1st Edition

Rethinking Work Essays on Building a Better Workplace

Edited By David L. Blustein, Lisa Y. Flores Copyright 2023
    288 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection of brief essays by thought-leaders, scholars, activists, psychologists, and social scientists imagines new workplace structures and policies that promote decent and fair work for all members of society, especially those who are most vulnerable.

    The world of work has been deteriorating for decades and the very institution of work needs to be systematically understood, critiqued, reimagined, and rebuilt. This book offers thoughtful suggestions for new work arrangements, individual strategies for enhancing one’s work life, and recommendations for innovative systemic and institutional reforms. The collection offers critical analyses in conjunction with constructive solutions on rebuilding work, providing direction and context for ongoing debates and policy discussions about work.

    The book will be of interest to activists, policy makers, management and leaders, scholars, professionals, students, and general readers interested work-based reform efforts and social change.


    Chapter 1: Introduction

    David L. Blustein and Lisa Y. Flores

    The Function of Work in People’s Lives

    Chapter 2: Livelihood Thinking for Career Development: Rethinking Work from Alternative Perspectives

    Gideon Arulmani and Sachin Kumar

    Chapter 3: Working to Survive, Thrive, or Something More?

    Rosie Phillips Davis

    Chapter 4: Rethinking Work and Building Better Workplaces: Who Gets a Say and Who Needs a Say?

    Mary McMahon

    Chapter 5: Why We Work

    Barry Schwartz

    Chapter 6: Great Resignation or Great Transformation?: The Shifting Landscape of Work

    Belle Liang, Brenna Lincoln, and Betty S. Lai

    Changing Nature of Work

    Chapter 7: Redefining the Health of the Labor Market: Worker Flourishing as a New Index

    Blake A. Allan

    Chapter 8: Educating Discerning Job Seekers and Empowered Employees

    Nancy Hoffman

    Chapter 9: Re-Building Hopefulness – Co-constructing Work and Careers in Post-Pandemic Hong Kong

    Seung-Ming Alvin Leung

    Chapter 10: The Changing Nature of Work and Lifestyle in Southeast Asia Post Pandemic

    Hsiu-Lan Shelley Tien

    Inequality and Work

    Chapter 11: International Students: Commodities for Education, Local Employment, and the Global Labour Market

    Nancy Arthur

    Chapter 12: Essential, Excluded, and Exploited: Undocumented Immigrant Workers Before, During, and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

    German A. Cadenas and Fiorella L. Carlos Chavez

    Chapter 13: Envisioning Environments Conducive for the Career Advancement of Individuals in

    Challenging Mental Health Situations

    Tracy Woods and Uma Chandrika Millner

    Chapter 14: Building Better Work for those Released from Prison

    Femina P. Varghese

    Chapter 15: Calling All Nepantleras: Building a More Inclusive Workplace

    Ellen Hawley McWhirter

    Chapter 16: Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value: Easier Said than Done

    Ishbel McWha-Hermann

    Chapter 17: Empowering Entrepreneurs from Marginalized Backgrounds through Critical Entrepreneurial-Mindset Training

    Alexander Glosenberg

    Chapter 18: A Tale of Two Citizens

    Ronald G. Sultana

    Precarious work, Unemployment, and Underemployment

    Chapter 19: The Essential Worker Paradox

    Kelsey L. Autin and Gabriel N. Ezema

    Chapter 20: From Unsustainable Jobs to Sustainable Livelihoods

    Stuart C. Carr

    Chapter 21: Addressing Internalized Stigma: How to Holistically Support Unemployed Jobseekers

    Ofer Sharone

    Race, Culture, and Work

    Chapter 22: The Abolition of Capitalist Work and Reimagining Labor

    Sundiata K. Cha-Jua and Helen A. Neville

    Chapter 23: Black Women, Work, & Liberation: (Re)Envisioning a More Equitable Workplace

    Kerrie Wilkins-Yel and Aisha Farra

    Chapter 24: Using Power for Good: Learning to Recognize Hidden Biases/Strengths to Improve Workplace Relationships

    Margo A. Jackson and Paige Guarino

    Chapter 25: Gender and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Workplace

    Nadya A. Fouad and Stephanie G. Burrows

    Chapter 26: Working People: Black and Brown Workers and the Poultry Processing Industry in the U.S. South

    Keona K. Ervin

    Practice, Systematic, and Policy Perspectives on Work

    Chapter 27: Women’s Leadership and Advancement in a Kaleidoscope World: Opportunity awaits

