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Workplace Innovation to achieve the EU2020 Strategy Frank Pot PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Challenge Social Innovation Vienna 19-21 September 2011 . Workplace Innovation to achieve the EU2020 Strategy Frank Pot. Conceptual confusion. Social innovation (EU) Sociale innovatie (sometimes: working smarter) (NL, BE) Social entrepreneurship (EU) Non technological innovation (Eurostat)

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Workplace Innovation to achieve the EU2020 Strategy Frank Pot

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Challenge social innovation vienna 19 21 september 2011 l.jpg

Challenge Social Innovation Vienna 19-21 September 2011

Workplace Innovation to achieve the EU2020 StrategyFrank Pot

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Conceptual confusion

  • Social innovation (EU)

  • Sociale innovatie (sometimes: working smarter) (NL, BE)

  • Social entrepreneurship (EU)

  • Non technological innovation (Eurostat)

  • Organisational innovation; new forms of work organisation

  • Workplace development (FI)

  • Innovative Arbeitsgestaltung (DE)

  • Workplace innovation (FI, IE, UK, USA, EF, EESC, EP)

  • Innovative workplaces (OECD, EESC)

  • Sustainable work (systems) (SE)

  • High performance workplaces (USA, UK)

  • High involvement workplaces (USA, UK)

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  • Social innovationof work and employment is about new responses to pressing social demands, which affect the process of social interactions. (aims: human well-being), including labour markets, social security, industrial relations

  • Workplace innovation is the implementation of new and combined interventions in the fields of work organisation, HRM and work relations.(aims: org. performance and QWL)

  • Non- technological innovation also covers dynamic management, new business models and marketing practices and external collaboration. (aims: org. performance)

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Social innovation in EU documents

  • Development of new forms of organisation and interactions to respond to social issues, addressing:

  • Social demands not addressed by markets or existing institutions and directed to vulnerable groups

  • Social challenges of social and economic nature (climate, migration, ageing, poverty)

  • The need to reform society in direction more participative arena; empowerment and learning sources of well-being

  • Social enterprises: care for children, elderly, disabled; work integration long-term unemployed, disadvantaged groups; education (compare commercial companies in these fields)

  • Opportunity to enhance working environment (EP 2011)

  • Collaboration with companies possible (CSR); SME’s in CIP

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‘Social’ in ‘social innovation’ meaning:

  • Complementary to technological innovation

  • Addressing societal problems

  • Directed at society as a whole and well-being

  • Solutions: new behaviours, institutional arrangements

  • Agency: voluntary and community based civil society organisations

  • Opposed to business innovation or economic innovation


  • Agency

  • Opposed to business innovation

  • Example: EU pilot ‘active and healthy ageing’

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Workplace innovation subject of social innovation?

  • Regarding ‘workplace innovation’ there is probably a problematic match with EU social innovation. Opponents could say:

  • Although it could be considered to be a societal problem legislation and institutions (Labour Inspectorate, co-determination etc.) are in place

  • If workplace innovation implies a win win situation for organisations and employees why extra attention or subsidy would be needed?

  • This is primarily business innovation

  • Improving work organisation, working conditions and HRM is nothing new

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Social innovation of work and employment

  • Societal demands that cannot be met by individual companies: inclusive labour markets including the ageing workforce, sustainable employability

  • Implementing workplace innovation is not self evident for organisations because of short-term perspectives, waiting for others to find out, fear to loose/share power

  • Responsibilities and logics of action are different for organisations and public authorities

  • To meet these demands cooperation is needed of public authorities, social partners, organisations, knowledge institutes

  • Supportive programmes help

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Concepts used in documents EU

  • Social innovation: BEPA July 2010; Social Innovation Europe 2011; Marginal reference in Flagship Innovation Union 2010+ accompanying document 2010 and Flagship Skills and Jobs 2010; draft guidelines employment policies 2010; Resolution EP Innovation Union 2011

  • Workplace innovation/innovative workplaces: opinion EESC 2007, 2011; workshop launch event SIE 2011; OECD 2011

  • Non technological innovation: Eurostat; marginal in FS Innovation Union

  • New/innovative forms/patterns of work organisation: FS Innovation Union; FS Skills and Jobs; draft guidelines employment policies 2010; ESF 2010; OSH 2007-2012

  • Job quality and OSH: FS Skills and jobs; marginal in employment guidelines

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Workplace innovation and OSH

  • Workplace innovation and occupational safety and health are different policies with different objectives and instruments. So is ‘decent work agenda’. Do not mix up.

  • Workplace innovation is not directed at fewer occupational diseases or accidents or less absenteeism although it might help

  • The overlap between workplace innovation and OSH regards ergonomics and work organisation as well as the effects for well-being, learning opportunities, prevention of work-related stress and physical workload, work-life-balance.

  • EU OSH policy refers to ‘healthy and productive jobs’

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Urgency for workplace innovation

  • Decreasing and ageing workforce – increasing labour productivity and including less productive people

  • Global competition and knowledge based economy – development of competences and skills

  • Making new technology work through innovative work organisation

  • Workplace innovation explains a larger part of innovation success than technological innovation does

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‘National’ ‘programmes’

  • Finland: workplace development

  • Germany: innovative Arbeitsgestaltung; Innovationsfähigkeit

  • Belgium: socialeinnovatie; Flanders Synergy

  • Netherlands: socialeinnovatie; slimmer werken (working smarter); NCSI

  • Norway: value creation

  • UK: workplace innovation

  • Ireland: workplace innovation

  • Sweden: management and work organisation renewal

  • Non existent in many countries of EU

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  • Distinction between social innovation and business innovation is untenable

  • Social innovation and technological innovation are complementary

  • Social innovation of work and employment on the level of society refers to societal issues such as labour markets, social security, vocational training and industrial relations

  • Social innovation of work and employment on organisational level can be called ‘workplace innovation’

  • Workplace innovation refers to work organisation, employability and work relations

  • EU/national campaigns are needed and can be supportive

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