Jobs, networks and economics

Here are some of the things I learned via Twitter this past week.


@sandymaxey – “Hierarchical networks appear incestuous, perpetuate mindless incrementalism, reinforce stagnant thinking. Need inclusivity for disruption.”

Carl Sagan: “It is suicidal to create a society dependent on science and technology in which hardly anybody knows anything about science and technology.” via @MarionChapsal

via @loyalelectron – Wow. 72% of Indians, 81% of Chinese now say economic opportunities are superior in their native countries than in US. – Wall Street Journal:

A new study by researchers at U.C. Berkeley, Duke and Harvard has found that, for the first time, a majority of American-trained entrepreneurs who have returned to India and China believe they are doing better at “home” than they would be doing in the U.S.

The new China? BMW, Daimler, VW, Siemens & IKEA go to Southern US because labour’s cheap & workers have no rights – via @CWNH

But slumming in America is fast becoming a business model for some of Europe’s leading companies, and they often do things here they would never think of doing at home. These companies – not banks, primarily, but such gold-plated European manufacturers as BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Siemens, and retailers such as IKEA – increasingly come to America (the South particularly) because labor is cheap and workers have no rights. In their eyes, we’re becoming the new China. Our labor costs may be a little higher, but we offer stronger intellectual property protections and far fewer strikes than our unruly Chinese comrades.

@SteveDenning: “The real jobs crisis is that most jobs suck” via @SebPaquet

This is not just a matter of keeping the workers happy. In today’s knowledge economy, the motivation of workers is a key determinant of productivity. The lack of passion in today’s workforce is a fundamental cause of the continuing sharp decline in the performance of the Fortune 500.

@nineshift: “We say teleworkers are 25% more productive than office workers

Industry Canada reports productivity gains of up to 50% by Teleworkers. (Trade-Marks Branch)

IBM Canada had Teleworker productivity improvements of up to 50% per teleworker. (IBM, Canada)

Boeing finds that Telework helps to increase their employee’s productivity an average of 15-30% and, “The quality of the work done has improved even more!” (Boeing Case Study provided by Telecommute Connecticut)

@lemire: conventional peer review system (filter-then-publish) has disastrous consequences:

In the conventional peer review system, you seek to please the reviewers who in turn try to please the editor who in turn is trying to guess what the readers want. It should not be a surprise that the papers are optimized for peer review, not for the reader. While you will eventually get your work published, you may have to drastically alter it to make it pass peer review. A common theme is that you will need to make it look more complicated.

@etiennewenger: New paper on assessing value creation for communities and networks: A Conceptual Framework (PDF) – via @NancyWhite

We will use the term “community” as a shortcut for community of practice, which we define as a learning partnership among people who find it useful to learn from and with each other about a particular domain. They use each other’s experience of practice as a learning resource. And they join forces in making sense of and addressing challenges they face individually or collectively.

We use the term network as a shortcut for social network. The term refers to a set of connections among people, whether or not these connections are mediated by technological networks. They use their connections and relationships as a resource in order to quickly solve problems, share knowledge, and make further connections.

We see communities and networks as two aspects of the social fabric of learning rather than separate structures.


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