Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Expert culture has killed the innovator in workplaces

By Joshua Krook

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Over the last few decades, the Western world has had an increasingly specialised workforce, with workers trained in narrow skills, for increasingly narrow positions. However, the more narrow our jobs have become, the less capable we have become in inventing new technologies, products and ideas. The Conversation

Innovative ideas tend to come, not from specialised experts, but from generalists. But in today’s economy, education is focused almost entirely on vocational, specialist skills, creating a dampening effect on innovative thought and creativity.

The more specialised our workforce becomes, the less capable we are of seeing how our industry relates to other industries. We also become less capable of inventing something to fit the knowledge gap between one industry and the next.

Specialisation of the workforce has been driven by a system called “academic inflation”. Where certain jobs...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.