Guilds & New Management


Guild Unlimited

works | history | future

MIT's Sloan School of Management has issued several papers that herald guilds as the model for future work associations. To what extent to they realise the potential of guilds to offer new forms of solidarity?
What if, rather than relying on an employer or the government to meet their human needs, individual workers joined independent organizations whose primary purpose was to provide stable "homes" as they moved from job to job? We call these organizations "guilds" by analogy to the craft associations of the Middle Ages. remains to be seen whether guilds adopt a one-stop shopping or a specialized, boutique, approach to offering these services. In the short term, a variety of approaches will be pursued, ranging from the full-service offerings provided by Web startups, to highly specialized insurance plans and job matching/career development services. But even guilds that pursue the "full-service, shopping mall" approach will aggregate products from many providers—HMOs or hospital groups, financial services firms, training companies—and bundle these offerings for their members.
from Robert J. Laubacher and Thomas W. Malone (1997)
Flexible Work Arrangements And 21st Century Worker's Guilds

from Robert J. Laubacher and Thomas W. Malone (2000)
Retreat of the Firm and the Rise of Guilds: The Employment Relationship in an Age of Virtual Business