The Future of Work in a Sustainable Society

  • Colin G. Drury
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)

The rapid pace of change in our society has been well documented, and models predict that it will continue at an increasing rate. We need to make plans and take actions based on realistic future states to ensure that our actions result in a sustainable planet despite limited resources, not one currently overshooting the earth’s capacity. The technical conditions for overshoot are growth, a resource limit and faulty actions by a controller. All are present in the world and in aspects of work. Humans, however, do not perceive accelerating changes particularly well, with a tendency to predict linear future states. This disparity between perception and reality may help explain the lack of action by many governments and organizations faced with choices they would rather put off for short-term political/economic gain. As ergonomists we have a major role to play adapting our actions to the future of work, which in turn depends on the future of the enterprises where we work, and ultimately on the future of society. This paper looks at the future of work from a sustainability perspective and suggests actions ergonomics can take to be ready for an accelerating future.


Social Capital Statistical Process Control Triple Bottom Line Global Supply Chain Sustainable Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin G. Drury
    • 1
  1. 1.The State University of New York Industrial & Systems EngineeringUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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