From the Industrial Revolution to the present day the structure and culture of the American workplace have been affected by many forces among those capitalism, technology, globalization, and issues...

From the Industrial Revolution to the present day the structure and culture of the American workplace have been affected by many forces among those capitalism, technology, globalization, and issues of equality. Describe these forces in detail and analyze their impact on the structure and culture of the workplace. 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the time period that is mentioned in this question, capitalism, technology, and globalization all affected the structure and culture of the American industrial workplace in similar ways.  Issues of equality have had a different sort of impact on the American workplace.

Capitalism, technology, and globalization have all worked to make the American industrial workplace more regimented and more impersonal than it was in the time before the Industrial Revolution.  Before the Industrial Revolution, American manufacturing was done in small shops by skilled artisans.  These people worked more or less at their own pace.  The artisans either owned their own shops or worked very closely with those who did.  Once the Industrial Revolution came around, this all changed.  Technology took away the need for many of the skilled workers.  Instead of needing skilled workers, the new factories just needed less-skilled workers to tend the machines.  Capitalism and globalization speeded up this process.  These things both placed great emphasis on making goods as cheaply and efficiently as possible.  In order to compete with other companies (foreign or domestic), firms had to do more and more to micromanage their workers.  This happened, for example, with the famous time and motion studies done by adherents of Taylorism in the early 1900s.  Now, workers no longer controlled their own time.  They had to work when the bosses told them to and they had to work at a pace set by the bosses.  In addition, they were no longer in a relationship of relative equality with their bosses.  Now, the bosses barely knew them because they no longer worked together at the same jobs.  In these ways, the American workplace became more structured and regimented and the culture became less egalitarian because of the effects of capitalism, technology, and globalization.

Issues of equality have had a different impact on the American workplace.  These are issues that have become more prevalent in the last four or five decades of our history.  Issues of equality have brought more diversity to our workplaces.  In the past, workplaces tended to be more homogeneous than they are today.  Very few women worked alongside men.  In many places, non-whites were relegated to the most menial jobs.  With our modern ideas about equality, this generally changed.  Workplaces became more diverse with women in many formerly-male jobs and with people of various races working together.  This made for a more inclusive culture, even if it did not really change the structure of the American workplace.

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