Tag Archives: Technology

Why progress always ‘puts people out of work’

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation, Adjunct Professor(ret.), Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Let’s refine our definition of “the employment problem” by understanding that the biggest, most labor-intensive companies—the kind that absorbed all those farm laborers and created the 20th-Century middle-class—were inevitably destined to become not “centers of employment,” but centers of unemployment.

Here we begin by recounting my Grand Rapids speech and go on to explain the Vector One and Vector Two phenomenon, the entire phenomenon of ever-more-efficient companies and organizations (or entire sectors, like our friends the farmers) becoming smaller and smaller in terms of employment. Meanwhile, new technologies and new products and new market forces breed “job creation” elsewhere in the economy. A company or even an entire sector must do things better and more efficiently, or die. They eventually will die anyway unless they reinvent themselves as producers of new goods and services rather than inevitably obsolete goods and services.

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It’s the Livelihood, Stupid:

JP Bio PhotoDr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

How Dumbed-Down Politics Is Riskimng Us Lose the Economic Competition

With ideological shouters exhorting the citizenry toward one precipice on the left and another on the right, a polarized America seems poised for a rocky future.  The debt bomb and the entitlement bomb, to say nothing of other bombs, wait for no man. Depending which true-believer cliff one leans toward, America is descending into either a communal hell of withering fortune and lost freedoms, or an eternal blue flame of capitalist greed. If you find the shouters outrageously out of touch (not in their Doomsday forecasts, but in their self-fulfilling gridlock), you obviously are not alone. So where can a reader turn to find a compelling centrist message for our generation, or even a little book of bull’s-eye polemic? Where is Frank Capra when you need him, someone who can make us believe in the American Dream even as the 21st Century limps into adolescence?

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Dr. John Psarouthakis,
Executive Editor, The Business Thinker; Founder and former CEO JPIndustries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation.
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The new entrepreneurial company will not be the only locus for major changes in organizational sub-culture.   We are already seeing dramatic changes on the manufacturing shop floor of companies that are literally decades of years old. The new computerized technologies, the existence of internal networks of information exchange, as well as the advent of telecommunications technology, has made the old hierarchical and function-based organization obsolete. The new manufacturing plant or enterprise is becoming much “flatter”, with significantly more interaction across previously separate functions and groups. There has began to give much more power to groups such as work teams, where managers play more of the role of facilitator and liaison with other units, as opposed to parent or king.