Work and Employment Essay



According to Hull (1997), the modern working environment is challenging, and this raises a lot of questions about the dynamics in work and employment. In order to enhance the functioning of the work environment, it is critical to explore issues that surround the modern working environment.

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The dynamics of work and employment involve issues of gender, legal issues, skills, and the changing demands of technology among a series of other issues in the country.

In this paper, It is argued that the changing needs of work and employment are factors that must be explored in order to enhance better working relations within the modern working environment. Employers and employees, as well as organizations and the labour industry must be ready to confront the realities of the complexity of work and employment.

The dynamics at work and employment in the modern working environment are also explored in this paper. Modern working environment is taken to be the collective organizational expanse in the midst of the organizational dynamics of work and employment that are being witnessed in the contemporary economy.

Through an exploration of literature, the paper brings out the issues that confront working and employment in the contemporary economy.

Literature review

Skills in work and employment

There are a lot of changes in the contemporary economy. These changes need to be captured in order to better the functioning of modern organizations. It is argued that the question of skills is critical in work and employment.

According to Grugulis and Lloyd (2010), the question of skills and how these skills are distributed across the labour industry determines the value of the work environment and its contribution to organizational performance. The qualification of employees change with the changing demands in different industries in the economy. This is the main challenge in the management of skills.

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The question of skills in the workplace in not a new issue since it is an issue that has come out in the labour theory (Payne 2000). The modern work environment requires diversity of skills in order to deal with the multiple complexities of work and employment (Junor 2010).

The issue of skills at work and employment has moved away from the simple question of asking and specifying the roles of employees in the workplace to quite complex questions of whether the current nature of labourers in the modern labour industry can provide employees who are conversant with the challenges and needs of the contemporary work environment.

What comes out from the findings is that there is a widening gap between the demand for skills and the rate at which the global labour industry can supply the required labour skills to meet the demands of the modern working environment (Salomon and Centre for Literacy 2009).

There is need for employees to diversify their skills in this era of industrialization, and the need to make use of the few available resources to bring about success and advancement of business and other institutions within the modern economy (United States, United States & United States 2000).

This raises the question of the demand for knowledge in the economy since knowledge is the sole source of skills in the society (Junor 2010). The industrialized economies in the world have an upper hand when it comes to the balance of skills and knowledge in work and employment.

The current state of the global labour market shows a cultivation of an active policy environment within the labour market. One of the key policy areas is skills in the economy (Grugulis and Lloyd 2010).

Barrett and O’Connell (2001) argued that training is the main way through which employees can get updated with the diverse skills that are required to manage functions in the prevailing work environment that is proving to be quite competitive and demanding.

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Technology advancement and adoption in the economy, and the question of work and employment

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Technology is seen as a fundamental ingredient to economic development. The question of technology adoption in the work environment has come into the picture with the advancement in information and communication technology, and the strong feeling of how information and communication technology can advance the work environment (Bharati and Chaudhury 2006).

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The issue of technology development has inseparable links with the issue of skills. Employees are being pressed to gain technological skills in order to enhance administration and management through technology. Technology is seen as a great asset in the work environment.

The main aim of technology in organizational contexts is to enhance speed and efficiency in the discharge of organizational tasks by organizational employees. It is critical to observe that there are diverse perspectives on the issue of technology development and the issue of work and employment in the contemporary work environment (Jenkins 2008).

While most people see technology as a vital tool for efficiency and effectiveness in production, other people blame the advancement in technology as a source of problems in the labour industry. However, it has emerged strongly that technology has been used by a substantial number of companies as a tool for dealing with the problems of the rising costs of labour in the world.

As the demand for technology keeps rising, the question that ought to be explored is whether technology is contributing evenly to economic development, considering the concerns of technology adoption in the global labour industry (Kleynhans 2006). The United Kingdom is one of the benchmark countries in terms of technology adoption in improving efficiency and effectiveness in the work environment.

Most analysts in the labour industry argue that the best way to embrace technology in the modern economy is through embracing the training of employees in line with the emerging technologies so that they can be effectively deployed in organizational advancement.

However, there are a number of implications for training employees. Training can be an all expensive affair for most organizations, especially when there is a low level of technology adoption among the employees. Unlike the developing countries, there is a higher rate of technology adoption in the UK. This means that the costs of training employees on technology adoption will be slightly lower (Barrett and O’Connell 2001).

The question of gender in work and employment

Jeans (2011) observed that the subject of gender studies in the labour industry began even before the industrial revolution in Western Europe. The issue of gender mainstreaming has become vocal in the modern labour industry. In the recent times, this debate has gained momentum courtesy of the growth of feminist movements across the world.

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The issue of equal treatment in employment is no longer just treated as an advancement of activism or women’s representation in employment, but also a legislative issue that is forcing a number of legislative reforms in order to capture it.

Women have often been segregated in employment, with several reasons being given explaining why the rate of women absorption in the industry is still low compared to the number of men who are absorbed in the labour industry.

