Poor quality work causes Technological advancement
Analysed Research paper
Wherever and whenever there is an arrival of a new technology, there are talks of the advantages and the disadvantages of it. While some talks about the increase in productivity and pace, some fear losing the jobs because of that very efficient technology. while these debates go on, there happens the inevitable. That Technology is introduced and with it the cycle of job extinctions and job creations. While whole world takes a stance on whether the technology was good or bad, this paper goes deeper and theorise about the very roots of this technology incoming and adoption. it is no discrete activity that a new technology comes and displaces many jobs but a result of a fully-fledged job dynamics. In the societies with merit based distribution of jobs, Technological advancement is the result of the poor-quality work in the relatively less paid manual jobs, caused by a feeling of dissatisfaction in those workers. This paper proposes a model to explain the above.
There are millions of tasks done by people as Jobs and in return they get reward which is highly variable depending on the social and economic conditions. To dive deeply into this topic of variable rewards and effects, the paper assumes the following:
1. social and economic conditions as present in the developed and developing countries wherein education and skills serve as the main differentiator between people and determines which job will a person take.
2. We ignore all the hierarchal and inherited jobs which have more to do with your birth than your education and skills.
3. There is a simple pyramid of jobs where in the vertical movement is dependent on the education and skills one has.
4. All the people doing Jobs at a higher level have relatively more skills and the appropriate calibre than other people who wish to come to that position.
5. The income/rewards received by these people also vary in the same manner as the jobs. People doing the top-notch jobs receives relatively large salary and other benefits than the people who do the jobs falling near the bottom of the pyramid.
6. This variable pay has been source of huge tension and societal processes and is purely a result of demand-supply principals of economics.
The topic can be divided into 2 parts for better navigation and understanding:
· Why and How the work is bad quality?
· How bad quality leads to technological advancement?
1 The work is of poor quality:
The principles of economics say that the value of something is determined by the demand and supply of it. The demand of something is determined by the importance one connotes to that thing which is further determined by the need of that particular thing either individually or in combination with something or many things.
The Supply of anything is affected by the possession of the capability of producing a particular thing. This possession of respective capability is further dependent on the ease with which one can learn/acquire that skill/device. Often this capability requires many other capabilities in the first place.
As one is clear about the demand and the supply dynamics, lets go about the issue of Need and the ease as talked about in the demand and the supply factors.
It cannot be the case that there is no need of a job if the job exists as the very notion of a job suggests that there is a need of it. But there may be low utility of that job leading to people not giving much importance to them and subsequent lower value of that job.
The ease of acquiring or learning a capability is dependent on the level of sophistication involved in a job which further depends on the level of advancement of the job. Each and every profession or a task has a humble beginning and it is with innovation and creativity that the profession progresses and blossoms. The utility increases causing increases in the sophistication and depth of that job. Now if a job is easy enough for many to acquire and practise than it clearly conveys that the job has not reached advanced enough stage. It means that the respective job didn’t have and doesn’t have much innovation and creativity in it. By a job’s creativity and innovation, we mean the creativity and innovation of its practitioners.
That forms the reason why the manual jobs have so much people practising them and why they have a lower pay. the manual jobs haven’t progressed and are still like their nascent stages. They are simple as they don’t involve much sophistication and complexities and thus acquired by hordes of people leading to increased supply than required.
Today as per our assumptions and the existing worldly criteria, the existing jobs can be ordered into a pyramid depending on the level of manual and intellectual component involved in that. Lowest paid and increasingly manual jobs like sewerage workers, manual labourers etc are at the extreme bottom of the spectrum with scientist, innovators and industry board members on the extreme top of the spectrum involving mostly or completely intellectual tasks.
Increasing academic talent
Hauser, R. M. (2002) have aptly categorised the jobs based upon the level of IQ required and thus endorse our assumption of distributing jobs on the basis of Intellect which is best measured by IQ. Below is a graph from their research.
As per our assumption the people going to the upper jobs levels are academically better than the people who are at the bottom. The upper job levels also have more salary and material advantages than the one at the lower levels.
Often the academic and skill based difference between 2 consecutive levels is thin and one’s placing in the upper and lower levels depends on certain examinations or scores or evaluative criteria. This small criterion isn’t as correct and justifiable an explanation to determine your academic or intellectual skills for a major decision like job. Often this small criterion can be subject to luck and chances and thus lead to 2 persons with similar differences to be put in to upper and a relatively lower job level. Even if the criterion explains correctly then also this feeling arouses in people’s mind causing arousal of a feeling of jealousy and injustice.
These advantages create a feeling of dissatisfaction with the current job which leads to a constant urge in the people doing the lower levels of the jobs to reach to the upper levels. This urge decreases with the increasing level of your job in the job pyramid as in the living standard differences between 2 consecutive job level in lower part are starker than the living standard differences between 2 consecutive job level in the upper part. Suppose there are four jobs namely A, B, C, D and the respective salaries are 2k, 4k, 20cr, 40 cr. The person doing A job will be able to make greater changes to his life (he might be able to feed himself properly) by moving to job B than the person moving from job C to job D as for them it will be an increase in luxury whose percentage utility difference will be less than the percentage utility difference in the basic amenities like food.
