In this article, Thomas W. Malone, in charge of MIT's program "Inventing 21st century Organizations" and Robert J. Laubacher describe fundamental transformations which are changing the types of organizations and the forms of employments which marked the industrial era and gigantic pyramidical enterprises and salaried jobs.
Pointing to the "tertiarisation" of modern economies (value-added is now mostly from immaterial factors and the knowledge revolution) and the rise of information and communication technology, the authors anticipate the decline of yesterday's giant entreprises. They also predict the decrease of salaried employment around precise tasks and fixed scheduling. It will be replaced by more precious structures, ad hoc projects and the rise of enterpreunial constellations working on just-in-time projects from a distance.
The work world they describe here is far from being science fiction. It fits the emerging will for autonomy and partnership along with the development of polycellular enterprises, enterpreunarial confederations and networks which make use the individual and interrelated intelligence of everyone.
When we read the article of Thomas W. Malone and Robert J. Laubacher, we can take a measure of what has to be changed in our enterprises, whether it be in their managerial style or in mentalities and behaviours. They will have to abandon relationships of authority and dependence to embrace those of co-invention and co-production.