical, software, and psychological ergonomics factors. Protection of the confidentiality of personal information collected about employees and guaranteeing that such information will be limited to activities of direct relevance to work at the organization. Many countries have Data Protection Legislation to provide the basic guidelines. SOURCE: Evans (1983:162~. 405

OCR for page 395
422 MANAGING TECHNOl OGICAL CHANGE that it is more likely to provide a work force with the skills rele- vant to the employer's needs. Also, the difficulties associated with fulfilling domestic and child care responsibilities outside of work- ing hours are not so acute if training is provided on the job, within regular working hours. The disadvantages of on-thejob training are that the skills learned are not always formally recognized and that the unem- ployed and those outside the labor force are excluded (see below) The fact that skills learned on the job are not always formally recognized means that worker mobility is reduced. Both women and men will be less able to move outside the firm. And women may also experience difficulty moving within the firm, particularly where management discriminates against women, either because they think a secretary only types even if she actually possesses quite advanced information-technology-related skills, or simply because they think women should not have nrof~.c:~ir~n=] tar I;_ . paying Jot)S. i. rams ~1 111~;11- The major advantage of formal training is that skills learned are recognized. The skills needed in office work include knowledge of routines; knowledge of the firm and branch; ability to inter- pret questions, combine information, and solve nonroutine cases; and social skills. Often, only the first of these skills is visible to management (Lie and Rasmussen, 1984:6~. Not only does formal training improve worker mobility, it also overcomes some of the problems typical when workers are insufficiently trained. Clerical workers who are not aware of all of the capabilities of a piece of equipment are often dissatisfied. The Danish Union of Commercial and Clerical Employees, together with some schools of commerce, has initiated courses in word processing for its members (Thom- sen, 1984). The disadvantages of formal training are related to (lack of) time and money. Ways to combine the advantages of both types of vocational training include having formal training paid for by industry or the state and scheduling it within working hours, or introducing some means of assessing skills gained on the job. The usual objection raised by employers to paying for formal training is precisely that it will increase worker mobility: why pay for someone else's work force? In the long run, however, training for a skilled and flexible work force will benefit everyone.

OCR for page 395
FELICITY HENWOOD AND SALLY WYATT 423 As noted above, on-thejob training does nothing to meet the needs of the unemployed. Unemployment, particularly youth un- employment, is becoming an increasingly serious problem in most of the countries under consideration. The tremendous increases in unemployment are partly a result of new technology and partly a result of the more general economic climate. In most countries, training for people who are not in paid employment is seen as the primary responsibility of the government. As Goldstein (1984) argues, some government schemes have negative elements. In her view, the New Training Initiative (NTI) of the current British government is an attack on the conditions of paid work, disguised as training to meet changing market and technological conditions. The publicly funded Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) provided young people with jobs for 6 months during which they were paid a weekly allowance. Employers received free labor. YOP workers were heavily concentrated in distributive, retailing, and administrative jobs; opportunities for learning new skills were few. In 1981-1982, more school leavers were in YOP than in regular jobs. Employers have admitted that 30 percent of these repre- sented abuses of the goals of YOP; they substituted YOP workers for regular workers (Goldstein, 1984:100~. The chief disadvantage of YOP, Goldstein t1984} argues, is that they have given credi- bility to the notion that putting people in the workplace to serve employers' short-term needs represents training.2 Training need no longer lead to gaining skills or access to long-term paid employ- ment. This type of program also undercuts organized labor and diverts resources away from other types of training. The problems associated with shortages of skilled labor remain. Similar programs have been adopted in other countries. In Belgium, both private and public enterprises with more than 50 employees are required" to recruit between 1 and 2 percent of their 2 The Community Programme scheme designed to help the long-term unemployed does not even pretend to provide anything but the most broadly based "introduction to workn-type training. It is mentioned here because it illustrates the government's attitude to women's right to paid work. The scheme authorizes local authorities to hire the long-term unemployed to work on projects for 4 days a week for the benefit of the community. Those eligible include people over the age of 25 who have been unemployed for more than ~ and, ~~ ~~~ ~9~.Q~:\ ~~ ^ wage moor not exceed an average of 63 (1985 figure) per week. Since 1983, women who are living as married with a man in paid work are not eligible for these schemes, since they are not officially recognized as unemployed. ~ Am ~ l_~Incr.~1n totow l. ~ ~~ ~~ ~

