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Escola Secundria de Clara de Resende

Collaborative
Consumption
and the
Changing
Paradigm of the
World of Work
An innovative undertake on the new work context,
complemented by the progressive profoundness of
communication and international work division to
complete information related jobs.

Toms Pinto, 11E, n19


Index
Introduction
Collaborative Consumption
Rachel Botsman
The Evolution
So, how will jobs change? Hyperspecialization
Coffice A funny example
Currency of Trust
Conclusion
Bibliography/Webography

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Toms Pinto Collaborative Consumption and the Changing Paradigm of the World of
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Introduction
Nowadays, we live in a new era of information, with an ever-growing access to new
ideas and ways of thinking. Consequently, this has dramatically changed us and the
world around us, bursting into our lives in different forms. There are numerous
examples bearing witness to this transformative phenomenon. A range of companies
with different backgrounds, but with one common factor: the digitalisation of business.
Uber, a company based in San Francisco, has garnered the criticism of taxi-drivers
across the world, revolutionising this traditional sector with the development of an app
that connects passengers with the drivers registered on its platform. Airbnb, the holy
grail of the tourist sector. Appraised at more than 10 billion USD, the biggest hotel
chain in the world does not own a single hotel. Airbnb bases its business on new
technologies and the emergence of the latest social trends such as the sharing
economy. Once again, an app is what links tourists with the landlords that are renting
or sharing their properties. The collaborative economy and the digital transformation
of services are becoming increasingly responsible for landing the entire banking sector
in hot waters. Digitalisation has arrived and it is here to stay. A radical change which is
brewing in the offices of the CEOs of all organisations, given that it affects all
businesses across the whole value chain.
At the same time this technological impact carries a heavy switch in the way
consumption is made, an enormous emphasis is put on trust, and its dislocation from
major corporations to decentralized web services such as Uber and Airbnb, already
mentioned above. Most importantly, the future of work is based on collaborative
consumption, and the fact that it causes a rise in the importance of values and
education, and completely changing the incentive game from working in a big
corporation, and having strong regulations imposed on workers, to letting them working
based on their willingness and, much often, sense of competitivity. The internet is
turning us from passive consumers to creators to highly enabled collaborators. The
internet is eliminating the middle man, truly pushing us towards peer-to-peer social
networks and real-time technologies.

Collaborative Consumption A definition

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Toms Pinto Collaborative Consumption and the Changing Paradigm of the World of
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The theory of collaborative consumption is defined as the reinvention of traditional
market behavioursrenting, lending, swapping, sharing, bartering, giftingthrough
technology, taking place in ways and on a scale not possible before the internet. It
includes three systems: product service systems, collaborative lifestyles and
redistribution markets that enable people to pay to
access and share goods and services versus needing to
own them outright. A key underpinning principle is idling
capacity: the power of technology to unlock the social,
economic and environmental value of underutilized assets.

Rachel Botsman
Rachel Botsman is a global authority on a new era of trust.
She studies and teaches how technology is transforming
human relationships and what it means for life, work and
how we do business. In her first highly acclaimed book,
Whats Mine is Yours (HarperCollins, 2010), she defined the
theory of collaborative consumption. The concept was
subsequently named by TIME as one of the Ten Ideas That
Will Change the World and by Thinkers50 as the 2015
Breakthrough Idea. She teaches the worlds first MBA course on the subject, which she
designed, at Oxford Universitys Sad School of Business. Her forthcoming book, Who
Can You Trust? (Penguin, October 2017) focuses on why trust is collapsing in all kinds of
institutions and yet at the same time, the rise of new technologies is enabling what she
calls distributed trust across networks of people, organisations and intelligent
machines. An engaging storyteller and visionary thinker, Rachels skill lies in
discovering and explaining paradigm shifts happening in the world and making them
meaningful to a wide range of audiences. She is a regular writer and commentator in
leading international publications including Harvard Business Review, Economist, The
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired and more. She writes a monthly column for
the Australian Financial Review. Rachel was recognised as one of the Most Creative
People in Business by Fast Company, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic
Forum and is part of Thinkers50 2016 Radar list of up-and-coming management
thinkers. () She uses stories and visuals, grounded in deep research, to paint a vivid
picture of how technology impacts trust and innovation.

