Controlled of this hypothesis is that the technology

Controlled stimulation, on the other hand, are energy inputs to the workers, which we express in units of frequency, length, time and weight. Technological change and skill requirements have been made a subject of investigation in enormous studies across the world.

There is a general consensus that a technological change alters the job but the observations differ in its nature and form. The Neo-Classical Economic Theory advocated technological changes that require broader variety of skills and higher than average skills from the workers. New forms of skill and responsibility along with technological changes have been studied in Continuous Process Industry and Chemical Manufacturing Units, Petroleum Refining, Metal Working Industries, Banking Operations and in many other industries.

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Another school of thought advocates that technology is instrumental in fractionating and de-skilling of jobs. Redesigning of jobs subsequent to technological change separates the planning and the concept of job in its totality from the execution aspect of work. De-skilling and skill downgrading also occur due to differential growth of higher- versus low-skill occupations and industries.

The focal point of this hypothesis is that the technology induces differential point of growth for different sectors of the economy and produces skill polarization by eventual occupational shift to skilled jobs in some industries and unskilled jobs in many others. These phenomena are especially evident in India.

From the 1981 Census Reports onwards, we find a major occupational shift of workers from primary sector to secondary sector and from secondary sector to tertiary sector. Simultaneous structural change in occupational pattern is also evident, as the number of blue-collar workers has been drastically reduced while the number of white-collar workers has significantly increased.

Another school of thought argues de-skilling is a secondary consequence of de-industrialization, which again is prompted by the technological change. The other approach, i.e., the mixed change or conditional position, is more of a characterization of the empirical evidence than a well-developed theory.

Transformations in skill due to technological change occur along two tracks— (i) compositional shift, i.e., structural change in occupational pattern due to creation or elimination of jobs of a given skill level and the distribution of persons to jobs in sectoral economy and (ii) changes in work content (the technical nature of work and the role relations surrounding the work performance).

Internationally, the careers of the future will require greater education (more in the form of institutionalized knowledge) at the job entry level and will also demand for continuing education to keep pace with the technological dynamism. In future, a greater level of technological literacy will be in demand even for occupations that require low skills and are low paying in nature.

Tracing back history, we find that the Indian social system had definite orientation towards developing and maintaining different social groups in terms of certain crafts. The quality elements in a particular craft and the necessary skills were the deciding factors for the purpose of ranking that craft along with others in order of importance.

There was a time when carpenters, goldsmiths and weavers were the craftsmen in India who enjoyed the highest status. However, it is pertinent to mention that Indian psycho-philosophy attaches more importance to values than formal occupational skills. It is, therefore, the value-laden skills, on which actually Indian psycho-philosophy gives importance than skills, per se.

From the above perspective, we can therefore, categorize skill either as generic or technical; entry level or advanced. Conventionally, skill can be defined as those knowledge or attributes, which are deemed vital to organizational success. There are four general types of skills:


Which relates to specific concepts, methods and tools that are specific to an organization?


Which enables one to effectively supervise others?


Which enables people to communicate and interact effectively?

General Business:

Lines of business and support infrastructure Technical skills are observable, demonstrable and testable. The other skill types are softer, more subjective and difficult to quantify.

Any organization going for skill renewal or skill-change exercise, needs to undertake following tasks:

i. Profile the skills required by jobs

ii. Assess the skill levels acquired by individuals

iii. Conduct a gap analysis between required and acquired skills Training should ideally occur before the skill is needed so that the day-to-day work performance can be reinforced through training.

Skills Inventories:

A skills inventory is a device for locating information about individuals and their suitability for different jobs. Skills inventories include the name of a prospective employee and a listing (or ‘inventory’) of job-related skills, training and/or experience, which could prove useful in a future assignment.

The purpose of skills inventories is to provide the organization with quick, accurate information on all employees in order that management can choose the best qualified person for promotion or transfer. For example, a skills inventory may consist of the following information: age, address, health, education, willingness to travel, experience in past and present jobs and foreign languages spoken by the candidate.

If an overseas assignment requiring the speaking of German should suddenly become vacant, the skills inventory could quickly identify those candidates who possess the needed qualifications for such an assignment.


Multi-skilling is defined as the process to train employees in specific skills that cross the traditional trade-specific or craft-specific skill sets. Thus to develop multi-skills, employees require additional training to enable them to perform more jobs within the same job family or to do the entire jobs from a holistic point of view. It is generally believed that multi-skilling of employees often done keeping downsizing in mind.

However, downsizing occurs for skill obsolescence, among other reasons, while multi-skilling is needed for a holistic development of human potentialities to effectively address the requirements of changing production process (more flexible and customized), organizational systems (decentralized control) and state-of-art technology (numeric control, computer numeric control, direct numeric control, etc.). Multi-skilling facilitates intra-occupational and inter-occupational job mobility and thereby reinforces human resource planning (HRP).


Competencies are a set of behaviours, which encompass skills, knowledge, abilities and attributes. Competencies are needed to be assessed both at the organizational level and at individual level. Individual competencies of an employee reinforce the organizational competencies of the employee.

However, there always exists a possibility of major incongruence between individual competencies and organizational competencies. Manpower planning exercise helps us to analyse such gap and develop a competency model. A competency model is a map to display a set of competencies. It is future oriented and helps to describe an ideal workforce.

A competency model, when developed and documented, helps in managerial decision making, as it is well aligned with vision, mission, objectives, goals and strategies of an organization. It also helps employees of an organization to understand the functional requirements and self-initiate the enrichment of their skills, knowledge, abilities and attributes. This would be independent of organization-wide competency enrichment exercise.