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

Mapping learning organisations and their characteristics for the European Union

This chapter maps the importance of learning organisations at the national and EU levels. Learning organisations are defined as organisations where high levels of autonomy in work are combined with high levels of learning, problem-solving and task complexity. A series of policy relevant issues associated with the unequal spread of learning forms of work organisation across nations are then discussed: the relation of employee learning to national innovation style and performance; the link between the use of learning forms of work organisation and the national institutional context, including the development of systems of continuing vocational education and training; the structure of labour markets; and level of expenditure on different labour market policies. At the micro-level, the analysis attempts to shed light on the complex relation between employee learning, the use of different human resource management policies, and organisational culture, defined in terms of the beliefs and attitudes held by employees.


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