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The Evolution
During a recent stay at the Disney Swan hotel in Florida, I confess I did something in
the bathroom I have done many times before. I used too many towels and carelessly
left them on the floor. Its not something Ive thought much about before: I leave the
hotel and whos to know? But something struck me as I walked out the door. I would
never do this as a guest staying in a place on Airbnb. I behave differently because of
the reputation system in place that means not only do I rate hosts, but they rate me.
Trust lies intimately between the perceptions of the two users. We can point to this
example and extract a sign of how online trust facilitated by digital tools can change
our real world behavior. Its easy to see how one careless towel toss could impact my
ability to transact on Airbnb in the future. But what it illustrates is a paradigm shift. A
new world of trust is emerging: one where trust lies in the hands of individuals, not in
the big bellies of institutions. Since the industrial revolution, institutional trust the
confidence in the relationship between individuals and corporations or organizations
has been the norm. We have trusted that financial institutions, universities, media
companies and other big corporations, will create the rules and enforce compliance that
will keep us safe and make goods and services reliable. This framework of trust has
failed many of us through wrongdoing, scandal, or sheer ineffectiveness, and is
consequently crumbling. Gallup has asked the following question annually since 1973:
Now I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me
how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one: a great deal, quite a lot, some,
or very little? In June 2015 survey, the question revealed that public confidence had
slumped across all major institutions, except the military and small business, to a
historic low. But the erosion of institutional trust is not only because were asking
challenging questions about the structure and size of institutional systems, and the
reputations of those who lead them. Its because institutional trust isnt designed for
the digital age. Think of the characteristics of institutional trust big, hierarchal,
centralized, gated, and standardized. It works if you are Goldman Sachs, AT&T, or Pfizer
but it makes no sense if you are network or market-based company like Airbnb, Lyft, or
Etsy. The DNA of peer trust is built on opposite characteristics micro, bottom-up,
decentralized, flowing and personal. The result of this shift is not only the emergence of
disruptive new business models. Convention in how trust is built, lost and repaired in
brands, leaders and entire systems is being turned upside down. We are inventing a
type of trust that can grease the wheels of business and facilitate person-to-person
relationships in the age of distributed networks and collaborative marketplaces. A type
of trust that transforms the social glue for ideas whether it be for renting your house to
someone you dont know, making a loan to unknown borrowers on a social lending
platform, and getting in a car with a stranger from being considered personally risky, to
the building blocks of multi-billion dollar businesses. And the power of this emerging
trust dynamic is being harnessed by both start-ups and established brands. On
September 30, 2015, Amazon launched Flex in Seattle, a new crowdsourced delivery
service that relies not on traditional couriers, but ordinary people to bring packages to
you. The deliverers are not employed by the e-commerce giant, and do not wear their
uniforms or drive Amazon branded vehicles. Some may say it is merely Amazon tapping
into a cheap labor pool gig-economy workers as they have been contentiously
dubbed to drive down the costs of Prime Now, their popular one-hour delivery service.
But what I find more interesting is the dynamics of trust Amazon is tapping into to get
their packages into the hands of customers. In the crowd-shipping model, trust is no
longer linear and tightly controlled between Amazon and its customers. Instead, trust
sits in a web between customer and driver, driver and Amazon, customer and Amazon.
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Without a doubt this shift in trust will be messy. New complexities will emerge around
risk, discrimination and accountability that will require not just new regulatory and legal
frameworks but a different organizational mindset to find a way through. And well have
to find a way through because to be human, to have relationships with other people, is
to trust. Perhaps the disruption happening now is not about technology; it is how it
enables a shift in trust, from institutions to individuals.
The Changing Rules of Trust in the Digital Age, Rachel Botsman, Harvard Business
Review, October 20, 2015.

