to keep up with the pace of change in how work is being structured. Moreover, given advances in the technologies available for displaying and communicating how alternative tasks might be combined, the committee believes that it may be possible for these systems to become more forward-looking and serve as analytic aids to decision makers. Without an occupational analysis system that can detect changes in the structure and content of work, it will be difficult to know whether work is changing until the change is complete, at which point attempts to fashion the change are moot.

The committee's major conclusions regarding debates about jobs and work, implications for occupational analysis, the Army, future research directions, and policy follow. A detailed discussion of these conclusions, including a summary of key findings, is presented in Chapter 7.


Four themes emerged from the committee's analysis. Three concern increasing heterogeneity of workers, work, and the workplace, and the fourth focuses on the need for a systematic approach to understanding how work is changing. First, the workforce is becoming more diverse with respect to gender, race, education, and immigrant status; these changes appear to have resulted in greater heterogeneity within traditional occupational categories. Second, the boundaries between who performs which jobs and the employment outcomes and experiences of individuals working in different occupations are becoming more fluid. The evidence suggests that both military and civilian organizations are using a wider variety of workers and skills to accomplish their goals. Third, the range of choices around how work is structured appears to be increasing, and these decisions are interdependent. The fourth and final theme flows from this interdependency. The notion that decision makers' responses to changing markets, demographics, and technologies, the human resource policies and systems employed in organizations, and the work structures and outcomes they produce for organizations are interrelated leads to the need for an integrated, systematic approach to understanding how the context of work is changing and the implications of these changes.

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