Barbara Ann Berwick drove for Uber for eight weeks in 2014. She, and two others, then brought suit against the company. On June 16, the California Labor Commission ruled that she as a driver should have been classified as an employee – not an independent contractor – and that she was due over $4 million in expenses and penalties. As expected, Uber filed its rebuttal on July 9, bolstered with written statements from more than 400 drivers supporting the company. Are Uber drivers being exploited or fairly compensated? Should governments, consumers,
One of the pervasive and persuasive myths associated with burgeoning technology in the workplace is that it would create thousands of new and liberating jobs: the truth is more like a wholesale stripping of human employment (see Liviu Nedelsecu). Another preaches that technologies will afford workers more time: more time to think, reflect, to be creative, to learn and innovate, to work from home. Recent visits to several private and public sector organizations told a different story. I was left with a strong impression of people running hard to keep
Alan Turing, the British mathematician who did crucial work on WW2 German Naval codes and on computing, has been much in the news. One reason being his theorizing about mathematical biology, morphology, and chaos theory; why, for instance, a zebra’s stripes are as they are. Another being his field-shaping thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) and to its increasing impact on human affairs. Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, for example, have sounded warnings that AI might ‘escape our control’ and ‘take over’. Ray Kurzweil has claimed the ‘singularity’ (moment
Claiming Our Humanity: What the Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment Brings To The 7th Global Drucker Forum To students of management Pope Francis is a fascinating study in leadership and organizational change. From his surprise election as an outsider, the first Jesuit and non-European Pope in history, to his well-publicized efforts to shake up an aging institution by revisiting its mission and purpose, he exemplifies the behavior of a charismatic, transformational leader. His many actions to distance himself from the trappings of power that he believes separate him
Managing does not change, not fundamentally. It is a practice, rooted in art and craft, not a science or a profession, focused on analysis. The subject matter of managing certainly changes, all the time, as do the styles that some managers favor, but not the basic practice. There is, however, one evident change in recent times that is influencing the practice of managing: the new digital technologies, which have dramatically increased speed and volume in the transmission of information. Have their impacts on managing been likewise dramatic? My
In 1982, Time magazine declared the personal computer its “Machine of the Year.” Up until then, humans usually had won a “Person of the Year” distinction. Time publisher John A. Meyers wrote, “Several human candidates might have represented 1982, but none symbolized the past year more richly, or will be viewed by history as more significant, than a machine: the computer.” Pity those worthy humans who might have been in contention. The year 1982 was the point in history when humans became mere mortals, suffering the ignominy of garnering second place to a machine.
Ah the digital world! Email, video conferencing, and e-documents mean less travel and higher productivity. Electronic communication has allowed for a nearly seamless work-life integration (it’s 6am Sunday as I write this). These modern conveniences have certainly empowered employees to be, as Peter Drucker wrote, “their own chief executive officers.” Yet Drucker also recognized that work was a social enterprise. People had to be together to effectively meet the organization’s objectives. This is where the tension of being physically-present versus digitally-present binds: Can the social enterprise of work actually
We live in a digital age where our humanity is challenged. What humans were mechanically doing is now being automated by software. Tasks that used to require advance planning and a long execution time can now be done immediately with the help of online resources. Orchestration of larger events that required costly and cumbersome intermediaries can now be done directly. The units of resources are becoming more granular, available online through automated interfaces in large liquid marketplaces. Friction is being removed. Access to resources is broader; the industrial world is