Considering that global change cannot be attributed easily to a single event over time, it is necessary to review the conditions in both developed and developing economies over the past 50 years, and in some cases, even longer, in an attempt to understand the causes and conditions leading to this change. Regardless of the nature of these changes-whether caused by technology advances, market conditions, manufacturing policies, or labor scenario-the purpose is to understand them and explore how they affected worker productivity in the manufacturing sector.