Distruzione creativa sul posto di lavoro

OXFORD – Nel corso della storia il progresso tecnologico ha creato una grande ricchezza, ma ha anche provocato enormi sconvolgimenti. L’industria dell’acciaio statunitenseha subito, ad esempio, un’importante trasformazione negli anni ’60 quando le grandi acciaierie integrate furono gradualmente sostituite dalle cosiddette “mini mill” (mini acciaierie) che hanno finito per distruggere le basi economiche di città come Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania e Youngstown dello stato dell’Ohio. Le “mini mill” hanno tuttavia aumentato la produttività in modo consistente e creato nuove tipologie di lavoro altrove.

La storia dell’acciaio statunitense ci insegna una lezione importante rispetto a ciò che l’economista Joseph Schumpeter definiva “distruzione creativa”, ovvero che una crescita economica a lungo termine comporta molto di più dell’aumento della produttività nelle fabbriche già esistenti e può infatti portare anche a cambiamenti strutturali nel settore dell’occupazione.

E’ possibile osservare un fenomeno simile nell’attuale rivoluzione nel campo delle telecomunicazioni e dell’informatica che ha toccato gran parte dei settori professionali moderni, anche quelli non direttamente associati alla programmazione dei computer o all’ingegneria dei software. La tecnologia informatica ha infatti creato nuovi business importanti (tra cui anche i business cluster), ma ha comportato, d’altro canto, l’esubero di lavoratori manifatturieri ed il declino delle città manifatturiere.

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