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

Measuring trends

the work complexity paradox

This chapter assesses the trends of work characteristics associated with learning organisations over 1995, 2000 and 2005 for EU15 countries. Finding an average decreasing trend in EU15, driven by results in Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain, it then tries to uncover this work complexity paradox by taking into account structural factors influencing work complexity at the individual and country level. Four possible culprits that are not measured in the available databases are discussed: standardisation, job polarisation, organisational change and self-reported overqualification. The first two explanations make the assumption that the decreasing trend in work complexity is an objective phenomenon; the two others explore how it could be related to subjective assessments of persons in employment.


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