OCR for page 395
424 MANAGING TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE work force from people under 30 years of age with no previous work experience for a maximum period of 1 year. Not only are employers required to pay only 90 percent of the agreed wage rate, they also receive a grant from the government for each trainee, above the minimum ~ percent (Commission of the F,`~r~n-nn C!~:~:^~ 1984a:90~. _ ~ ~ . . _ ^. ~ ~_~^ ~vAAAl1AL~l~l~l~ ~ Some more positive training schemes aimed at unemployed women have been developed. The Ministry of Education in Den- mark, together with the equality of opportunity consultants, has initiated the formation of a number of "data centers" for women who would not otherwise receive any training (Thomsen, 1984~. Other schemes have begun in various cities in the United Kingdom. They involve women teaching other women nontraditional skills, often programming and electronic engineering but also carpentry and plumbing. The schemes are supported by the local councils and the European Social Fund. They all include the following: a creche, or child care allowances; a training allowance; a schedule to coincide with school hours; and assertiveness training. Women over 25 with no formal qualifications are given priority. Links with local employers are more established in some schemes than in others (informal discussion with E. Cousins. Women's T~.hn~l^tr~r Scheme, Liverpool). These schema. Are ~ ~~ ~___1~ _~ Lit __,, ~ I A ~ ~ ~ t~ " ~ ) can be taken into account. ~~ t 1 d _ I_ ~~ ~1 slow wc~men-s neeas Courses offered in the evenings ark ~Jll`Oll ~II~I.r-r-~RlOlC. T^ - a_ ...: lL _L.1~ -_ ~ ~~- AVA V~V11~l Well wren, and company training is sometimes only provided to full-time workers, while women are more likely to work part time. Gaining Open to aid is insufficient if it is not recognized that women face restrir.~.inn~ an she;- ^1~:~:~.. to participate. _ ~^ U440~1 O,~111~~ , A study done for the Women's Bureau of Labour Canada (1982) surveyed different groups of women regarding their atti- tudes to technology and training. They found that women who were not in the labor force were the group most afraid of tech- nology and that they would prefer fulI-time training during the day. Women in the labor force, but not in technology-related jobs, preferred some form of apprenticeship. Lack of confidence, time and money, fatigue, and stress were the difficulties cited in relation to out-of-hours training. They felt it was the employers' respon- sibility to train them. Women using word processors had usually been trained either by their employer or by the equipment sup- plier.6 The latter is usually a marketing exercise; women receiving

OCR for page 395
FELICITY HEN WOOD AND SALLY WYATT 425 such training thought it was not always adequate. Women work- ing in electronic assembly received informal, on-thejob training. Their employers sometimes offered to pay for night-school courses, but the women felt night school would be too much, in addition to the* existing work and domestic responsibilities. Women in both arts and science subjects in postsecondary education were aware that they would probably work with technology in some form; however, science students were more confident about their job prospects (Women's Bureau, Labour Canada, 1982:27-33~. Many training initiatives aim to develop specific industrial skills. Given the rapid change that characterizes industrial econo- mies, it may be more appropriate for training and retraining to be aimed at developing broader skills, such as basic scientific under- standing, computer literacy, logical thinking, and communications skills. Training focused in this direction would enhance worker mobility, whereas training in specific skills increases the danger of creating the job ghettos of the future (Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, 1982; Dirrheimer, 1983~. Training and educational initiatives need to be taken at many different levels in order to widen the opportunities provided by new technology to as many people as possible. The aim of any training or educational initiative must be to increase workers' mobility and their ability to participate in technological decision making. Governments and employers have a responsibility to at least contribute to the cost of training, especially because they benefit from having access to a skilled work force. Also, it is important to remember that not all workers are starting from the same point in terms of training and education; therefore, for women and other disadvantaged groups, some positive action is necessary. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION Today, the industrialized countries of the world and many of the newly industrializing countries are experiencing major changes in employment and work patterns as the rapid diffusion of the cur- rent "new technologies, based on microelectronics, is transform- ing the industrial structure of their economies. Both government intervention and negotiations between employers and trade unions concerning the introduction of new technologies are becoming in- creasingly widespread. Employers attempting to maintain profit

