We focus on practices and policies that generate both good financial performance and good jobs. Projects help to refine the picture, deepen knowledge, and sharpen the tools of 21st-century business. Practice-oriented research projects apply high standards of analytic rigor while also generating practical knowledge.
Here are four of our current research projects:
JOB QUALITY IN SEVEN SECTORS
One of the major initial projects under the umbrella of the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative involves examining job quality in seven industries that employ large numbers of low-paid workers in the U.S. For each of the seven industries, one or more researchers is analyzing job quality, industry structure, and incentives for and barriers to the creation of good jobs. (The seven industries are retail; residential construction; restaurants; hospitals and clinics; manufacturing; trucking; and long-term care). The project has already resulted in a symposium and will culminate in a book, "Creating Good Jobs: An Industry-Based Strategy," which will be published by MIT Press in January 2020.
Another major research effort under the auspices of the Initiative is a study of the state of worker voice in America and options for filling the void in worker voice created by the long-term decline of unions. The underlying questions this project seeks to address are: How do workers in the 21st century think about and exercise voice? What are their preferred means for taking actions to improve their economic, psychological, and social outcomes and experiences at work?
IMPLEMENTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN THE WORKPLACE
A research project with the not-for-profit health plan Kaiser Permanente (KP) focuses on exploring different strategies for implementing new technologies and different mechanisms for user input in shaping those technologies. The ultimate aim is for Kaiser Permanente, the unions representing the KP workforce, people working at all levels of the system, KP members, and other key stakeholders to use technology to advance all elements of the value compass. The project will involve data collection, case studies, and pilot initiatives.
TRAINING AND SKILL DEVELOPMENT
The Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative has launched a new research project that involves surveying a nationally representative sample of about 3000 U.S. adults about their experiences with training and skills development—whether in the workplace, online, or through community colleges or other training providers.