So, how will jobs change? Hyperspecialization


Adam Smiths Wealth of Nations, published in 1776, famously described what would be
one of the central drivers of economic progress for centuries to come: the division of
labour. Much of the prosperity our world now enjoys comes from the productivity gains
of dividing work into ever smaller tasks performed by ever more specialized workers.
Today, thanks to the rise of knowledge work and communications technology, this
subdivision of labour has advanced to a point where the next difference in degree will
constitute a difference in kind. We are entering an era of hyperspecializationa very
different, and not yet widely understood, world of work. () Just as people in the early
days of industrialization saw single jobs (such as a pin makers) transformed into many
jobs (Adam Smith observed 18 separate steps in a pin factory), we will now see
knowledge-worker jobssalesperson, secretary, engineeratomize into complex
networks of people all over the world performing highly specialized tasks. Even job
titles of recent vintage will soon strike us as quaint. Software developer, for example,
already obscures the reality that often in a software project, different specialists are
responsible for design, coding, and testing. And that is the simplest scenario. When
TopCoder, a start-up software firm based in Connecticut, gets involved, the same
software may be touched by dozens of contributors. TopCoder chops its clients IT
projects into bite-size chunks and offers them up to its worldwide community of
freelance developers as
competitive challenges (opening
the possibility of becoming a top
coder). For instance, a project
might begin with a contest to
generate the best new software-
product idea. A second contest
might provide a high-level
description of the projects goals
and challenge developers to create
the document that best translates
them into detailed system
requirements. (TopCoder hosts a
web forum that allows developers to query the client for more details, and all those
questions and answers become visible to all competitors.) The winning specifications
document might become the basis for the next contest, in which other developers
compete to design the systems architecture, specifying the required pieces of software
and the connections among them. Further contests are launched to develop each of the
pieces separately and then to integrate them into a working whole. Finally, still other
programmers compete to find and correct bugs in the sundry parts of the system. ()
In the great tradition of the division of labour, this hyperspecialization pays off.
TopCoder can often provide its clients with development work that is comparable in

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quality to what they would get by more traditional means but at as little as 25% of the
cost. And it manages to do this while maintaining a satisfied, well-paid community of
coders. As well discuss, the potential quality, speed, and cost advantages virtually
guarantee that this model will become more widespread. But will its benefits be
unalloyed? To ensure that hyperspecialization is as welcome as it is likely, we must
keep our eyes open to its possible dangers.

Fast, Cheap, and Under Control


The term hyperspecialization is not synonymous with outsourcing work to other
companies or distributing it to other places (as in offshoring), although it is facilitated
by the same technologies. Rather, it means breaking work previously done by one
person into more-specialized pieces done by several people. Whether those pieces are
outsourced or distributed, their separation often leads to improvements in quality,
speed, and cost. To understand the magnitude of the quality gains that
hyperspecialization makes possible, consider how much time you personally spend on
tasks that dont draw on your expertise and that you may not even be particularly
adept at performing. Just like craft workers of the past, knowledge workers engage in
myriad peripheral activities that could be done better or more cheaply by others
(particularly others who specialize in them). Project managers, for example, spend
untold hours preparing slide decks even though few of them have the software facility
and design sensibilities to do that well. Some can delegate the task, which at least
allows it to be accomplished less expensively. But imagine a service like TopCoder that
could offer instant access to a network of PowerPoint jockeys. Imagine further that
some of those remote workers were brilliant chart producers, others were eagle-eyed
proof-readers, and still others were content experts for different types of presentations.
(Some, for instance, might specialize in sales presentations for office supply products,
and others in internal project review meetings for the pharmaceutical industry.) Add an
inspired graphic designer, and theres little doubt that the presentation would be
enhanced.

Managing in a World of Hyperspecialization


In any given company, hyperspecialization might reshape the organization in many
ways, from the macro to the micro level of task assignment. Some of the tasks of a
certain role might be hived off, or entire job categories and processes might be
upended. Managers might focus on lower-value-added tasks, as the clients of
Samasource do when they hand over data entry. Or they might see greater value in
tapping world-class expertise for high-end tasks. For instance, Business Talent Group
and YourEncore have networks of freelance experts who provide clients with short-term,
high-priced, but ideally higher-value consultation. Regardless of task level, capitalizing
on hyperspecialization will call for new managerial skills and focus. First, managers will
need to learn how best to divide knowledge work into discrete, assignable tasks.
Second, specialized workers should be recruited and the terms of their contribution
settled. Third, the quality of the work must be ensured. And finally, the pieces must be
integrated.

Breaking down the work.


Understanding how a knowledge-based job could be transformed by hyperspecialization
begins with mapping the tasks currently done by people holding that job. Such a map
may immediately suggest tasks and subtasks that could be performed with higher
quality, at greater speed, or at lower cost by a specialized resource. In 2008 the
pharmaceutical giant Pfizer undertook to do just this in an initiative it called

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pfizerWorks. Its task-mapping revealed that Pfizers most highly skilled knowledge
workers were spending 20% to 40% of their time on things like data entry, web
research, basic spreadsheet analysis, and PowerPoint slides. The company established
a process that allowed these tasks to be off-loaded, first to a pair of Indian offshoring
firms and then also to an Ohio-based company. Critical to subdividing knowledge work
is understanding the dependencies among tasks and determining whether they can be
managed satisfactorily if the tasks are done by different people. A simple example: A
multinational company recently reorganized its administrative staff and considered
assigning the task of making executives travel arrangements to a select group of
administrative assistants who could then become its travel specialists. In the end the
company decided that because travel itineraries impinge directly on the scheduling of
other meetings (and on family birthdays and anniversaries), it was more efficient to
leave this task with the administrative assistants who worked directly with the
executives.

