tinue to monitor changes in the aggregate structures of work and the content of jobs. To do this requires a national sample representative of the labor force. This type of data collection is required both to complete the data collection and analysis needed to make O*NET™ operational and to realize its potential and to track systematically the changes in work and their consequences for organizations, individuals, and society.
The committee's vision is of a forward-looking occupational analysis system that can be used by decision makers to monitor changes in work, design new jobs, formulate effective human resources policies, and provide timely career counseling. Advances in technology that allow for the consideration of large numbers of variables in a relational database have made it possible to include information not only about jobs and skills, knowledge and abilities, but also about the organizational and environmental forces that influence work. Furthermore, it is now possible to display and combine data to develop what-if scenarios as an aid to job design. In the committee's view, the use of occupational analysis tools to shape work is an extremely important and fruitful area for research and experimentation.
Throughout this study, we note that the laws and institutions governing work and employment largely reflect their industrial-era origins. It goes well beyond the scope of this effort to suggest what changes are needed to update employment laws and institutions to better support work and employment relations today. However, this book may provide a starting point for the analysis of the role of law by presenting data on how work has changed since the basic legal framework governing employment relations was enacted.