OCR for page 395
426 MANAGING TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE levels in increasingly competitive market situations can do so in various ways; technological change is only one of the options avail- able, but productivity-enhancin~ labor .c:~.vin ~ t.P~hnnl^=i-e are mr' obvious toot to employ. We have noted that the unequal distribution of power between social groups means that some groups have more influence over technological decision making than others. The roles played by governments, employers, and trade unions in this process differ from country to country. We have noted that women and men often have different priorities and choose different strategies TO 1;~ _ I ~ ~ ~0 ~^~,40~ ~4.L ~ ~ C~11 Ill ~1~ European countries, governments have a crucial, if limited' roles mainly through tier' ~rn~ri~innQ nJ; 1=O-;Q1~;~ ~1~:~1- ~ ~ ~^ 4~C^UlVll~ ~ 111~11 sets minimum standards to which employers must adhere. Most negotiations about the introduction of specific technologies take place between employers and trn.rl`> 1lDinn~;: =o n-~;~;~r~= ^ job design illustrate. ~ ~ ~ ^~~VUAC~UlVllO ~1 ~JU11~1 To negotiate around job design is, we argued, to reject the notion of technological determinism. It accepts that technology, as such, does not determine how jobs are defined, how the work should be done, and how the person doing the job relates (or does not relate) to other people in the workplace. The imoc~rtanr.~ of discussions of job design is the recognition that the organization of jobs and the use of machinery and equipment in those jobs is the result of political struggle and decision making, involving groups of people with different amounts of power to influence those decisions. Such discussions also move the focus away from the important, yet narrow, question of ergonomics, to the broader, more fundamental questions of quality of work. Important differences between countries concern the extent to which employees are able to effect change; these differences depend, in large part, on the different traditions of worker partici- pation and on the relationship between employers and workers. In Denmark and Norway, for example, there is a much stronger tradi- tion of worker participation than in either the United States or the United Kingdom. There is also a much higher rate of unionization in these countries (see Table 1~. It is not surprising, therefore, that some of the most progressive examples of workers securing a degree of control over decisions surrounding new technology are found in these countries. Women's position in the labor market and in the occupational hierarchy gives them less access to decision-making structures (via ~ ~ _ ~

OCR for page 395
FELICITY HENWOOD AND SALLY WYATT 427 the trade unions) than men. But their position has both positive and negative aspects. In particular, we have argued that women's relationship to work, both paid and unpaid, has led them in many cases to have different priorities from many male trade unionists. Many of women's priorities have proved particularly relevant in discussions of the quality of work and have since been taken up more widely by the trade unions. Our discussion of changing locations and changing hours of work showed that there currently exists the potential for radical so- cial change. The pervasiveness of the new technologies has opened a debate about the role of work in advanced industrial societies. Gender relations could both affect and be affected by changes in the role of work. The various proposals should be evaluated in terms of their benefit to individual workers, and not merely their effect on reducing unemployment levels; furthermore, discussions of, and choices about, the relative merits of the different schemes must take into account the existing differences between women and men in their relation to work, especially unpaid work. By rec- ognizing women's and men's different starting points, strategies and policies could, if the political will existed, set out to redress existing imbalances, resulting in a genuine redistribution of all forms of work (paid and unpaid) that would enable both women and men to achieve greater work fulfillment. In our discussion of the role of governments, employers, and trade unions in providing education and training, we argued that education and training should aim to increase the availability to individual workers of opportunities for satisfying work and should not merely aim to reduce unemployment in the short term. Fur- ther, it is not enough to provide training for all; efforts must be made to identify factors that prevent certain groups from taking advantage of such opportunities. The difficulties women face in taking part in education and training programs are well docu- mented. In addition to providing the necessary support services (such as child care) that will enable more women to participate in training schemes, trainers and educators must take into account the very different relationships girls and boys, women and men have to technology, and structure their training programs in such a way as to best overcome pant discrimination and socialization in this area. The formulation of strategies and policies aimed at dealing with the issues raised in this paper should start by identifying

