Defining Sustainable and “Decent” Work for Human Factors and Ergonomics

  • Knut Inge Fostervold
  • Peter Christian Koren
  • Odd Viggo Nilsen


Sustainable work is a vital factor in the transition towards global sustainability. The term itself, as well as its relations to work content, working conditions, and quality of life, is somewhat vague. In applying a resource management perspective, this chapter aims at bridging the long-term needs of the three main work-life stakeholders—individuals, enterprises, and society—to the economic, environmental, and social pillars of sustainability. A key factor in this regard is the reciprocity in values and goals between human factors and ergonomics and programmes promoting quality of work, such as the Decent Work Agenda. Sustainable work implies enabling workers to engage and develop throughout their career. To the authors, this seems impossible without facilitation of ideas and values linked to decent work.


Decent work Sustainability Human resources Triple bottom line 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Knut Inge Fostervold
    • 1
  • Peter Christian Koren
    • 2
  • Odd Viggo Nilsen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Media and Social SciencesUniversity of StavangerStavangerNorway
  3. 3.Akershus County CouncilOsloNorway

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