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Guide to the Report
The next chapter presents a general overview of the major external factors that can influence both the organization and content of work. Chapter 3 turns to the organizational context of work and reviews what is known about recent trends in the restructuring of organizations and what these changes in organizational context imply for work and work relationships. Chapter 4 synthesizes recent research on changes in the actual content and structure of blue-collar, service, managerial, professional, and technical work. These chapters constitute our analysis of what is known and unknown about the ways in which work seems to be changing.
Chapter 5 introduces the topic of occupational analysis and explores what the findings of the preceding chapters imply for current and future systems of occupational analysis and classification. Chapter 6 recapitulates our analysis of the civilian sector for the special case of the Army. Chapter 7 details the committee's central conclusions and implications for policy and research.
The detailed discussion in the chapters is guided by four themes, three of which concern increasing heterogeneity. First, the workforce is becoming more diverse with respect to gender, race, education, and other demographic characteristics. The most visible of these demographic changes over the past 20 years has been the increasing participation and expanding role of women in both the civilian and the military workforces. The increasing presence of women in the workforce means that there are more families in which both spouses work and more single parents in the workforce. As a result, the needs of workers and their families are changing in ways that make work and family decisions highly interdependent. We currently do not have very good data on what the increasing presence of women means for the nature of work in most occupations.
Second, the boundaries between lines of work are becoming more fluid. Traditional distinctions associated with vertical (hierarchical) divisions of labor, such as manager-worker and exempt-nonexempt, no longer seem useful as they once were for distinguishing between lines of work. Horizontal divisions of labor (the allocation of distinct duties to specific positions or jobs)