Professor Catherine Fisk of University of Southern California Law School discusses how the concepts of knowledge work and the new economy have moved rapidly from novelty to cliché. New characteristics of labor markets and the business practices which they represent are yet to be established in American labor and employment law. Changes in legal doctrine and legal process, as well as the changes in business and labor institutions and practices, need to address the demands of firms and workers for fairness as well as efficiency. The widely documented shift from internal to external labor markets, the transformation of many remaining internal labor markets from ladders to tournaments, the increased emphasis on shareholder primacy in corporate law and capital markets, and many other developments, call for new legal doctrine and new ways of resolving legal disputes. All these changes demand a new way of thinking about the nature, function, interpretation, and enforcement of employment contracts.
Commentary on the lecture is provided by by Greg W. Castle and Julia A. Clark.
The annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture is sponsored by Chicago-Kent College of Law's Institute for Law and the Workplace. It is presented by the Kenneth M. Piper Endowment, which was established by a gift from Mrs. Kenneth M. Piper in memory of her husband. Mr. Piper was a distinguished executive with Motorola, Inc., and Bausch & Lomb, Inc., who made important contributions in human resources and labor relations for more than two decades.
Fisk, Catherine L.; Castle, Greg W.; and Clark, Julia A., "Knowledge Workers in the New Economy: From Cliché to Contract - The 26th Annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture" (2004). Institute for Law and the Workplace Lectures. 5.