OCR for page 395
428 MANAGING TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE existing differences and inequalities between groups of workers. We have been concerned here with gender inequality but there are many others age, race, and skill all divide workers and sometimes lead to conflicts of interest. Until these differences are recognized and a commitment is made to overcome resulting inequalities, it will be impossible for employees to make the best of opportunities that now exist for their participation in decision making regarding technological change. This commitment must be demonstrated at all levels, by governments, employers, and trade unions. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We would like to thank the following people who sent us ma- terial: Isa Bakker, Paula Bennett, Patricia Blackstaffe, Fernande Faulkner, Iris Fitzpatrick-Martin, Michael Gurstein, Michael Mc- Bane, Kathryn McMullen, Marylee Stephenson, and Jane Stinson from Canada; gannet Gr0nfel~t, Janni Nielsen, and Karen sj0rup from Denmark; Andreas Drinkuth, Sabine Gensior, Camilla Grebsbach-Gnath, Werner Kleges, Heinz Murer, Barbel Scholer, and Suzanne Seeland from the Federal Republic of Germany; Liisa Rant alaiho from Finland; Marie-Therse Letablier, Yvette Lucas, Elsbeth Monod, Martina Ni ChealIaigh, and Claire TerIon from France; Bente Rasmussen and Karl Thoresen from Norway; and Boe! Berner, Lars Ingelstram, Karin Ohtt, Lesley Palmer, Inga Persson-Tanimura, and Ulla Weigelt from Sweden. We are also grateful to Heidi Hartmann and members of the Panel on Technol- ogy and Women's Employment for their comments on an earlier draft. Their help greatly facilitated our task. Responsibility for errors of interpretation or of fact remain, of course, our own. REFERENCES Barou, Y. 1985 Reduction of working time: collective bargaining and government action. Pp. 211-226 in Employment Growth and Structural Change. Paris: OECD. Bermann, T. 1985 Not only windmills: female service workers and new technologies. Pp. 231-248 in A. Olerup, L. Schneider, and E. Monad, eds., Worsen, Work and Computcruation. Amsterdam: North-Holland. Berner, B. 1984 New technology and women's education in Sweden. Pp. 227-239 in S. Acker, ea., World Yearbook of Education 1984, Women and Education. New York: Kogan Paige, Nichols Publishing Co.

