Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Something I Need To Think About Later

David Foster:
While information technology had led to the creation of many very-high-skill jobs, it has also resulted in de-skilling of many other jobs. Is the average skill level in a large chain retailer higher or lower than the average skill level in the aggregate of small local businesses that it replaced? It’s hard to say. Many knowledge-intensive functions which were previously done locally are now centralized and/or automated: the number of people who understand how to manage inventory and re-ordered is probably considerably fewer than it was with the thousands of local stores. On the other hand, the large chain offers many very-high-skilled jobs…mathematical studies of distribution strategies, for example…which did not exist in the small-independent-retailer world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As you think about Foster, an anecdote you may want to keep in mind is, Wendy's - I think it was Wendy's, maybe Burger King - had too many mistakes by cashiers working the cash registers, so they put pictures of the menu items on the button. You don't push buttons for $1.99, you push a button with a picture of a cheeseburger. dave.s.

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