What is the relationship between labor and technology?

What is the relationship between labor and technology?

I heard a Middle Eastern security consultant talk about labor and technology, and he declared that his view on the relationship between labor and technology was completely the opposite of that of his American colleagues.

For the Americans, they focused on technology that could help them replace people or reduce the skills, training and expertise needed by their employees to do their jobs.

For his security consultants, he invested in the expanding skills, expertise, and training of his employees, AND he invested in technology that supported the expertise of his employees. Technology is not expected to replace or substitute for the skills of the employee. The technology enhances, strengthens the skills, training, and talents of his employees.

This is a simplification. It’s never all one way or the other. And the nature of some industries, businesses, or departments may encourage one focus over the other. But I think the consultant makes a point.

Many in American business sees labor as a necessary evil.

Their goal is to use technology to reduce the need for labor as much as possible.  Is that a good attitude to have about labor?

Photo by HesselVisser

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