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Assessment 3: Group written assignment: Predicting the future of work

Due Date                        Tues 7th of April

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Length                           6000 words



The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate skills in research, the application of ideas from the literature, problem solving and critical analysis.

Your assignment will outline your team’s vision of identifying future trends in work in 2040. You will need to incorporate key theory and identify factors that can affect changes in work trends and affects on individuals, organisations and society.  Focus on one of the four key themes in your report (Globalisation, Gender and diversity, Technology and Management innovation – labour use) to guide your discussion of the literature and recommendations.

This task is designed to develop research, communication, and team project management skills. In addition, you report should demonstrate evidence of critical thinking, analysis and problem solving in the way your team discusses and reports on the future of work.

In developing your recommendations, the written report must utilise scenario planning, reflect on key readings and recommended readings relevant to your chosen theme and demonstrate understanding of relevant theories such as commodification, labour process, division of labour, Informalisation and formalisation and issues of relevance in applying these to a HRM or Management context.


Changing Context of Work Themes

(note The chosen theme is GENDER AND DIVERSITY)

Globalisation: How do the shifts in global production and consumption impact on workers, and does this vary for workers in developed and developing countries?  What changes have occurred in the labour process and what impact does this have on the types of work available?  Has commodification of work, life, leisure changed how we work, and are these shifts uniform or vary in different industries and locations? Are we working longer hours, doing more for less?  How can we understand global trends to inform what could happen locally? Is informalisation the new work order? Does neoliberal globalisation determine a race to the bottom for workers conditions?

Gender and diversity: Is the future female? Will women transcend the glass ceiling, take control of boards, and run companies of the future more successfully?  Do workplaces value diversity, such as, gender, race and ethnicity and abilities in the workplace?  Is work life balance a myth? Will gender divisions of labour diminish while women remain responsible for child rearing? To what extent does society value difference and is the workplace just a reflection of this? Will affirmative action for disadvantaged groups still be an option?

Technology: Can technology save us from labour intensive tasks?  Will technology enable work to be performed in different ways, in a variety of contexts and what will this mean for workers, organisations and society?  Will new technologies increase surveillance and control or provide flexibility and choice to workers?  Can technology be applied to improve production methods, service delivery, and workers lives?  Will future technology reduce inequality and injustice or reflect existing patterns?  Can technological innovation create new greener jobs that will enhance society survival, economically, environmentally and politically?

Labour force design: Does flexible and productive workplace initiatives offer workers a choice or managers more control?  Does management innovation create more flexible practices and who benefits? Will unions be involved in future representation of workers and what kind of issues will they address?  How do issues such as informalisation, subcontracting, casualised work arrangements, and downsizing impact on workers and the people managing them?  Does increased informalisation signal an end to employee loyalty? What does the shift from fordism to post fordism mean for labour and how widespread is this trend?  Will greener jobs mean fairer work practices?  What does this all mean for HR and Management policies and strategies?


The following research questions will assist you to focus how you approach this report.

How does our understanding of what has occurred in the past and present inform how we hypothesise future work trends?

To what extent does our current understanding of technology or globalisation or gender and diversity or management innovation-use of labour inform our view of what will occur in the future?

Will social, economic, environmental and political trends have a strong influence on how work trends will evolve? Why? How? Which ones?

Future forecasts often include a lot of hype but often fail to eventuate, how can you substantiate your thesis for the future of work?


Suggested steps to undertake this assessment

1. Decide on the theme and areas you would like to cover in relation to the theme and literature

2. Develop your group scenario plan and framing questions

3. Identify the gaps between issues that are identified & discussed in the literature review and your scenario of a future work context

4.  Develop some recommendations around how to address some of these gaps

5.  Follow the suggested structure outlined below and address the research questions.


Structure: Word count – for a group of 6 is approximately 6000 words.

Title: Title and group members

Introduction: This section should clearly outline the team’s key arguments about the future of work. It should clearly state the theme covered in the report. It should also provide a two-sentence summary of the team’s recommendations (approx 200 words). The section should reflect on teamwork by including a short summary outlining clearly the student responsible for each section (by name) and indicating how each member has contributed (not just what each person has contributed) (approx 200 words).


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Word count was first posted on October 26, 2019 at 11:25 am.
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