Innovative Workplaces

Making Better Use of Skills within Organisations

image of Innovative Workplaces

As human capital is the source of innovation, one of the policy principles of the OECD Innovation Strategy is to "foster innovative workplaces". Education and training systems must rise to the challenge of providing people with the means to learn and re-train throughout their life. Companies and organisations need to maximise the human resources they have at their disposal.

Do employers make the best use of people’s skills for innovation? Are some work organisations more associated with innovation than others? If so, are these organisations more widespread in some countries than in others? Are they associated with particular labour market policies, managerial practices, learning cultures or certain levels of education? What are the challenges for innovation within organisations?

This volume shows that interaction within organisations - as well as individual and organisational learning and training - are important for innovation. The analytical tools and empirical results this study provides show how some work organisations may foster innovation through the use of employee autonomy and discretion, supported by learning and training opportunities.

Innovative Workplaces will be of interest to policy makers in the fields of education, employment and innovation as well as business leaders, academics and all readers interested in social issues.

English Also available in: Spanish

Defining learning organisations and learning cultures

This chapter reviews the research literature on learning organisations. After briefly recalling the historical link to the notion of organisational learning, it reviews the related management literature, showing that much of it is normative and concerned with the development of diagnostic tools that can be used by managers to assess and improve the learning capabilities of their organisations. It stresses the importance given to the notion of “learning culture”, defined as a set of shared beliefs, values and attitudes favourable to learning. This management literature is only weakly linked to an empirical research program designed to observe and measure the extent to which existing firms display the characteristics of learning organisations.


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