It should come out clearly that the tasks of men and women in diverse work environments vary. However, this can no longer be used as a basis upon which women are locked out of the active labour industry. Women are taking up the challenge and are pursuing skills that are critical to placing them in the labour industry.

According to Tuchtfeldt (2008), modern managers are increasingly put under pressure by human rights bodies to ensure that they strike a balance in gender representation in their organizations. However, the variation in the level of skills between men and women remains to be a challenge in attaining a balance between women and men in the workplace (Sealy and Doherty 2012).

The question that ought to be asked is whether the gender balance of equal representation can be truly attained given the argument that there is no balance at the rate of learning and skill attainment between men and women. This remains a debatable issue as organizations keep inventing means of empowering women so that they can match the competition from men for employment opportunities.

Women have been subjected to gender-based violence at the workplace. This also forms art of the ongoing legislative processes on how to strike a balance in human resource to eliminate all odds of gender victimization at the workplace, thereby allowing women to climb the ladders in the corporate world (Sealy and Doherty 2012).

The recent corporate world has seen a resurgence of women who are proving to equal men in top managerial positions (Jeanes 2011). Apart from the dispute between genders in employment, empirical studies are also pointing to the fact the changing roles of gender in diverse work environments. It has emerged that there are a substantial number of jobs than are reserved for women than are men (Scholarios and Taylor 2011).

Rationalization in work and employment

Hales (2000) observed that the ideal of rationalizing the work environment is being advanced by liberals in the field of organizational management.

When looked at in terms of corporate management, rationalization is taken as the step of scrutinizing and selecting of corporate leaders and employees who can be able to think of the organization and develop work practices that can help the organization to sail through the complexities of the modern economy.

Corporate organizations no longer fill work positions by basing on the principles of personnel management, but they do so by embracing the principles of modern human resource management. In modern human resource management, employees have to steer the organization towards achieving both the short-term and the long-term objectives. Even the job positions in organizations are crafted in a strategic manner.

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This means that rationalization goes further than just the recruitment of employees. Rationalization goes into the definition and crafting and description of job positions in organizations. Therefore, modern employees need to have knowledge and be competitive in terms of applying knowledge in finding growth solutions to the organization (Noon 2010).


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There are a substantial number of developments in work and employment in the current global economy. The current global economy faces a lot of challenges that bring about complexities, thus necessitating the changes in work and employment to address the complexities. In the paper, four main issues that denote changes in work and employment have come out.

These are the issue of demand for skills in the workplace, technology adoption in organizations, the question of gender in work and employment, and rationalization in work and employment in modern corporate organizations. Exploration of these issues has pointed to the fact that the complexity in work and employment in the globalised economy cannot be addressed by focusing on a single issue.

Reference List

Barrett, A. and O’Connell, P.J. (2001) “Does training generally work? The returns to in-company training”, Industrial and Labour Relations Review, 54 (3), 647-662.

Bharati, P. and Chaudhury, A. (2006) “Studying the current status of technology adoption”, Communications of the ACM, 49(10), 88-93.

Grugulis, l. and Lloyd, C., (2010) Skill and the labour process: The conditions and consequences of change. In: Thompson P, Smith C (eds) Working Life: Renewing Labour Process Analysis. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 91-112.

Hales, C. (2000) Managing through organisation: The management process, forms of organisation and the work of managers, Business Press Thomas Learning: London.

Hull, G. (1997) Changing work, changing workers: Critical perspectives on language, literacy, and skills, State Univ. of New York Press: Albany.

Jeanes, E. L. (2011) Handbook of gender, work, and organization. Chichester, Wiley: West Sussex.

Jenkins, R. (2008) “Trade, technology and employment in South Africa”, Journal of Development Studies, 44 (1), 60-79.

Junor, A. (2010) “Symposium: Innovation, skills and training”, The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 21(2), 23-25.

Kleynhans, R. (2006) Human resource management, Pearson/Prentice Hall South Africa: Cape Town, South Africa.

Noon, M. (2010) “The shackled runner: time to rethink positive discrimination?”, Work Employment Society, 24, 728-739.

Payne, J. (2000) “The unbearable lightness of skill: the changing meaning of skill in UK policy discourses and some implications for education and training”, Journal of Education Policy, 15(3), 353-69.

Salomon, M. and Centre for Literacy. (2009) Workplace literacy & essential skills: What works and why : literature review, Centre for Literacy of Quebec: Montreal, Que.

Scholarios, D. and Taylor, P. (2011) “Beneath the glass ceiling: Explaining gendered role segmentation in call centres”, Human Relations, 64(10), 1291-1319.

Sealy, R. and Doherty, N. (2012) Women in finance: a springboard to corporate board positions?. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Tuchtfeldt, S. (2008). Human resource management, ideology and gender: An explorative approach to recruiting practices and the special case of executive search firms, GRIN Verlag GmbH: München.

United States., United States., and United States. (2000) Workplace essential skills: Resources related to the SCANS competencies and foundation skills, The Office: Washington, D.C.

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