Frank Pot - Challenge Social Innovation

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)
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)
• Social innovation of 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.
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
‘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
• Opposed to business innovation or economic innovation
• Agency
• Opposed to business innovation
• Example: EU pilot ‘active and healthy ageing’
Workplace innovation subject of social
• 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, codetermination 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
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
• Supportive programmes help
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
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
• 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-lifebalance.
• EU OSH policy refers to ‘healthy and productive jobs’
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
• Workplace innovation explains a larger part of innovation
success than technological innovation does
‘National’ ‘programmes’
Finland: workplace development
Germany: innovative Arbeitsgestaltung; Innovationsfähigkeit
Belgium: sociale innovatie; Flanders Synergy
Netherlands: sociale innovatie; 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
• Distinction between social innovation and business
innovation is untenable
• Social innovation and technological innovation are
• 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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