Publication Date

January 1992


[Excerpt] Concern about slackening productivity growth and deteriorating competitiveness has resulted in a new public focus on the skills and education of frontline workers. The introduction of Lean Production and Total-Quality- Management is apparently raising the cognitive demands placed on blue collar workers (Womack, Jones and Roos, 1990). Increasingly they are working in production cells in which every member of the team is expected to learn every job and to take on responsibilities formerly the sole province of supervisors, specialized technicians and industrial engineers. Higher order thinking and problem solving skills are believed to be in particularly short supply so much attention has been given to mathematics and science education because it is thought that these subjects are particularly relevant to their development.


Suggested Citation
Bishop, J. (1992). Workforce preparedness (CAHRS Working Paper #92-03). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.