OCR for page 395
FELICITY HEN WOOD AND SALLY WYATT 429 Bjorn-Anderson, N. 1983 The charging roles of secretaries and clerks. Pp. 120-137in H.J. Otway and M. Peltu, eds., New Officc Tcchr~ology: Remark and Orgarusahonal Aspects. London: Francis Pinter. Boulet, J.-A. 1984 La diversification professionnelle des femmes en milieu de travail. Paper presented at a Colloquium on the Economic Status of Women in the Labor Market, Montreal, Canada. Cakir, A., H.J. Renter, L. van Schmude, and A. Armbruster 1978 Anpassung van Bildschmirmarbeitsplatzen an die physiche und psychishe Funktionsweise des Menschen. Bonn, Germany: Bun- desminister fur Arbeit und Sozialordnung. Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women 1982 Microclectror~ics arid Employmer~t: Issues of Concern. to Women A Brief to the Task Force on Microelectronics and Employment. July. Ottawa, Ontario. CEDEFOP 1984a Vocactiorza~ lEairur~g Systcrn~ in the Member States of the European Come murity, Comparative Study. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publi- cations of the European Communities. 1984b Vocatior~al lFair~ir~g Bulletin Number 15. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Commission of the European Communities 1983a Social Europe Special Issue. Directorate-General for Employment, So- cial Affairs and Education. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities. 1983b Social Europe, O(September) Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Education. Brussels: Commission of the Euro- pean Communities. September. C^~'n] Fin; Amber Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Education. Brussels: Commission of the Euro- pean Communities. 1984b European National Actions ore Ir~formatior' Technology. Information Technology Task Force, Intelligence Unit. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities, June. 1984c European Women ire Paid Employment 1984. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities. CUPE Research Department 1982 CUPE's Response to the Report of the Labour Carloads Task Fores on Microclectroruce and EmploymentIr. the Chips: Opportur~itie* People, Partr~crshipe. Ottawa: CUPE. David-McNeil, J. 1984 The Female Labour Force: A New Place in the Canadian Economy. Ottawa: Economic Council of Canada. Department of Employment, United Kingdom 1984 Employment Gazette 92 (12~. London: Office. 1984a Her Majesty's Stationery DELFA, The Committee for the Study of Working Hours 1984 Preferred working Hours. DELFA Debate Report No. 3. Stockholm: Ministry of Labour.

OCR for page 395
430 MANAGING TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE Deutsch, Steven 1986 International experiences with technological change. Monthly Labor Reuiew (March):35-40. Dirrheimer, A. 1983 Information Tcchnology and the long of Skilled Workers in the Service Sector. Report of the Evaluation of the Literature and of Interviews with Experts. Luxembourg: CEDEFOP. Engineering Industry Training Board 1984 Girls and Tcchnica1Er`,incerir`~. London: EITB. EOSYS Ltd. 1984 Case Studica in Information Tcchnology and Career Opportunities for Womcn. A Study by EOSYS Limited for the Manpower Services Commission. Sheffield, England: Manpower Services Commission, Training Division. Equal Opportunities Commission 1984 Thc Fact About Womcn Is . . . Manchester, U.K.: EOC. Evans, J. 1983 Negotiating technological change. Pp. 152-168 in H.J. Otway and M. Pletu, eds., New Office Technology: Human and Organisatior~al Aspects. London: E`rancis Pinter. Gensior, S. l~jalestad, Jostein 1981 Information Technology arid Parheipation: Problems arid Experiences. Oslo, Norway: Norwegian Computer Centre. 1984 New Technologies Possibilities for a New Valuation of Women's Work. Berlin: The Berlin Institute for Social Research and Socio- logical Practice. Him Pr`crrn ah Goldstein, N. 1984 The new training initiative: a great leap backward. Capil"~1 and Clads 23tSummer1. ~ l,~~~ Harding, J. 1983 Switched Off: Thc Scicnec Education of Girls. York, England: Long- man for Schools Council. Howard, R., and L. Schneider 1985 Worker Participation in Technological Change; Interests, Inilu- ence, and Scope. Paper prepared for the Panel on Technology and Women's Employment, Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council (February). Huws, U. 1984 Thc New Homeworkere- New Tcchnology arid the Charl~ir~g Location of Whitc-Collar Work. Low Pay Pamphlet No. 28. London: Low Pay Unit. ILO 1983 Yearbook of Lavour Statistics 1985. Geneva: ILO. Johannesson, J., and I. Persson-Tanimura 1984 Labour Market Policy trader Reconstruction Studies of the Swedish Lassoer Market and the Nicety of Labour Market Policy. An English summary calf the. rearm ~~',`~_~r:~:L .._ a_ a, t984:81 from the Delegation for Labour Market Policy Research (EFA). Stockholm: Swedish Ministry of Labour. ,~ ~ ~_^ ~ ^~ ~~~ and I urea arrLarourunn ROfl.