Recruiting workers and assigning tasks.


To complete hyperspecialized tasks, companies can use internal employees, develop
dedicated relationships with external suppliers, or rely on intermediary firms that link
clients with communities of specialized workers. One large U.S. technology company
used its own staff when it experimented with hyperspecializing its internal software-
development process. PfizerWorks relied on a small number of dedicated outsourcing
companies. The T-shirt maker Threadless created its own community of workers to
design and critique its products. Hyperspecialization will require most managers to
learn to work with the kinds of dedicated intermediaries that have sprung up in recent
years to provide access to pools of skilled labour. (See the exhibit The New Brokers of
Work.) Much as cloud computing services offer on-demand access to computer
capacity and storage space, these firms offer crowd computingon-demand access
to large groups of appropriately specialized workers.

Quality control.
One way to ensure the quality of hyperspecialized work is to do what most companies
do before they hire employees: check credentials. Some project-based intermediaries,
including oDesk and Guru.com, still rely on this approach. But over the past decade
several new approaches have emerged.
Paying based on an outcome is one. For instance, when a contest is held on
InnoCentive, the client does not pay until a solution to the problem has been
developed. Users of Mechanical Turk dont pay unless the work meets an acceptable
level of quality. Another approach is to have multiple workers complete the same task
and use only results that are replicated. A related method is to mix real tasks with test
tasks for which the correct answer is already known. The intermediary CrowdFlower
rejects contributions from people who get its test tasks wrong. Still another approach is
to have one group of workers do the tasks and another group rate the outputs.

Good News, Bad News


Hyperspecialization offers significant advantages for companies, workers, and society.
But it has a potential dark side, which must be addressed. Although many of these
advantages and disadvantages also occur with the outsourcing and distribution of work,
they arise in specific ways with hyperspecialization.

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The promise.
Hyperspecialization offers both workers and companies much more flexibility than
traditional employment arrangements do. Individuals can often work where and when
they choose. Agents for LiveOps, which provides call centre outsourcing, find this
flexibility very attractive, because it allows them to operate from home and makes it
easier to balance work with personal responsibilities. And the autonomy workers feel
when they can choose their own assignments has a strong appeal. For companies,
hyperspecialization allows capacity to be ramped up and down very rapidly. In the wake
of Hurricane Katrina, the Red Cross hotline was overwhelmed with calls from people
offering to contribute or volunteer.
Hyperspecialization can also ameliorate the skills mismatch that plagues many national
labor markets. Even with todays high rates of unemployment, companies around the
world find it increasingly difficult to hire certain key employees, such as sales
representatives, engineers, and accountants. These shortages might be alleviated by
redefining jobs so that, for example, skilled accountants coordinated the work of
hyperspecialists doing the lower-skilled aspects of the job.
People who face barriers in traditional job markets might benefit from
hyperspecialization as well. At web-enabled intermediaries, workers are typically judged
by what they producenot by rsums, prior experience, or references. This can be
liberating for young people looking for a first break, seniors seeking to stay connected
to the work world, or those who risk discrimination in face-to-face workplaces. Pearl
Interactive Network, an Ohio-based company that performs outsourced tasks for
pfizerWorks, primarily employs people with disabilities.
At web-enabled intermediaries, workers are typically judged by what they producenot
by rsums, prior experience, or references.
Hyperspecialization also provides virtual labour mobility for people who live in
developing countries. Wages in advanced economies can exceed those in some
emerging nations by as much as a factor of eight. Being able to undertake small tasks
on sites like Samasource and txteagle can thus significantly improve the economic
standing of workers in, say, Africa and South Asia.
Thomas W. Malone, Robert Laubacher and Tammy Johns, The Big Idea: The Age of
Specialization, Harvard Business Review, July-August
2011

