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AMITAI ETZIONI

cause,onaverage,bothgroupswerelesswell-preparethanwhitemales.Thisis no aspersionon their innateability, butreflectscenturiesof discriminationand lesseducationalpreparationas well as differentpsychologicahistories.More-

over, proportionatelymore women than men go to work outsidethe home compelledby economicpressuresnotbecaus they wantto. A nationalsurvey conductedby the University of Michigan's SurveyResearchCenterin 1971 found that41 percentof the womenquestionedcompare to 26 percentof the men, would not work if they didn't needthe money (Campbell,Converse,

Rodgers,1976,p. 291).

The tie betweenworkers' backgroundand productivityis alsosuggeste by Edward Denison,a leadingexpertonproductivity. He found thatthe introduc- tion of massesof lesswell-preparedperson into the laborforcecauseda reduc- tion in productivity, albeit not a majorone (Denison, 1979,p. 35).

Education

A sizable segment of the graduates of America's schools are psychically underprepared for the adult world. Data on the deterioration of education are solid and well cited (see Etzioni, 1983). The root problem is not that millions of high school graduateshave great difficulty with reading, writing, and 'rithmetic; those all-too-common deficiencies are consequences of insufficient self- organization, of inadequate ability to mobilize self and to make a commitment. These graduates enter the adult world twice handicapped. They suffer from both continued psychic underdevelopment and from the inadequatecognitive prepara- tion this underdevelopment helped to cause. The implications for the world of work are dual: many new workers do not have the capacity to cope with routines, rules, or authority. And since they had the samebasic incapacity in school-due

as well to other factors ranging from

teachers-they

are

deficient

in

cognitive

write, and compute, and ing with a computer).

in

specific

work

school "overload" preparation (both

skills,

from

reading

to "burned-out" in ability to read, a blueprint to deal-

Motivation/Work Ethic

Among the mostpopularexplanationsfor the declinein productivitygrowth throughoutthe 1950-80 period is the decline in worker motivationand the waningof the workethic. ProductivityexpertEdwardDeniso is "skepticalthat a suddendrop in willingnessto work is responsibl for the recentretardationof productivity, whetherthatis datedafter 1966or after1973." (Denison,1979,p. 134)He explains that his skepticismis

largely attributable to having heard similar generalizations all my life and having read them in the works of observers who wrote long before my birth. It was well before I %7 that I wrote, "Like the supposed decline in the spirit of enterprise, there seems always to be a popular

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