    Donna E. Schultheiss

    Chapter 28: Coming to Terms with the Limits to Vocational Training within Helping Professions

    Ryan D. Duffy

    Chapter 29: Job Quality and Workforce Development

    Jerry R. Rubin

    Chapter 30: The Importance of Not Working: Paid Time Off as a Right not a Privilege

    Saba Rasheed Ali and Allison R. Bywater

    Chapter 31: Work is a Four-Letter word: Secondary schools, Employers and Transitions into Early Employment

    Anthony Mann

    Chapter 32: Career Preparedness and Safety Nets as Hedges against an Uncertain Work Future

    Robert W. Lent

    Chapter 33: Toward a Squared Sustainable Work: Placing Ecological and Human Sustainability at the Heart of the Future of Work

    Shékina Rochat and Jérôme Rossier

    Chapter 34: Decent Work in America?

    Caroline S. Fawcett

    Chapter 35: Our Purpose is People

    Aron Ain

    Chapter 36: Securing Decent and Dignified School-to-Work Transitions

    Jonas Masdonati

    Chapter 37: Dignity in the Workplace

    Donna Hicks

    Chapter 38: Bonded Labor: The Student Debt Crisis and Decent Work

    Patton O. Garriott, Sandra Bertram Grant Solís, Kristen Jiin Park

    Chapter 39: Not Just One Employee’s Problem: Improving Workers’ Well-Being Through Consultation, Education, and Advocacy

    Brandon L. Velez

    Chapter 40: A Degree Isn’t What It Used to Be: Supporting College Students and Non-Completers Amid the Student Debt Crisis

    Gloria G. McGillen

    Technology and Work

    Chapter 41: The Future of Work-Family Relations: Hopes for Beneficial Flexibility

    Rachel Gali Cinamon

    Chapter 42: Workplace Surveillance Shapes Worker Experiences

    Jerod C. White and Tara S. Behrend

    Chapter 43: On Embracing Automation and Loving Work: Or Why We Should Not Be Afraid of Our Washing Machines

    Tristram Hooley

    Chapter 44: Preparing for a 60-Year Career

    Stephanie Malia Krauss


    Chapter 45: Concluding Thoughts and Future Directions for Building a Better Workplace

    Lisa Y. Flores and David L. Blustein


    David L. Blustein is Professor and Golden Eagle Faculty Fellow in the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology at Boston College, Chestnut Hill. MA, USA. David is the author of The Psychology of Working: A New Perspective for Career Development, Counseling, and Public Policy and The Importance of Work in an Age of Uncertainty and has been instrumental in developing psychology of working theory.

    Lisa Y. Flores is Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA. She has published extensively on the career development of Latinx and women.

    "David Blustein and Lisa Flores have curated a remarkable collection of essays in which some of the world’s finest minds tackle one of the world’s most urgent questions: How can we make the modern workplace more humane and just? The voices and perspectives in this timely book will spark you to think bigger and will equip you with the ideas and practices to transform both workforce policies and your own work life."

    Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Drive; When, and The Power of Regret

    "Blustein and Flores have given us an amazing gift in their edited book, Rethinking Work; the gift of reimagination. This book intricately weaves together a tapestry of essays that reimagine our relationship to work, and introduce provocative possibilities about humanity at the center of work. The authors call readers to the metaphorical dinner table to speak to us from their hearts as they discuss implications of the current inflection point in the world of work and then invite us to step outside to have a fireside chat and wrestle with the questions raised at the table. If you are ready for out-of-the-box thinking to build a better workplace, this it!"

    Angela Byars-Winston is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA and senior author of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report entitled The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM

    "This rich and compelling series of essays describes, prescribes, and proscribes policies and practices in the world of work. The authors portray the importance of work for a wide variety of populations, paying particular attention to the plight of oppressed and marginalized communities. But the contributors go far beyond describing the current state of affairs; they offer persuasive and practical recommendations for imagining thriving workplaces around the world. This magnificent book will enlighten the mind and empower the spirit to do better, to work better, and to live better. I highly recommend it to leaders, workers, students, and policy makers."

