ERIC Number: ED302687
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
New Technology and Skill Formation: Issues and Hypotheses. Technical Paper No. 1.
Bailey, Thomas; Noyelle, Thierry
Most recent research on the impact of the new computer technology on skills has been focused on developing arguments that either support or contradict the "deskilling" thesis put forth by some economists and sociologists in the mid- and late 1970s. Although this research remains inconclusive, some generalizations can be suggested. The research shows that at least in the large core firms in both manufacturing and services, microelectronics is eliminating rather than increasing the lowest skilled jobs. An example from banking also supports findings that microelectronics enables the broadening of skill requirements for middle-level jobs, while the introduction of computer-based technology leads to greater specialization of upper-level and managerial personnel. Surprisingly, however, the large body of research on employment and technology has little to say about the impact of microelectronic technology on the process of skill formation. Evidence from a study of banking indicates, however, that in this industry at least, the processes of skill formation are undergoing a major transformation, suggesting both an increasing role for outside educational preparation and more firm-based training for highly specific objectives. In order to allow for further research, a framework can be suggested emphasizing the relationship between the development and diffusion of the new technology and the availability of skilled labor, the uncertainty in labor supply and the firm's markets, and the institutional and social factors that shape the firm's response. (KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Education and Employment, New York, NY.
Note: For a related document, see CE 051 710.