Opening the Black BoxSpace, Time and the Geography of the Labor Process<br />Presentation to Geography Seminar<br />What’s...
Outline<br />The Job Crisis<br />Geography to the rescue!?!<br />Towards a new social compact? <br />
Typical proposed solutions<br />
Walt, Carmen De Navas, Bernadette Proctor and Jessica Smith (2011) Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the U...
http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2011/01/art3full.pdf<br />
Pittsburgh steel work in the 1950s<br />Steel-production, material transformation<br />Work, job, career and generational ...
Silicon Valley in the 1990s<br />Information transformation<br />87% of all job growth 1990-2001 in firms that didn’t exis...
ISP Customer Service in 2006<br />Information Processing<br />Agents in South Africa, interacting with internet service pr...
Rethinking economic institutions<br />Geographic analysis of informational cities & economies<br />Networked infrastructur...
Labor process<br />Labor<br />Process<br />WORK<br />SPACE<br />TIME<br />EMPLOYMENT<br />
SWET-Dimensions of labor process<br />WORK<br />SPACE<br />TIME<br />EMPLOYMENT<br />
SPACE (of labor process)<br /><ul><li>Def:  Material support for time-sharing social practices.  (Territorial and tele-med...
WORK<br /><ul><li>Def: Actual activities people do at work, including skills, information, knowledge, tools, technology, a...
EMPLOYMENT<br /><ul><li>Def: Relationship between employer and employee including compensation and management systems</li>...
TIME (of labor process)<br /><ul><li>Def: Temporal dimensions of human activity and social relations in the labor process ...
Analyzing the labor process<br />THE STATE<br />Infrastructure, Regulation and Enforcement<br />(Scale)<br />Dynamics of <...
SWET Analysis of Labor Process<br />Silicon Valley and Milwaukee labor markets<br />Quality of intermediaries in career ou...
Job Crisis solution? <br />The old social compact<br />Workplace compromise—work control versus employment stability<br />...
Globalized regions as the new workplace<br />Important spatial dimension of critical labor process activities<br />Lifelon...
Workplace (regional) governance<br />Employer associations shaping collective work processes<br />Innovation systems<br />...
Regional worker organizations…<br /><ul><li>Guild-like structures:
Building stability through regional, occupationally-based communities
Improving employment outcomes through building common mobility channels </li></ul>Building power in the regional labor mar...
Regional worker organizations…<br />Regional unionism—SBCLC/Working Partnerships<br />Community/social movement unionism f...
Regional worker organizations…<br />Many other examples around the country<br />WRTP-PEO<br />LAANE “Building a City of Ju...
Regional worker organizations…<br />Community unionism and workers centers<br />Community-based and community-led organiza...
New employment policies and practices…?<br />Stock-options and residuals<br />Individual wage versus social wage<br />Prob...
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Opening the black box: Space, Time and the Geography of the Labor Process

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Opening the black box: Space, Time and the Geography of the Labor Process

