Friday, 22 November 2013

Competence for sale!

The 10th Work Research Conference was held a couple of weeks ago in Tampere, Finland. Overall I was quite happy about the whole conference. This time I thought of sharing some of my scribbles I made during the first keynote speech. The first keynote speaker was Hugh Lauder from the University of Bath. The title of his presentation was ”The Global Action for Graduate Jobs & The Problems of Human Capital”

So these are just something I picked and wrote down when listening to the presentation.

Global Auction.
Hugh Lauder used the concept of Global Auction to describe the knowledge economy. Whereas in normal auction the highest bidder wins, in global auction the winner is the one who bids the lowest, and you’re competing globally. Nothing that new but I thought the wording and comparison provoked some thoughts.  

Taylorism is still here. It’s just digital!
Another interesting point Lauder made was his notion of taylorism and how it still exists although there’s a tendency to think there’s no fit between taylorism and knowledge work. Hugh Lauder pointed out that taylorism has become digital. And that's because the basic question of our working lives still evolves around performance and effectiveness.

Earnings won’t increase along the age.
I remember when I first read news and research about gen Y and millenials and how the importance of education has decreased, meaning that a good education doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good career (as may have been truth to the previous generations). Well, according to Lauder there seems to be an utopia within the more experienced workers as well. He had collected data in the US and UK from around 1970 until 2007. Although the starting salary of the more educated people was a bit higher compared to the non-educated ones, the earnings didn’t increase after some time. In other words, the earnings didn’t increase along the age and experience.


I am still constructing my thoughts about these points and what they mean in terms of my work and what kind of stance I would like to apply. Maybe I will connect the dots one day.

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