Work and Organization Studies

Work and Organization Studies

It would be hard to imagine a better moment in history to study and influence the research and policies affecting organizations, people, and work. The upheaval in institutions, organizations, and individuals’ work lives is dramatic and disruptive. At the institutional level, we are in the midst of a persistent, worldwide employment crisis, with a jobs deficit carried forward from the Great Recession and a long-term trend of stagnating wages and growing inequalities in income, wealth, and opportunity.

At the organizational level, we continue to see rapid transformation in the nature of organizations, work, and people. Organizations are flattening, partnering, globalizing, outsourcing, open sourcing, downsizing, reengineering, and innovating in myriad ways in order to be competitive, innovative, and flexible in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world. The boundaries between work and family, government and industry, and organizations and supply chains are increasingly fluid.

At the individual level, we see the necessity for new skills at negotiating, managing work and family obligations, and seeing interconnected human systems; we see new ways of leading, often in a distributed way and in virtual environments; we see new diversity in the work force and the misalignment of individual needs and cultural expectations and stereotypes; and we see women and people of color continue to be disadvantaged, exacerbating the inequalities that already exist.

These are the pressing issues that the faculty and students in WOS are investigating. They are addressing critical questions pertaining to work, organizational design, leadership and change, negotiations and conflict resolution, decision-making, careers, and labor market institutions and policy making.