1989). Relations between employees at all levels of the organization appear to be more important because of the spread of collaborative forms of work organization. Employers have gone from introducing groups as a stable building block of organizations to using multiple types of permanent and temporary groups to accomplish organizational goals—supervised teams, self-managed teams, cross-functional teams, quality circles, labor-management committees, problem-solving groups, project teams, task forces, top management teams, etc. The job analysis literature has traditionally defined the interactive dimension to include communication and negotiating skills, but has paid little attention to emotional labor. Making someone happy, excited, calm, or committed is a crucial skill in a growing number of jobs.
In the following sections, we also discuss the increasing importance of information technology, not because it represents a fundamentally new dimension of work, but because information technologies are creating an array of new jobs and changing how existing jobs are performed. In addition, we examine the influences of changing markets, changing workforce demographics, changing organizational structures, and changing employment relationships on the structure and content of work.
Blue-collar workers are usually viewed as workers who are nonmanagerial (i.e., covered by the National Labor Relations Act) and nonexempt (i.e., covered by the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act). Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not use "blue-collar work" as a specific occupational category, their categories that come the closest to encompassing the popular notion of blue-collar work are "skilled and semi-skilled production" and "craft workers," "operatives," and "laborers." Using these categories, blue-collar workers represented approximately 25 percent of the labor force in 1996, down from 40 percent in 1950. In this section, we focus on blue-collar work in manufacturing, since this is the typical image associated with this category. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of blue-collar work is its presumed position in an organization's vertical division of labor. Blue-collar workers are assumed to be supervised