Towards the High Road of Workplace Innovation in Europe? An Illustration of the Usefulness of the Dataset of the European Working Conditions Survey
The European Union is committed to improve competitiveness and move into the ‘new’ economy by improving working conditions (article 131 of the European treaty). The EU intends to build on its increasingly skilled workforce and encourage organisations to engage as much as possible on the ‘high road’ to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, instead of on the ‘low road’ of cost cutting. The success of this strategy will depend largely on the capacity of organisations to foster employee motivation and well-being through discretion at work (job autonomy, decision latitude) and organisational participation. These are core elements of workplace innovation . An analysis carried out in 2013 by Gallie and Zhou (Eurofound 2013) of the 2010 5th European Working Conditions Survey data (the ‘EWCS’) has confirmed that employees working in high involvement work systems can enhance both company performance and employee well-being. Building on the 6th EWCS 2015, this chapter aims at describing the patterns of employee involvement in 2015, exploring its associations with job quality , employees’ engagement and well-being. This analysis confirms the importance of the combination of job autonomy and organisational participation for job quality, engagement and employee well-being. These topics of job autonomy and organisational participation are crucial elements for workplace innovation (see Chap. 5 in this volume). This work is merely a first step and further in-depth work on the issue is sorely needed.
The authors would like to thank their Eurofound colleagues Jorge Cabrita (research manager) and Oscar Vargas Llave (research officer).
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