LabFam seminar series: Problems in the acquisition, use and development of skills at work: a call for new interdisciplinary research
Speaker: Damian Grimshaw, King's College London
In a context of new digital technologies and macroeconomic uncertainty (exacerbated during the pandemic), employer incentives to invest in training and career paths, and to enhance the quality of working life, are changing with potentially adverse consequences for inequalities. This research highlights four puzzles: high skill demand lags behind high skill supply; real wages are not keeping up with higher skill supply; the skill bias of new technologies is uneven; and diverse organisational factors make the skill-productivity-job quality relationship highly contingent. The research review highlights the need for new investigations into employer demand for skills and its contingent relationship with forms of innovation, productivity and work organisation. Such research would contribute to the important policy goal of reducing society’s over-reliance on work intensification and Taylorist production as the main motors for economic growth.
About the speaker:
Damian Grimshaw is Professor of Employment Studies and Associate Dean for Research Impact.His published work covers international comparisons of low-wage labour markets, outsourcing and HRM, technology and the future of work, precarious work, collective bargaining and gender inequality. His research outlook crosses multiple disciplines, including labour market analysis, comparative employment relations, feminist economics, sociology of work and management.