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The Future of Work

Britannica is getting sloppy with their blog postings. Most posts – even ones I disagree with – are usually fairly well thoughtout. Then, they post this: The Future World of Work: Flexible and Decentralized. The post is poorly presented and largely speculative. Most obvious is the generational argument. Work in organizations is changing. That has nothing to do with generational differences. Technological advances in communication and collaboration tools are producing a distributed workforce. What does that have to do with age? The idea that work is changing is worth exploring. The concept that it’s generational is silly.


  1. George, I think Britannica has been sloppy – very sloppy – with their posts for some time now. If we went back through them we would find a litany of very poor articles.

    Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 8:41 am | Permalink
  2. Jared Stein wrote:

    I agree with @Stephen, though I would add that perhaps not for Britannica’s lack of trying. The sheer volume of posts actually pushes some interesting topics to the surface, though not with the sort of frequency that keeps them in my feed reader.

    Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  3. Mark Bullen wrote:

    More of the same superficial “generational analysis”. It also pushes the worn out clich├ęs about the “knowledge economy”. On that, I urge people to read chapter 8 in Norm Friesen’s “Rethinking E-learning Research” and particularly the section, “The Myth of the Knowledge Economy”

    Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink
  4. ken long wrote:

    aren’t there are generational patterns in he preferred methods of technological adaptation? i see kids much more comfortable using text than my generation’s use of email. the use of social network software is pretty strongly correlated with age in my college and in Army units across the board, for example. It’s not absurd to think that generations might have preferences for the tools they have become accustomed to. Certainly work spaces and work processes will organize around media and methods which will be a forcing function for people to use them regardless of their preference.
    the article is from a futurist giving her vanilla schtick.

    Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Permalink