Do you agree or disagree that the owners and managers of business firms have deliberately tried to deskill their employees? What sort of evidence can be used to support or reject this idea?

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The concept of “deskilling” is fundamentally related to changes in jobs. The deskilling process is associated with the breakdown of a manufacturing, sales, or service process into a very large number of tasks. In turn, a larger number of employees or contractors can be paid to do these tasks. Because each task theoretically requires little skill, it also requires little training. This can benefit the employer, who does not have to provide as much training, but it can also benefit the applicants, as they do not need to obtain training at their own expense, and inexperienced workers can gain entry-level positions.

There are also numerous disadvantages. One is that the level of skill is established by the prospective employer, not the applicant. An employer can designate a job as low-skill to justify paying lower wages, using numerous part-time employees rather than fewer full-time workers, or hiring contractors rather than employees. All of those procedures tend to reduce wages and job security, or prevent individuals from actually being employees who could earn benefits and be entitled to collective bargaining. In addition, the employer can use this rationale to dismiss or lay off skilled workers, with the rationale that their skills are no longer needed or are outmoded, thus contributing to job insecurity for skilled workers.

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