Eesc brussels 15 december 2010


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Eesc brussels 15 december 2010

  1. 1. Innovative Workplaces. Making better use of skills within organisations Dirk Van Damme OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI)
  2. 2. Joint EDU/STI contribution to OECD Innovation Strategy <ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chapter 1. Defining learning organisations and learning cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chapter 2. Mapping learning organisations and their characteristics for the European Union </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chapter 3. Measuring trends: the work complexity paradox </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chapter 4. Behind innovation: employer and employee trade-offs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Questions addressed <ul><li>Do employers make the best use of people’s skills for innovation? </li></ul><ul><li>Are some organisations more associated with innovation than others? </li></ul><ul><li>Are these organisations more widespread in some countries than others? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they associated with certain employment policy environments? </li></ul><ul><li>With what type of education are they associated, if any? </li></ul><ul><li>Are some of their features becoming more widespread? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the challenges for innovation within organisations? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Learning organisation <ul><li>Definition in the report: an organisation with a capacity to adapt and compete through learning </li></ul><ul><li>No standard definition, action-oriented, generally not empirical </li></ul><ul><li>Relates to « organisational learning » : March and Simon (1958), Argyris and Schön (1978), Dodgson, Senge (1990), etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Relates to « High Work Performance Systems » and institutional literature on organisational modes (Williamson, Aoki, etc.) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Discretionary learning: learning, complexity, discretion, responsibility Source : EWCS 2000 Percent of employees by cluster reporting each variable Variables Discretionary learning Lean production Taylorism Traditional organisation Average Learning new things in work 93.9 81.7 42.0 29.7 71.4 Problem solving activities 95.4 98.0 5.7 68.7 79.3 Complexity of tasks 79.8 64.7 23.8 19.2 56.7 Discretion in fixing work methods 89.1 51.8 17.7 46.5 61.7 Discretion in setting work rate 87.5 52.2 27.3 52.7 63.6 Horizontal constraints on work rate 43.6 80.3 66.1 27.8 53.1 Hierarchical constraints on work rate 19.6 64.4 66.5 26.7 38.9 Norm-based constraints on work rate 21.2 75.5 56.3 14.7 38.7 Automatic constraints on work rate 5.4 59.8 56.9 7.2 26.7 Team work 64.3 84.2 70.1 33.4 64.2 Job rotation 44.0 70.5 53.2 27.5 48.9 Quality norms 78.1 94.0 81.1 36.1 74.4 Responsibility for quality control 86.4 88.7 46.7 38.9 72.6 Monotony of tasks 19.5 65.8 65.6 43.9 42.4 Repetitiveness of tasks 12.8 41.9 37.1 19.2 24.9
  6. 6. Distribution by sector
  7. 7. Distribution of employees across organisation classes (2005) Source: Holms, Lorenz, Lundvall and Valeyre
  8. 8. Learning organisations are associated with lead innovation (2000) <ul><li>Discretionary learning </li></ul><ul><li>Lean organisation </li></ul>
  9. 9. Learning organisations are associated with lead innovation (2005) <ul><li>Discretionary learning </li></ul><ul><li>Lean organisation </li></ul>
  10. 10. Learning organisations and education level (correlation) <ul><li>Tertiary education </li></ul><ul><li>Science & Engineering graduates </li></ul>
  11. 11. Learning organisations and vocational training (correlation) <ul><li>Firm level </li></ul><ul><li>Employee level </li></ul>
  12. 12. How do jobs in the public sector compare with the private sector?
  13. 13. Other aspects <ul><li>Learning organisations are associated with active employment policies (training, flexibility, security) </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of HRM practices for employee participation in change </li></ul>
  14. 14. Complexity paradox <ul><li>Complexity (EWCS): </li></ul><ul><li>complex tasks; </li></ul><ul><li>learn new things; </li></ul><ul><li>choose or change the order or tasks; </li></ul><ul><li>choose or change the methods of work </li></ul><ul><li>Multilevel analysis to control for structural factors </li></ul><ul><li>Trend 1995-2005 (significant at 1%): </li></ul><ul><li>Decrease : UK, Germany, Spain – and EU15 </li></ul><ul><li>Increase : Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, and Luxembourg </li></ul>
  15. 15. Complexity paradox <ul><li>Puzzling trend given (1) rise in educational attainement and (2) assumed superiority of learning organisations </li></ul><ul><li>3 explanatory variable for decrease in multi-level analysis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender (more female-type jobs on the market) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part-time jobs (less fit to complexity) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age (inverted U curve for complexity) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Complexity paradox: other possible explanations <ul><li>Objective explanations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cycles between standardisation and discretion (or mutual adjustment) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job polarisation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subjective explanations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of new skills, but disappearance of valued skills in reorganisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Widespread feeling of over-qualification among workers </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Policy implications <ul><li>The widespread presence of innovative working environments is another source of innovation performance to consider </li></ul><ul><li>This presence partly depends on structural conditions including employment and training policies </li></ul><ul><li>Policy programmes designed to foster innovation in workplaces do already exist, notably in Nordic countries </li></ul><ul><li>Governments and public authorities are well placed to encourage these practices where they are employers (for example in schools) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Further research <ul><li>Business and organisations : </li></ul><ul><li>Develop matched employer-employee surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Link results between innovation and organisation at the firm-organisation level </li></ul><ul><li>Longitudinal studies to go beyond correlation </li></ul><ul><li>Education : </li></ul><ul><li>What does the organisation of educational institutions look like across countries? </li></ul><ul><li>How does it relate to their performance? </li></ul>
  19. 19. THANK YOU <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
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