Work without Jobs

From Management on the Cutting Edge

Work without Jobs

How to Reboot Your Organization's Work Operating System

By Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau

In this Wall Street Journal bestseller, why the future of work requires the deconstruction of jobs and the reconstruction of work.





In this Wall Street Journal bestseller, why the future of work requires the deconstruction of jobs and the reconstruction of work.

Work is traditionally understood as a “job,” and workers as “jobholders.” Jobs are structured by titles, hierarchies, and qualifications. In Work without Jobs, a Wall Street Journal bestseller, Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau propose a radically new way of looking at work. They describe a new “work operating system” that deconstructs jobs into their component parts and reconstructs these components into more optimal combinations that reflect the skills and abilities of individual workers. In a new normal of rapidly accelerating automation, demands for organizational agility, efforts to increase diversity, and the emergence of alternative work arrangements, the old system based on jobs and jobholders is cumbersome and ungainly. Jesuthasan and Boudreau's new system lays out a roadmap for the future of work.

Work without Jobs presents real-world cases that show how leading organizations are embracing work deconstruction and reinvention. For example, when a robot, chatbot, or artificial intelligence takes over parts of a job while a human worker continues to do other parts, what is the “job”? DHL found some answers when it deployed social robotics at its distribution centers. Meanwhile, the biotechnology company Genentech deconstructed jobs to increase flexibility, worker engagement, and retention. Other organizations achieved agility with internal talent marketplaces, worker exchanges, freelancers, crowdsourcing, and partnerships. It's time for organizations to reboot their work operating system, and Work without Jobs offers an essential guide for doing so.


$29.95 T ISBN: 9780262046411 232 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 8 figures


$22.95 T ISBN: 9780262545969 232 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 8 figures


  • "Work without Jobs should be required reading for the leader and HR manager of the future! Masterfully written, Ravin and John guide readers in understanding the changing landscape of technology in the workplace and how to approach some of today's toughest questions and fears for employees. Become versed in a profound, new understanding of your team and company's jobs with this incredible new book!"

    Marshall Goldsmith

    New York Times #1 bestselling author of Triggers, Mojo, and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

  • "Work without Jobs is a joy to read, an innovative and thoughtful account of where the workplace is, and where it is going.  It is extremely well-written, with gold nuggets of ideas scattered throughout. This is a must read for anyone concerned about the future of work from two thought leaders."

    Professor Sir Cary Cooper

    CBE, 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at the ALLIANCE Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.

  • Work without Jobs is about how work is changing, inexorably, in ways that will eventually transform every aspect of society. Deeply researched and compelling, this is the book to read this year if you want to gain a deep understanding of how work is changing and what it might mean for your organization. Full of history, data, research, and ideas, it will be an invaluable resource for academics and practitioners alike.”

    Amy C. Edmondson

    Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School


  • “This timely book will help you radically rethink how to organize work.”

    Adam Grant

    #1 New York Times best-selling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife

  • “The world is changing fast but the way we work is, in many crucial ways, stuck in the past. Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau lay out a powerful argument for moving beyond staid and outdated assumptions and toward a reimagined work system. This engaging book will help both individuals and organizations become more agile, resilient, and inclusive.”

    Daniel H. Pink

    #1 New York Times best-selling author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human

  • “Purpose and social impact are becoming more important than ever, and employees are demanding more from their employers. It is time we reinvent the world of work as we know it. Work without Jobs provides the radical framework needed to completely rethink the working models we use to ensure work works for everyone.”

    Leena Nair

    Global Chief Executive Officer, Chanel

  • “How can an organization evolve in an ever-changing world? This book is essential reading for any business leader who wants to understand the future of work, jobs, and skills.”

    Saadia Zahidi

    Managing Director, Centre for the New Economy and Society, World Economic Forum

  • “Work and jobs are changing fast, and in this fascinating book the authors provide a masterful guide that will help every manager make the most of the extraordinary opportunities to rethink jobs and boost productivity.”

    Lynda Gratton

    Professor of Management Practice, London Business School; author of Redesigning Work


  • A Wall Street Journal bestseller