Academic entrepreneurs

Higher education must change to meet 21st-century challenges.

By James H. Johnson Jr. and John D. Kasarda

The recent trend in offshore outsourcing of white-collar jobs is compounding North Carolina’s decades-old problem of traditional manufacturing job loss.

Unemployment in many small towns and inner-city areas remains intractably high and in some places has worsened, despite the broader economic recovery.  Gaps between the state’s more and less prosperous communities have widened at the same time that the public’s appetite to address such gaps through additional government expenditures has waned.

The political orientation to legislate protective policies to slow North Carolina’s job losses to foreign nations has waned as well with growing awareness that such policies could undermine the state’s long-term competitiveness.

New strategies are required to address new realities.

Underlying these strategies must be the recognition that globalization is with us to stay and that job loss is an inevitable attribute of any dynamic economy.  The challenge is to create more jobs than are lost while developing innovative strategies to meet the needs of people, places, and organizations caught in the web of change.

James H. Johnson Jr. and John D. Kasarda are professors of management at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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