Paul Osterman


Paul Osterman

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Paul Osterman is a Professor Emeritus of Human Resources and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management as well as a member of the Department of Urban Planning at MIT.  From July 2003 to June 2007 he also served as Deputy Dean at the MIT Sloan School.

His research concerns changes in work organization within companies, career patterns and processes within firms, economic development, urban poverty, and public policy surrounding skills training and employment programs.

Osterman has been a senior administrator of job training programs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has consulted widely for government agencies, foundations, community groups, firms, and public interest organizations.

His most recent book is Who Will Care For Us: Long Term Care and the Long Term Workforce (Russell Sage,2017). Other recent books include  Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone (Russell Sage, 2011); The Truth About Middle Managers: Who They Are, How They Work, How They Matter (Harvard Business School Press, 2009); Gathering Power: The Future of Progressive Politics in America (Beacon Press, 2003),; Securing Prosperity: The American Labor Market: How It Has Changed and What to Do About It (Princeton University Press, 1999), and Working In America: A Blueprint for the New Labor Market (MIT Press, 2001).

Osterman is also the author of Employment Futures: Reorganization, Dislocation, and Public Policy; Getting Started: The Youth Labor MarketThe Mutual Gains Enterprise: Forging a Winning Partnership Among Labor, Management, and Government; and Change At Work. He is the editor of two books, Internal Labor Markets and Broken Ladders: Managerial Careers in the New Economy. In addition, he has written numerous academic journal articles and policy issue papers on topics such as labor market policy, the organization of work within firms, careers, job training programs, economic development, and anti-poverty programs.


"Contract Employment: Measurement and Implications for Employer–Employee Relationships."

Osterman, Paul. ILR Review Vol. 76, No. 2 (2023): 320-356.

"A Forum on the Politics of Skills."

​Osterman, Paul, Nichola Lowe, Bridget Anderson, Joe William Trotter, Natasha Iskander, and Rina Agarwala. ILR Review Vol. 75, No. 5 (2022): 1348-1368. Download Paper.

"How American Adults Obtain Work Skills: Results of a New National Survey."

Osterman, Paul. ILR Review Vol. 75, No. 3 (2022): 578-607. Download Paper.

"Skill Training for Adults."

Paul Osterman. In MIT Work of the Future, Research Brief, Cambridge, MA: October 2020.

"Six Labor Policies We Need Now."

Kelly, Erin L., Emilio J. Castilla, Thomas A. Kochan, Barbara Dyer, Paul Osterman, and Nathan Wilmers. Boston Review, September 4, 2020.

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