Skill Formation Systems

Colin Crouch

in The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199299249
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Skill Formation Systems

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  • Business and Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour


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Until the mid-1990s, there was a strong consensus in both the academic and the policy literature on occupational skills around two key points. First, the creation of skills depended heavily on the existence of institutions that could overcome the tendency to free riding and poaching otherwise endemic among employers of labor in a market economy. Second, the maintenance of strong levels of good-quality employment in wealthy countries depended on high levels of skill in the workforce. From the perspective of the early years of the twenty-first century both beliefs seem less certain. Within a few years the consensus may have changed again, and it is the responsibility of academic commentators to try to look beyond the present and anticipate likely change. This is attempted in this article. This article also appraises the two components of the earlier consensus and their growing uncertainty.

Keywords: consensus; policy literature; occupational skills; market economy; good-quality employment

Article.  8979 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Human Resource Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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