OCR for page 395
FELICITY NENWOOD AND SALLY WYATT 431 Johansen, D. 1984 Eroding jobs by bits and bytes. Our Timca, May. Leontief, W., and F. Duchin 1986 The Future Impact of Automation on Worker`. New York: Oxford University Press. Lie, M., and B. Rasmussen 1984 Office Work and Skills. Paper presented at the IFIP `'Women, Work and Computerizations conference, Italy. Markmann, H. 1985 The role of trade unions in coping with the labour implications of technological change. Pp. 141-147 in Employment Growth and Structural Change. Paris: OECD. Meade-King, M. 1985 Two into one will go. Guardian, June 27. Menzies, H. 1981 Womb and the Chip: Case Studies of the Effects of Informatics on Employmcn;t in Canada. Montreal, Canada: Institute for Research on Public Policy. Ministere de ['education rationale 1984 Note d'information. Venues, France: Ministere de ['education rationale. Monod, E. 1984 Telecommuting A New Work, but Is It Still Just the Same Old Story? Paper presented at the IFIP "Women, Work and Computerizations conference, Italy. OECD Secretariat 1985 The current debate on working-time adjustments. Pp. 188-196 in Employment Growth arut Structural Change. Paris: OECD. Peitchinis, S. 1984 Microelectronic Technology and Female Employment. Paper pre- sented at the Colloquium on the Economic Status of Women in the Labour Market, Montreal, Canada. sj0rup, K., and F. Thom~en 1984 The Future: Do Women Play a Part? Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde University Centre. Mimeograph. Thomsen, T. 1984 Country Report: Denmark. Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde Univer- sity Centre. Mimeograph. Thoresen, K. 1983 Working with visual display units. Pp. 85-104 in E. Fossum, ea., Compul;crisation of working L`ilc. Chichester, England: Ellis Horwood. Townson, M. 1983 The Impact of Technological Change on Women. Paper presented at the Canada Tomorrow Conference, Ottawa. Women's Bureau, Labour Canada 1982 Towards the Integration of Women into the High Technology Lab our Force in the National Capital Region. Discussion Paper No. 1 in Series B Changing World of Work, prepared by Communicado Associates, Ottawa: Lab our Canada.

OCR for page 395
434 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES coordinator in a community women's health clinic. She has con- ducted research on women's education, gender segregation in the labor market (with Myra Strober), and women's participation in high technology. She is currently researching the development of stratification by gender in technical occupations. Arnold has a B.A. from Srn~th College, an M.A. in women's studies from San Francisco State University, and an M.S. in statistics from Stanford University. BARBARA BARAN is a postgraduate research fellow at the Berkeley Roundtable on Internal Economy (BRIE) currently work- ing on a study to examine work reorganization and skill change in manufacturing and service industries for the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy. Her research has focused on the technological transformation of white-colIar work, with particu- lar emphasis on changes occurring in the structure of women's employment, and included a study of technological change in the insurance industry. Prior to returning to school, she served as a chairperson of the San Francisco Women's Union and was editor of a community newspaper in San Francisco. She has a B.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley. BRYNA SHORE F RASER is a senior program officer at the Na- tional Institute for Work and Learning in Washington, D.C. She is the editor of the Postsecondary Education for a Changing Econ- omy series and the director of the National Study of Employment in the Fast Food Industry. She has done extensive research on employment-related education and training for youth and adults. Her most recent publications have focused on the impact of com- puters and new technologies on training and the workplace. Fraser has a B.A. from Brandeis University and an M.A. in Slavic lan- guages from Indiana University. ELI GINZBERG is A. Barton Hepburn professor emeritus of economics and director of Conservation of Human Resources, Columbia University. From 1941 to 1981 he served as a consul- tant to various departments of the federal government, including State, Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Gen- eral Accounting Office. He is the author of 100 books, primarily on human resources and health policy, the most recent of which is Understanding Human Resources (Abt, 1985~. Ginzberg has an