  1. 1. Opening the Black BoxSpace, Time and the Geography of the Labor Process<br />Presentation to Geography Seminar<br />What’s Space Got to Do With It?<br />Making Geography Relevant in the 21st Century<br />September 21, 2011<br />Chris Benner<br />University of California, Davis<br />ccbenner@ucdavis.edu<br />
  2. 2. Outline<br />The Job Crisis<br />Geography to the rescue!?!<br />Towards a new social compact? <br />
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
  7. 7. Typical proposed solutions<br />
  8. 8.
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  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Walt, Carmen De Navas, Bernadette Proctor and Jessica Smith (2011) Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010, p60-239, Current Population Reports, Consumer Income (U.S. Census Bureau), http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf<br />
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  15. 15.
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  17. 17. http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2011/01/art3full.pdf<br />
  18. 18.
  19. 19.
  20. 20. Pittsburgh steel work in the 1950s<br />Steel-production, material transformation<br />Work, job, career and generational stability<br />Single employer largely controlled labor process<br />Union—clear role in negotiating work and employment conditions<br />
  21. 21. Silicon Valley in the 1990s<br />Information transformation<br />87% of all job growth 1990-2001 in firms that didn’t exist in 1990. <br />In driving industry clusters, newly established firms accounted for 260,000 new jobs, while firms that existed in 1990 lost 120,000<br />Top 100 “half-life” of about 7 years. <br />Median job tenure: 30 months, <br />Market-mediated “employability” management; networked production<br />
  22. 22. ISP Customer Service in 2006<br />Information Processing<br />Agents in South Africa, interacting with internet service provider customers across the U.S.<br />Five corporate ‘employers’ in two countries<br />ISP-US<br />SA Computer Company<br />2 different temporary help firms<br />1 joint venture ‘legal employer’<br />Labor process driven by real-time benchmarking across at least 6 more companies and 4 countries<br />0  1,500  0 in 3 years<br />
  23. 23. Rethinking economic institutions<br />Geographic analysis of informational cities & economies<br />Networked infrastructures, technological mobilities and splintering urbanism<br />Corporations ≈ legal entities and flexible platforms for organizing temporary production systems<br />Networks and value chains<br />Clusters, relational assets, untraded interdependencies, communities of practice…<br />Networked spatial processes and evolution over time are key!<br />Geographical analysis of informational labor process …? <br />
  24. 24. Labor process<br />Labor<br />Process<br />WORK<br />SPACE<br />TIME<br />EMPLOYMENT<br />
  25. 25. SWET-Dimensions of labor process<br />WORK<br />SPACE<br />TIME<br />EMPLOYMENT<br />
  26. 26. SPACE (of labor process)<br /><ul><li>Def: Material support for time-sharing social practices. (Territorial and tele-mediated)</li></ul>Industrial economy<br />Territorially based<br />Consistent & coherent institutional governance <br />Informational economy<br />Tele-mediated space & territorial space<br />Network based<br />Inconsistent and multiple institutional governance<br />
  27. 27. WORK<br /><ul><li>Def: Actual activities people do at work, including skills, information, knowledge, tools, technology, and social relations.</li></ul>Industrial economy<br />Predictability and stability in work demands<br />Incremental changes in human capacities required for work <br />Productivity of material manipulation critical for success<br />Informational economy<br />Structural volatility and unpredictability in work demands<br />Rapid and discontinuous change in requirements for work <br />Human reflexivity (innovation) critical for competitive success<br />
  28. 28. EMPLOYMENT<br /><ul><li>Def: Relationship between employer and employee including compensation and management systems</li></ul>Industrial economy<br />‘Standard’ employment<br />Long-term, full-time, year round, one-to-one <br />Taylorist management <br />Informational economy<br />Individualization of employment<br />Mediated employment<br />Mediated and self-directed management<br />
  29. 29. TIME (of labor process)<br /><ul><li>Def: Temporal dimensions of human activity and social relations in the labor process (events, sequence, speed, cycles). </li></ul>Industrial economy<br />Economic time shaped by continuous, relatively predictable growth trajectories and cyclical downturns<br />Institutional framework enabled separation between work/non-work times, and human-time enabling labor processes<br />Informational economy<br />Economic time shaped by lumpy, discontinuous, unpredictable, FAST and volatile production cycles <br />Career trajectories more multi-institutional and discontinuous<br />Work/non-work times increasingly blurred<br />
  30. 30. Analyzing the labor process<br />THE STATE<br />Infrastructure, Regulation and Enforcement<br />(Scale)<br />Dynamics of <br />Competition <br />& Cooperation<br />(Sector,<br />Territory, <br />Networks,<br />Governance,…)<br />Dynamics of <br />Competition<br />& Cooperation<br />(Race, Class<br />Gender, Age,<br />Networks<br />Territory,<br />Governance,…)<br />Labor Process<br />WORKERS<br />FIRMS<br />W<br />T<br />S<br />E<br />Labor Market Intermediaries<br />
  31. 31. SWET Analysis of Labor Process<br />Silicon Valley and Milwaukee labor markets<br />Quality of intermediaries in career outcomes<br />Guilds as soft-infrastructure in innovation <br />Regional leadership and governance<br />South Africa tele-mediated work<br />Industry strategy versus job attraction<br />Career ladders and upgrading<br />U.S. newspaper journalists and sales staff<br />Disconnection between quality and revenue<br />Hierarchical management and stagnation<br />Transferable skills and associate membership<br />
  32. 32. Job Crisis solution? <br />The old social compact<br />Workplace compromise—work control versus employment stability<br />Nationalist Keynesianism—labor stability and macro-economic demand<br />New social compact?<br />Must ensure economic growth and social stability<br />Must solve dilemmas of multiple stakeholders<br />Likely to emerge out of existing experimental initiatives<br />
  33. 33. Globalized regions as the new workplace<br />Important spatial dimension of critical labor process activities<br />Lifelong learning and innovation<br />Untraded inter-dependencies<br />Production and social reproduction<br />U.S. metros: 84% of population, 91% of GDP<br />Regional innovation systems around the globe<br />
  34. 34. Workplace (regional) governance<br />Employer associations shaping collective work processes<br />Innovation systems<br />Social and physical infrastructure investment<br />Quality of life initiatives/creative class<br />Some public sector engagement<br />Public/private partnerships<br />Governance collaboration<br />
  35. 35. Regional worker organizations…<br /><ul><li>Guild-like structures:
  36. 36. Building stability through regional, occupationally-based communities
  37. 37. Improving employment outcomes through building common mobility channels </li></ul>Building power in the regional labor market, in both formal and informal ways <br />Face serious challenges in reaching truly disadvantaged workers<br />Limited power and bargaining ability<br />
  38. 38. Regional worker organizations…<br />Regional unionism—SBCLC/Working Partnerships<br />Community/social movement unionism focused on region<br />Social reproduction<br />Health Care<br />Housing<br />Public Investment<br />Governance<br />Labor Community Leadership Institute<br />Boards, commissions, elected officials<br />Agenda, not individuals<br />
  39. 39. Regional worker organizations…<br />Many other examples around the country<br />WRTP-PEO<br />LAANE “Building a City of Justice”<br />Denver/FRESC<br />Georgia STAND-UP<br />……<br />
  40. 40. Regional worker organizations…<br />Community unionism and workers centers<br />Community-based and community-led organizations that engage in a combination of service, advocacy, and organizing to provide support to low-wage workers. <br />
  41. 41. New employment policies and practices…?<br />Stock-options and residuals<br />Individual wage versus social wage<br />Problems of socialized work and individualized employment<br />Need to focus on livelihoods, not jobs<br />Single-payer universal health<br />Pension reform<br />Life-long learning—e.g. LILAs<br />Skills mismatch or institutional failure? <br />Re-employment insurance<br />Restructure UI<br />
  42. 42. What’s space got to do with it? <br />The notion of a ‘job’ is an a-spatial, static conception that hinders our ability to promote economic innovation or social well-being <br />Spatio-temporal analysis pushes us instead to think about promoting community-based careers in the regional workplace, with win-win-win opportunities<br />
  43. 43. Thank you!!<br />

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