ILR School

International Publications

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This collection includes documents published by international organizations or authors.

The Key Workplace Documents series was established by Stuart Basefsky, an Information Specialist and Instructor at Catherwood Library and Director of the IWS News Bureau for the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS). Content for the series is currently selected by librarians and staff of the Catherwood Library.


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 671
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    Writing Web Logs
    Lu, Norman; Serrat, Olivier (2009-03-01)
    {Excerpt} A web log, in its various forms, is a web-based application on which dated entries of commentary descriptions of events,or other material such as graphics or video are posted. A weblog enables groups of people to discuss electronically areas of interest and to review different opinions and information surrounding a topic. Electronic communications were one of the first expressions of networked computing. They were developed to enable individuals, groups, organizations, and related systems to collaborateon documents, regardless of their respective physical locations. However, until recent times, posting content on networks was a task that only technology-savvy persons could perform. It required skills in navigating directories and coding Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML). But, web logs (blogs) of various types are now relatively easy to set up and maintain and have become a ubiquitous feature of the Internet.3(In December 2007, the Technoratiblog search engine was tracking about 112 million blogs.) As a result, they are redefining collaboration and knowledge capture and storage among digital communities to great effect. Increasingly, they allow the creation of networks of practice (or communities of interest) based on the particular topic discussed.
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    Working in Teams
    Serrat, Olivier (2009-03-01)
    {Excerpt} Cooperative work by a team can produce remarkable results. The challenge is to move from the realm of the possible to the realm of practice. Groups that range from two persons to many are a very big part of social life (indeed, of human experience). They can be significant sites of socialization and learning, places in which beneficial relationships form and grow, and settings where knowledge and wisdom flourish. Because they also offer individuals the opportunity to work together on joint tasks and develop more complex and larger-scale activities (projects), groups can be highly rewarding to their members, organizations, and society at large. On the other hand, the socialization they offer can constrict or even oppress members. Groups can also become environments that exacerbate interpersonal conflict, for example if one individual dominates or tries to “score points.” In addition, the boundaries that are drawn around them can exclude others—sometimes to their detriment—and create intergroup conflict. What is more, belonging to a group often warps the judgments of members: pressure to conform can lead to “groupthink” or poor decision making. Other, well-nigh mundane shortcomings include diffusion of responsibility; excessive diversity of views, goals, and loyalties; and the tendency to “solve” (but not analyze) problems. These potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats make groups an essential focus for research, exploration, and action, for instance regarding group development (teamwork) in organizations.
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    Wearing Six Thinking Hats
    Serrat, Olivier (2009-06-01)
    {Excerpt} The difference between poor and effective teams lies not so much in their collective mental equipment but in how well they use their abilities to think together. The Six Thinking Hats technique helps actualize the thinking potential of teams. Routinely, many people think from analytical, critical, logical perspectives, and rarely view the world from emotional, intuitive, creative, or even purposely negative viewpoints. As a result, their arguments do not make leaps of imagination,they underestimate resistance to change, or they fail to draw contingency plans. Lateral thinking is reasoning that offers new ways of looking at problems—coming at them from the side rather than from the front—to foster change, creativity, and innovation. One tool of lateral thinking, the Six Thinking Hats technique, was devised by de Bono in 1985 to give groups a means to reflect together more effectively, one thing at a time.
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    Impact of the Financial Crisis on Finance Sector Workers
    Sendanyoye, John (2009-02-24)
    [Excerpt] The purpose of this paper is to briefly review the background, causes, characteristics and trajectory of the ongoing financial and economic crisis; to define the financial services sector, its occupations and their educational requirements, as well as recent important trends; to provide a preliminary assessment of the impact of the crisis on finance sector jobs; and to give suggestions on possible policy responses to address the effects of the crisis on finance sector workers.
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    Global Employment Trends: January 2009
    International Labour Organization (2009-01-01)
    [Excerpt] The global financial crisis has triggered a serious slowdown in world economic growth including recession in the largest industrialized countries. Enterprises have stopped hiring and many are laying off workers in considerable numbers. This report examines what we know already about the impact of the crisis on jobs and what we could expect from several possible scenarios of the way it might evolve in the year ahead. In 2008, an estimated 6.0 per cent of the world’s workers were not working but looking for a job, up from 5.7 per cent in 2007. Experience shows that the longer people stay out of work the more their “employability” deteriorates, making it progressively harder to get back into work. This is especially worrying for young workers who may get trapped into a lifetime of weak attachment to the labour market alternating between low paid insecure work and outright unemployment. In many developing countries well over half of the workforce is employed in conditions that fall short of decent work, and breaking out of such situations is at the core of the global development challenge set out in the Millennium Declaration and its poverty-reducing goals. This report utilizes working poor and those in vulnerable employment (i.e. unpaid contributing family workers and own-account workers) which are workers most likely to be characterized by low and insecure employment, low earnings and productivity to help better understand labour market trends in developing