Paul Osterman

Paul Osterman is Professor of Human Resources and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the coeditor of Working in America: A Blueprint for the New Labor Market.

  • Creating Good Jobs

    An Industry-Based Strategy

    Paul Osterman

    Experts discuss improving job quality in low-wage industries including retail, residential construction, hospitals and long-term healthcare, restaurants, manufacturing, and long-haul trucking.

    Americans work harder and longer than our counterparts in other industrialized nations. Yet prosperity remains elusive to many. Workers in such low-wage industries as retail, restaurants, and home construction live from paycheck to paycheck, juggling multiple jobs with variable schedules, few benefits, and limited prospects for advancement. These bad outcomes are produced by a range of industry-specific factors, including intense competition, outsourcing and subcontracting, failure to enforce employment standards, overt discrimination, outmoded production and management systems, and inadequate worker voice. In this volume, experts look for ways to improve job quality in the low-wage sector. They offer in-depth examinations of specific industries—long-term healthcare, hospitals and outpatient care, retail, residential construction, restaurants, manufacturing, and long-haul trucking—that together account for more than half of all low-wage jobs.

    The book's sector view allows the contributors to address industry-specific variations that shape operational choices about work. Drawing on deep industry knowledge, they consider important distinctions within and between these industries; the financial, institutional, and structural incentives that shape the choices employers make; and what it would take to make more jobs better jobs.

    Contributors Eileen Appelbaum, Rosemary Batt, Dale Belman, Julie Brockman, Françoise Carré, Susan Helper, Matt Hinkel, Tashlin Lakhani, JaeEun Lee, Raphael Martins, Russell Ormiston, Paul Osterman, Can Ouyang, Chris Tilly, Steve Viscelli

    • Hardcover $65.00 £55.00
  • Economy in Society

    Economy in Society

    Essays in Honor of Michael J. Piore

    Paul Osterman

    Prominent economists discuss internal labor markets, the dynamics of immigration, labor market regulation, and other key topics in the work of Michael J. Piore.

    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.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £5.99
  • Working in America

    Working in America

    A Blueprint for the New Labor Market

    Paul Osterman, Thomas A. Kochan, Richard M. Locke, and Michael J. Piore

    A study of the changing face of the American 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.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00
    • Paperback $5.75 £4.99
  • Internal Labor Markets

    Internal Labor Markets

    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

    • Hardcover
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00

Contributor

  • Is the Universe a Hologram?

    Is the Universe a Hologram?

    Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions

    Adolfo Plasencia

    Questions about the physical world, the mind, and technology in conversations that reveal a rich seam of interacting ideas.

    Science today is more a process of collaboration than moments of individual “eurekas.” This book recreates that kind of synergy by offering a series of interconnected dialogues with leading scientists who are asked to reflect on key questions and concepts about the physical world, technology, and the mind. These thinkers offer both specific observations and broader comments about the intellectual traditions that inform these questions; doing so, they reveal a rich seam of interacting ideas.

    The persistent paradox of our era is that in a world of unprecedented access to information, many of the most important questions remain unsolved. These conversations (conducted by a veteran science writer, Adolfo Plasencia) reflect this, with scientists addressing such issues as intelligence, consciousness, global warming, energy, technology, matter, the possibility of another earth, changing the past, and even the philosophical curveball, “is the universe a hologram?”

    The dialogues discuss such fascinating aspects of the physical world as the function of the quantum bit, the primordial cosmology of the universe, and the wisdom of hewn stones. They offer optimistic but reasoned views of technology, considering convergence culture, algorithms, “Beauty ≠ Truth,” the hacker ethic, AI, and other topics. And they offer perspectives from a range of disciplines on intelligence, discussing subjects that include the neurophysiology of the brain, affective computing, collaborative innovation, and the wisdom of crowds.

    Conversations with Hal Abelson, Ricardo Baeza-Yates, John Perry Barlow, Javier Benedicto, José Bernabéu, Michail Bletsas, Jose M. Carmena, David Casacuberta, Yung Ho Chang, Ignacio Cirac, Gianluigi Colalucci, Avelino Corma, Bernardo Cuenca Grau, Javier Echeverria, José Hernández-Orallo, Hiroshi Ishii, Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Henry Jenkins, Anne Margulies, Mario J. Molina, Tim O'Reilly, John Ochsendorf, Paul Osterman, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Rosalind W. Picard, Howard Rheingold, Alejandro W. Rodriguez, Israel Ruiz, Sara Seager, Richard Stallman, Antonio Torralba, Bebo White, José María Yturralde

    • Hardcover $19.95 £15.99
    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • Production in the Innovation Economy

    Production in the Innovation Economy

    Richard M. Locke and Rachel L. Wellhausen

    Reports from an ambitious MIT research project that makes the case for encouraging the colocation of manufacturing and innovation.

    Production in the Innovation Economy emerges from several years of interdisciplinary research at MIT on the links between manufacturing and innovation in the United States and the world economy. Authors from political science, economics, business, employment and operations research, aeronautics and astronautics, and nuclear engineering come together to explore the extent to which manufacturing is key to an innovative and vibrant economy.

    Chapters include survey research on gaps in worker skill development and training; discussions of coproduction with Chinese firms and participation in complex manufacturing projects in China; analyses of constraints facing American start-up firms involved in manufacturing; proposals for a future of distributed manufacturing and a focus on product variety as a marker of innovation; and forecasts of powerful advanced manufacturing technologies on the horizon. The chapters show that although the global distribution of manufacturing is not an automatic loss for the United States, gains from the colocation of manufacturing and innovation have not disappeared. The book emphasizes public policy that encourages colocation through, for example, training programs, supplements to private capital, and interfirm cooperation in industry consortia. Such approaches can help the United States not only to maintain manufacturing capacity but also, crucially, to maximize its innovative potential.

    Contributors Joyce Lawrence, Richard K. Lester, Richard M. Locke, Florian Metzler, Jonas Nahm, Paul Osterman, Elisabeth B. Reynolds, Donald B. Rosenfeld, Hiram M. Samel, Sanjay E. Sarma, Edward S. Steinfeld, Andrew Weaver, Rachel L. Wellhausen, Olivier de Weck

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00