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Shaping the Future of Work by Thomas A. Kochan

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CHAPTER 5

A New Age of Innovation?

Innovation obviously didn’t stop when the door closed on the 1980s. And while we all often fool ourselves into calling the present moment an era of profound change and innovation, I’m going to take a risk and make just that claim. I’ll leave it to some future historian to decide if I’m overstating the case. But in all my years of studying work, organizations, and labor management relations, I have not seen another era like the 1980s come along again until now. Let’s see if you agree after I review some of the exciting changes in the start-up and entrepreneurship community, in large firms, in existing unions, in new emerging forms of worker advocacy some are calling “alt-labor,” and in education. I’ll even go ...

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