economies. By the end of 2008 working poverty, vulnerable employment and unemployment were beginning to rise as the effects of the slowdown spread. If the recession deepens in 2009, as many forecasters expect, the global jobs crisis will worsen sharply. Furthermore, we can expect that for many of those who manage to keep a job, earnings and other conditions of employment will deteriorate. A central part of people’s lives is at work, and whether women and men have decent work has a significant impact on individual, family and community well-being. The absence of decent and productive work is the primary cause of poverty and social instability. The trends summarized in this report are therefore extremely worrying and serve to highlight the importance of an internationally coordinated effort to stop the slowdown and start the global economy on to a much more sustainable path. The assessment in this issue of Global Employment Trends is based on an analysis of labour market data that are available to date. This is still limited for the majority of countries and as more information becomes available it will be important to review the scale and pace of trends. Alternative scenarios for selected labour market indicators in 2008 and 2009 illustrate what might happen in labour markets if currently available economic forecasts are further revised downwards as seems likely. This report starts with an overview of economic events that are shaping labour market outcomes. Thereafter, an analysis of recent labour market developments is presented based on currently available information (see Annex 1 for tables referred to in this report; Annex 2 for scenarios; Annex 3 for regional figures and groupings of economies; and Annex 4 for a note on the methodology used to produce world and regional estimates). A separate section is dedicated to the projections of labour market indicators for 2008 and 2009 (see Annex 5 for methodological details). A final section concludes, and highlights a number of policy considerations.
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    Global Employment Trends for Women - March 2008
    International Labour Office (2008-03-01)
    [Excerpt] In 2007, 1.2 billion women around the world worked, almost 200 million or 18.4 per cent more than ten years ago. But, the number of unemployed women also grew from 70.2 to 81.6 million over the same period and in 2007, women at the global level still had a higher likelihood of being unemployed than men. The female unemployment rate stood at 6.4 per cent compared to the male rate of 5.7 per cent. As for women who do find work, they are often confined to work in the less productive sectors of economies and in status groups that carry higher economic risk and a lesser likelihood of meeting the characteristics that define decent work, including access to social protection, basic rights and a voice at work. Also, as a result of the type of work where women can find employment (in terms of both sector and status), they often earn less than men. But, is it all bad news concerning female labour market trends? Certainly not, there are some positive trends as well: education levels for women around the world continue to increase and gender gaps for certain labour market indicators are decreasing in many regions. To find which regions are making progress in the economic integration of women and in offering them an equal chance at attaining decent work, this year’s Global Employment Trends for Women is organized according to nine regional trends analyses. The report shows clearly that most regions are making progress in increasing the number of women in decent employment, but that full gender equality in terms of labour market access and conditions of employment has not yet been attained.
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    Value Cycles for Development Outcomes
    Serrat, Olivier (2009-07-01)
    {Excerpt} Development work is a knowledge-intensive process that is fed by knowledge services and knowledge solutions. Projects are the primary mechanism by which strategic change is brought about. Value cycles can maximize their potential through delivery platforms. More and more, development work is understood to be a knowledge-intensive process that is fed by knowledge services and knowledge solutions. And, for the most, projects (and programs) are the primary mechanism by which strategic change is brought about. Projects and knowledge are thus mutually dependent: to deliver development outcomes projects must be enriched by knowledge; and new knowledge (that should be captured and leveraged) must in turn be generated by projects. Projects are key vehicles that can support a wealth of opportunities for knowledge generation and sharing: virtuous knowledge cycles must be sought that maximize their potential through delivery platforms (including tools, methods, and approaches).
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    Using Plain English
    Serrat, Olivier (2008-10-01)
    {Excerpt} Many people write too much, bureaucratically, and obscurely. Using plain English will save time in writing, make writing far easier, and improve understanding. Reports are a visible part of work. They remain and are used long after it is done. Work is advanced by readable reports that give the target audience a good chance of understanding the document at first reading, and in the sense that the writers meant them to be.
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    Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World
    United Nations Environment Programme (2008-09-01)
    [Excerpt] Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World assembles evidence—quantitative, anecdotal, and conceptual—for currently existing green jobs in key economic sectors (renewable energy, buildings and construction, transportation, basic industry, agriculture, and forestry) and presents estimates for future green employment. The pace of green job creation is likely to accelerate in the years ahead. A global transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy can create large numbers of green jobs across many sectors of the economy, and indeed can become an engine of development. Current green job creation is taking place in both the rich countries and in some of the major developing economies.
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    Understanding Complexity
    Serrat, Olivier (2009-11-01)
    {Excerpt} In development agencies, paradigms of linear causality condition much thinking and practice. They encourage command-and-control hierarchies, centralize decision making, and dampen creativity and innovation. Globalization demands that organizations see our turbulent world as a collection of evolving ecosystems. To survive and flourish they must then be adaptable and fleet footed. Notions of complexity offer a wealth of insights and guidance to 21st century organizations that strive to do so.