Coffice A funny example


Name: The coffice.
Age: As old as free Wi-Fi.
Appearance: Half coffee shop, half office. Hence the
name.
Just a few words in and you've already lost me. It's
where all the cool kids work. Rather than commuting
to a boring old office, they take their laptops to their
local Starbucks or Costa, where they can yap into
their mobiles, hog the tables and wreck the atmosphere for anyone who just wants an
espresso and a read of the papers? Well, yeah. But they can also surf the net, check

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their emails and access their Google Drives. Is this another puff piece for the Guardian's
"achingly trendy" Shoreditch-based coffee shop? No. This is a piece about the changing
face of work, as described by Nicola Millard. She's a futurologist for BT. A whatologist?
She is paid to advise BT and its big customers on how working life will change over the
next few years. She prefers to call herself a "soonologist". She's joking, of course? One
can only hope so, though one of her peers does call himself a "trend DJ". Millard's
favourite place to work, she says, is somewhere with a bit of a life but no colleagues to
distract her. "My four criteria for working," she says, "are that I need good coffee, I need
good cake, I need great connectivity the Wi-Fi wings to fly me into the cloud and I
need company." That's all very interesting But what does it mean for the rest of us?
Precisely. Not much if you're stacking shelves or changing old people's incontinence
pads. But if you're a "knowledge-based" worker, Millard points out, all you need for
most of the time is a phone, a computer and an internet connection. This could be in
your local cafe or it could be in your home. "There is no reason why knowledge
workers shouldn't all be working flexibly in five years' time," per Millard. How much
does a futurologist earn? I too have a gift for stating the obvious. It's not obvious to
everyone. Just last year the internet giant Yahoo! banned its executives from working at
home. Being "one Yahoo!", apparently, "starts with being physically together". I think
I'm going to be physically sick. I've got a better idea. Let's go to the pubfice.
Don't say: "I'm working late."
Do say: "I'll be working on latte."

Currency of Trust
Conventions of how trust is built, managed, lost and repaired in brands, leaders,
and entire systems are being turned upside down. Technology is creating new
mechanisms that are enabling us to trust unknown people, companies and ideas.
Think Airbnb, Tinder and Bitcoin. At the same time, trust in institutions is fading. A
shift is underway from the 20 century defined by institutional trust towards the
th

21 century that will be defined by distributed trust across huge networks of


st

people, organizations and intelligent machines. According to the concept of


collaborative consumption, it guides us also towards a shift from a consumerist and
capitalist 20th century into a new way of consuming, where people consume to get
to know the Joneses. Using web services, the fact that consumers evaluate
workers based on their product, on a direct basis, creates (or either, recreates) a
long-lost sense of humanity. This way, reputation is our most important asset, it is
the socioeconomic lubricant that makes collaborative consumption work and scale.

I believe that we are at the start of a collaborative revolution that will


be as significant as the Industrial Revolution. In the 20th century, the
invention of traditional credit transformed our consumer system, and in
many ways controlled who had access to what. In the 21st century, new
trust networks, and the reputation capital they generate, will reinvent
the way we think about wealth, markets, power and personal identity,
in ways we can't yet even imagine.
- Rachel Botsman

Conclusion
As a whole, the world of work is an astounding and complex topic, and predicting its
future and the change in flows we will see, it is safe to say collaborative consumption

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and hyperspecialization are just two of the trends the future separates us from. Many
others, like robotics and progressive mechanization, will also surely be as or even more
important. Still, unquestionably, this is a topic that deserves our attention, being a very
interesting matter of study, exploring an underlying consequence of our further
digitalization of the workplace.
Looking in retrospect to this assignment, I can only see it as the perfect way to elevate
the way work is put into perspective, disrupting any previous ideas on the concept of
future work, and bringing a more humanized society into the forefront of priorities. This
is surely an almost utopic concept, believing the goodness in people and their capacity
to, moved by their own interests, create a decentralized economy that puts sharing and
common interest above all. Reaching this conclusion, it is now safe to say that, most of
all, the way future work will develop can only be due to students, and the values,
qualities and skillsets they develop. And so, it promotes the importance of quality
education and teachers that push their students further and further, making them
always better.

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Bibliography/Webography
www.rachelbotsman.com
www.hbr.org
www.investopedia.com
blog.ferrovial.com
www.collaborativeeconomy.com
www.ted.com
www.vox.com
www.slideshare.net
www.taylormali.com
www.zenpencils.com

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