Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Facebook Twitter YouTube Trending Globally Podcast Instagram LinkedIn Tumblr Email list

Thomas A. Kochan ─ Shaping the Future of Work

Thursday, February 23, 2017

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

Book signing to follow.

Watch webcast

Watch on Youtube

Watson Institute Director, Edward S. Steinfeld, will introduce Professor Kochan.

Provost Richard M. Locke will be a discussant. 

Shaping the Future of Work lays out a comprehensive strategy for changing the course the American economy and employment system have been on for the past 30 years. The goal is to create more productive businesses that also provide good jobs and careers and by doing so build a more inclusive economy and broadly shared prosperity. This will require workers to acquire new sources of bargaining power and for business, labor, government, and educators to work together to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the next generation workforce.

The book reviews what worked well for average workers, families, and the economy during the era of the post-World War II Social Contract, why that contract broke down, and how, working together, we can build a new social contract suitable to today’s economy and workforce. The ideas presented here come from direct engagement with next generation workers who participated in a MIT online course devoted to the future of work and from the author’s 40 years of research and active involvement with business, government, and labor leaders over how to foster innovations in workplace practices and policies.

Thomas A. Kochan is the George M. Bunker Professor of Work and Employment Relations at MIT's Sloan School of Management, Co-Director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research, and Chair of the MIT Faculty. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin in 1973 and served on the faculty of the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations from 1973 to 1980.

Kochan focuses on the need to update America’s work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the challenges facing working families in meeting their responsibilities at work, at home, and in their communities. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor-management relations are needed to address America’s critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing. His most recent book is Shaping the Future of Work (Business Experts Press, 2016).

Kochan is a Past President of both the International Industrial Relations Association and the Industrial Relations Research Association. Among his awards include Doctor Honoris Cause from the University de San Martin de Porres de Lima, the Heneman Career Achievement Award from the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management and, the Cushing-Gavin Award from the Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the National Academy of Human Resources, and a Fellow of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. In 2010 he was awarded the annual Scholar-Practitioner Award by the Academy of Management.

Watson Distinguished Speaker Series