The presence of “greater urge to move up” in the persons with lower level of the job than the persons with upper level of the jobs, implies that there is a relatively more dissatisfaction in the persons with lower jobs. This dissatisfaction leads to unwillingness and indifference to the work they do as they always considered their work as inferior or something they shouldn’t be doing. When the people are not interested in the work they are doing than the work produced is not optimum and thus can be called low quality. This also leads to these persons doing work which is the required minimum and thus leaves less scope for innovation and creativity as these features arises when one has the desire to do a little extra then the minimum required and when one wants to do better than earlier.
Sloane, P. J., & Williams, H. (2000) have stated an OLS based estimates about the factors of job satisfaction given below:
The high coefficient of variable “actual work itself” to variable “job satisfaction” shows a strong relation between them. As the regression doesn’t state the direction of the relation, it can be other way round too. If one is don’t like the work one is doing that it has a reducing effect on one’s job satisfaction and vice versa.
So, if the assumptions of the job distribution on the basis of the presence of academic merit and certain skills, holds true then it is very likely that the work produced by the lower level jobs especially the jobs with more of labour component than the intellectual component, is not of quality and devoid of creativity and innovation as these are the person most dissatisfied with their jobs. this lack of innovation and creativity leads these jobs being at the very low level of advancement and sophistication thus leading to lower utility. Probably that’s the reason that people joining these jobs do so mostly out of compulsion rather than interest. that also explains why son of a labourers don’t want to be labourer and neither father wants so, in meritocracy based developed and developing countries.
From the above reasoning we have deduced two main points:
1. People doing lower level jobs are relatively more dissatisfied with their jobs and doesn’t want to continue them if given a higher option.
2. There is reduced creativity and innovation in these lower level jobs leading to very low advancement and sophistication which causes lower utility as compared to other upper jobs.
3. The work produced in the manual and lower level jobs is of lower quality and not optimum.
2Lower quality leading to Technology advancement
If there exist a job, then there is a need of that job in the society irrespective of the utility it has. This notion of job can be seen as an exchange system in which one gives to the other people some value through his job and in return get the value in another form which may be monetary, some object of utility or some task of utility. Through this system of exchange of value, the society functions and thus this is no individual job but a summation of all the value produced as a result of jobs. Going by the above reasoning and point 3 given in the previous section, it is deduced that the utility of the jobs in the lower level is further reduced caused by lower quality work and its sedentary level when the other upper jobs are advancing and becoming more sophisticated. This reduced utility and quality leads to an imbalance in the societal value exchange system which leads to lower gains to others and reduced progress as such.
This disbalance calls for a need to fill the gap of value and re-balance the system. At this stage, the more creative and innovative upper level jobs find technological solutions which are more productive than the dissatisfied persons at the lower levels. This process of replacement is expedited by the fact that the utility and quality was so low to be easily surpassed by nascent technology. This way there is a slow and gradual extinction of the manually oriented jobs.
John F Kennedy referring to advancement, once said ”If men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work” quoted in The Economist, February11, 1995, p. 23.
Davis, S. J., & Haltiwanger, J. (1992) states through their study that the jobs lost and created annually reflects persistent establishment-level changes in employment as their data showed that percentage 1-year persistence of created jobs was 68 % whereas the same for the lost jobs was 81 percent which paints a worse picture for the displaced people. They also showed that only 23 percent of job destruction happened in establishments which shrank by 20 % or less over the breadth of the year reflecting the concentration in the phenomena. There study supported our claim that the created jobs don’t go the very people who got displaced.
The point is right, the technology advancement also leads to job creation but do those job created go to the ones who have been displaced. As per our theory the Jobs are created in the technology domain which lies at a level quite high than the lower level wherein the jobs got extinct. Even if we assume that the number of jobs created are equal to the number of jobs destroyed, the created jobs will be taken over by the people who are just below the level where these new jobs are there. There will be an upper shift but just one level and again these displaced people are in a displacement vulnerable place which is the bottom of the pyramid. Again, the same dynamics will apply leading to unease of the same category people. This vicious cycle will go on until the very dynamics doesn’t hold. These dynamics exist because there is a variability in the overall reward one gets out of job.
Hauser, R. M. (2002). Meritocracy, cognitive ability, and the sources of occupational success. Madison, Wis, USA: Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin.
Sloane, P. J., & Williams, H. (2000). Job satisfaction, comparison earnings, and gender. Labour, 14(3), 473-502.
Davis, S. J., & Haltiwanger, J. (1992). Gross job creation, gross job destruction, and employment reallocation. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107(3), 819-863.