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for occupational analysts to think systematically about the range of forces influencing how work is structured. We start by summarizing the major findings underlying these themes, then we present implications for occupational analysis, for the military, and for policy and research.
Throughout this volume we have presented evidence that work is changing; that occupational analysis and classification systems such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles are backward-looking and do not accurately represent the structure of work today; and that a better system is needed that adequately describes the current status of work, takes into account the forces that influence the nature of work, and can be easily and frequently updated as changes occur. A logical but more speculative extension of our analysis of the role of occupational analysis systems is the vision that, if these tools can be designed to be forward-looking, they can serve as analytic aids to decision makers in designing jobs and in creating human resource management policies. In the view of the committee, this is an area in which future research and experimentation should be vigorously pursued.
Summary of the Evidence on the Changing Nature of Work
Some of the changes in work documented in this volume are long-term and evolutionary in nature and some are of more recent origin. The most visible long-term changes can be seen in the evolution of the overall structure of occupations. The past several decades have witnessed a gradual expansion of technical and professional occupations, as blue-collar and farming occupations have declined. Managerial employment has remained relatively constant, although the work traditionally thought to be the province of managers is now being shared with employees across different levels of the occupational hierarchy, especially in cases in which high-performance work systems are being used. Both lower-level and professional service occupations are expanding.