Socio-Cultural Innovation at Work
Revitalising Participatory Practices in Workplaces. Volker Telljohann
163 Revitalising Participatory Practices in Workplaces Volker Telljohann 1. Introduction The European Commission’s communication Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative – Innovation Union places innovation at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy (European Commission 2010). The document acknowledges that the shift to- wards an innovative economy has major implications for the world of work. It states that “employers need workers who actively and constantly seek out new and better ways of doing things. This requires not only higher skills levels, but a new, trust-based relationship between employer and employee.” With regard to skills the European Commission’s communication stresses the need for capaci- ties to learn and to develop transversal competences such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, teamwork, intercultural and communication skills as well as innovation skills. A serious implementation of such a strategy needs however to be based on a critical assessment of the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy which did not challenge at all the asymmetric nature of the European integration process. In the past decade the market-oriented policies put forward by the European Union un- dermined the social consensus that was at the heart of the European integration process. Thus, it is hard to imagine how the current coordinated European strat- egy aimed at pushing through austerity, liberalisation and privatisation could contribute to the development of trust-based industrial relations and participative innovation processes (see the chapters by Hyman and Brödner). Today, however, European competitiveness depends on a highly qualified la- bour force. Research reports published, for example, by the...
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