and skills they employ. Third are the organizational, social, and institutional contexts in which work takes place. Finally, the nature of work encompasses the way work affects and relates to other aspects of daily life—the standards of living it produces for workers and their families, its relationship to community life, its effects on one's self-esteem and social status, etc.
Figure 1.1 seeks to understand these different aspects of work by first examining the key external factors affecting work and how it is changing. For example, one of the most widely recognized forces shaping work is technology. Indeed, one of the reasons there is so much debate today over how work is changing is that some are persuaded that the world is in the midst of another era of transformation in the technological infrastructure similar to those that triggered the first industrial revolution in the late 1700s and the early 1800s and the second industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century. For example, by the beginning of the 20th century, interchangeable parts, electric power, the electric motor, dedicated machine tools, the internal combustion engine, the telephone, and a number of new office technologies (including the