If corporatisation and virtualisation can coexist, two of the basic tenets of modern management theory need to be rethought. The first is that corporate man (and woman) is a thing of the past, and that the only way to succeed in business is to turn yourself into an entrepreneur. The reality is more nuanced. Big companies are certainly cutting back on long-term employees. Dan Kaminsky, chief scientist and a co-founder of White Ops, one of RocketSpace’s startups, recalls that, in a previous corporate job, he filled out a form in which a “mid-career worker” was defined as someone who had been in the same post for two or three years. And employment patterns are becoming much more varied. Lawrence Katz, of Harvard, and Alan Krueger, of Princeton, calculate that the proportion of American workers engaged in “alternative work arrangements” (working as freelancers, temporary contractors and the like) increased from 10.1% in 2005 to 15.8% in late 2015.

But big companies nevertheless preserve a core of employees who help maintain a long-term institutional memory and a distinctive culture. Strategy& has been collecting data on the chief executives of the world’s top 2,500 public companies for more than 15 years. The consultancy’s Per-Ola Karlsson notes that more than 80% of these companies’ CEOs are internal appointments. Almost two-thirds of them have spent 12 years or more climbing up the corporate hierarchy. They are drawn from a large cadre of long-term employees who dominate the upper ranks of the organisation and usually outperform external recruits because they have far more company-specific knowledge. [πηγή]



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