    Isaac Prilleltensky is the Mautner Endowed Chair in Community Well-Being at the University of Miami, USA, and co-author, with Ora Prilleltensky, of How People Matter: Why it Affects Health, Happiness, Love, Work, and Society

    "The answer to the common question "What do you do?" is usually one's occupation, because work is so fundamental to one's identity. Much deeper questions follow this basic one: "Can decent work be accessible and equitable for all?," "How are technology and globalization affecting the nature of jobs, education, and the labor market?," and "Who all are really benefiting from our work?" Rethinking Work: Essays on Building a Better Workplace provides refreshing expert insights to questions such as these. Moreover, discovering how chapters are usefully related in addressing workplace issues is, to me, as rewarding as the chapters in their own right."

    Fred Oswald, PhD., Professor and Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Science, Department of Psychological Sciences, Rice University, USA

    "In light of the clear evidence that the institution of work is not working for individuals or society, this thoughtful and thought-provoking volume brings together voices from across the globe to reimagine a people-focused future of work. It is through imaginative exercises such as these that one sees a pathway to a more hopeful future of work—one that is built around the ideas of decency, dignity, equity, social justice, well-being, agency, and sustainability. This book is a must-read for students, scholars, workers, organizational leaders, policy-makers, and anyone looking to understand and positively impact the institution of work."

    Mindy Shoss, Professor of Psychology, University of Central Florida, USA; Honorary Professor, Australian Catholic University, Australia

    "By providing a sustained critique of the 'language', form and practice of work that includes a rich plethora of approaches and positions, Blustein and Flores do every policymaker, researcher, employer and employee an invaluable service.

    Rethinking Work: Essays on Building a Better Workplace introduces new, thought-provoking and challenging perspectives that resonate with the challenges the world currently faces. At a time of unemployment/underemployment, precarity, the Great Resignation, automation and marginalization, this book provides an much-needed antidote, mapping paths to a more just and honest world of work that serves the interests of all members of society."

    Rie Thomsen, Professor of Career Guidance, Aarhus University, Denmark

    "This very timely book presents a highly informative collection of chapters that explore the various topics that should be considered as we face the many changes, challenges, and opportunities of working in the present and future. Written by some of the leading scholars in the field, the chapters provide much-needed reflections to understand better key work and career development issues on how work can be meaningful, inclusive, and sustainable for all."

    Andreas Hirschi, Chair of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Bern, Switzerland

    "This book represents a major contribution to the understanding of the evolution of work and the labor market in the post-COVID period. This contribution brings to light the profound transformations of work and the function of work in the lives of the most disadvantaged people across the globe. The book constitutes an important step in helping us to develop a global view on the nature of working in the 21st century. The contributors, who represents many regions of the world, provide insights about various aspects of work, including racism and culture, inequalities, precarity, unemployment and underemployment, and technology. This must-have book provides readers with an in-depth knowledge of the major challenges that people face in our changing contemporary world."

    Valérie Cohen-Scali, INETOP-Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris, France

    "What lies ahead in the future of work, how will it change? How can we express ourselves and find value in being someone that works? Will the challenges of a strained work/life balance, race, ethnicity and gender forever weigh us down? What can be done so work can be decent and meaningful for all – is there a roadmap we can follow?

    I invite you to join me in learning from the experience and knowledge that permeates this book, from seasoned researchers and writers that study work and how it affects our lives. As I read, I learned about the challenges, we face but also about what can give hope.

    Can we be optimists? I think the answer from this book is an unequivocal yes!"

    Ingrid Bakke, Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, Innland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer, Norway

    "In Rethinking Work: Essays on Building a Better Workplace, Blustein and Flores provide the perfect venue to reflect on the interrelated factors impacting the current state of work, while simultaneously providing a space to begin reimagining a world of work that is more just, equitable, and fulfilling for all. Indeed, the innovation strategies, ideas, models, and tools delineated in this volume offer a starting point for transforming a system that has created differential classes of workers—those who work for survival and those who work for self-determination—to a system that lifts up ALL workers as they survive and thrive in healthier workspaces. There is no doubt that this volume of work will guide future research, training, organizational structures, management strategies, and public policy that will transform the world of work for the better."

    Rachel L. Navarro, Ph.D., Professor, College of Education and Human Development, University of North Dakota, USA

    "Rethinking Work: Essays on Building a Better Workplace is a wonderful collection of essays focusing on how we might reimagine work to help people and society thrive. The book is organized around seven critical themes, in which scholars and practitioners discuss the function and changing nature of work, inequalities and precariousness, race and culture, policy issues, and the role of technology. It is impressive how David Blustein and Lisa Flores have brought together these thought-provoking and highly relevant discussions that help us imagine a long-term sustainable workforce. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in a contextualized and hopeful view of modern work and careers."

    Jos Akkermans, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands