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Paul Osterman

Paul Osterman is Nanyang Technological University Professor of Human Resources and Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is coauthor (with Thomas A. Kochan, Richard M. Locke, and Michael J. Piore) of Working in America: A Blueprint for the New Labor Market (MIT Press, 2001).

Titles by This Author

A Blueprint for the New Labor Market

The American labor market faces many deep-rooted problems, including persistence of a large low-wage sector, worsening inequality in earnings, employees' lack of voice in the workplace, and the need of employers to maximize flexibility if they are to survive in an increasingly competitive market. The impetus for this book is the absence of a serious national debate about these issues.

The book represents nearly three years of deliberation by more than 250 people drawn from business, labor, community groups, academia, and government. It traces today's labor-market policy and laws back to the New Deal and to a second wave of social regulation that began in the 1960s. Underlying the current system are assumptions about who is working, what workers do, and how much job security workers enjoy. Economic and social changes have rendered those assumptions invalid and have resulted in mismatches between labor institutions and efficient and equitable deployment of the workforce, as well as between commitments to the labor market and family responsibilities. This book should launch a national dialogue on how to update our policies and institutions to catch up with the changes in the nature of work, in the workforce, and in the economy.

Titles by This Editor

Essays in Honor of Michael J. Piore
Edited by Paul Osterman

In Economy in Society, five prominent social scientists honor Michael J. Piore in original essays that explore key topics in Piore’s work and make significant independent contributions in their own right. Piore is distinctive for his original research that explores the interaction of social, political, and economic considerations in the labor market and in the economic development of nations and regions. The essays in this volume reflect this rigorous interdisciplinary approach to important social and economic questions.

M. Diane Burton’s essay extends our understanding of internal labor markets by considering the influence of surrounding firms; Natasha Iskander builds on Piore’s theory of immigration with a study of Mexican construction workers in two cities; Suzanne Berger highlights insights from Piore’s work on technology and industrial development; Andrew Schrank takes up the theme of regulatory discretion; and Charles Sabel discusses theories of public bureaucracy.

Edited by Paul Osterman

Contrary to the popular image of change and turnover, most Americans spend the majority of their working lives employed in a single firm. The original essays in this book discuss the origins and importance of these internal labor markets, providing new insights into their changing power and influence. They also explore the more varied and dynamic employment practices that have evolved in large companies in response to new government regulations, increased competition for managerial talent, the difficult economy of the 1970s, and to the threat of unions.

Contents: Introduction: The Nature and Importance of Internal Labor Markets, Paul Osterman; The Development of Internal Labor Markets in American Manufacturing Firms, Sanford M. Jacoby; The Making and Shaping of Job and Pay Structures in the Iron and Steel Industry, Bernard Elbaum; Variations in Managerial Career Structures in High-Technology Firms: The Impact of Organizational Characteristics on Internal Labor Markets, Rosabeth Moss Kanter; The Transformation of the Industrial Relations and Personnel Function, Thomas A. Kochan and Peter Cappelli; White-Collar Internal Labor Markets, Paul Osterman; Job Training, Employment Practices, and the Large Enterprise: The Case of Costly Transferable Skills, Paul Ryan; The Search for a Societal Effect in the Production of Company Hierarchy: A Comparison of France and Germany, Marc Maurice, Francois Sellier, and Jean-Jacques Silvestre; Internal Labor Markets and Paternalism in Rural Areas, Peter B. Doeringer.