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The Organization of Work and Innovative Performance: a comparison of the EU-15


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Arundel, A, Lorenz, E, Lundvall, B and Valeyre, a 2007 , 'The Organization of Work and Innovative Performance: a comparison of the EU-15', paper presented at the Blue Sky II Indicators Conference, 25-27 September 2007, Ottowa, Canada.

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This paper explores the link between the organisation of work and innovation by
developing national aggregate indicators for the EU member states of organisational forms
and innovation modes (how firms innovate). The organisational indicators are constructed
from the Third European Survey of Working Conditions results for 8,081 salaried
employees in 2000. The innovation mode indicators are calculated using the results of the
third Community Innovation Survey (CTS-3) for innovation activities between 1998 and
2000. The analysis shows that in nations where work is organised to support high levels of
discretion in solving complex problems firms tend to be more active in terms of
endogenous innovation, i.e. innovation developed, at least to some degree, in house. In
countries where learning and problem-solving on the job are more constrained, and little
discretion is left to the employee, firms tend to engage in a supplier-dominated innovation
strategy. Their technological renewal reflects, almost exclusively, absorption of
innovations developed elsewhere. These results suggests that European policy efforts to
improve innovation performance as part of the revised Lisbon strategy would benefit from
organisational indicators that could be directly linked to innovation performance. The
bottleneck to improving the innovative capabilities of European firms might not be low
levels of R&D, which are strongly determined by industry structures and difficult to
change, but the widespread use of fonns of work organisation that are unable to provide a
fertile environment for innovation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Arundel, A and Lorenz, E and Lundvall, B and Valeyre, a
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