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Workers, Citizens, Governance

Socio-Cultural Innovation at Work

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Francesco Garibaldo, Mirella Baglioni, Catherine Casey and Volker Telljohann

This book pursues principal aims. First it describes and reviews current concerns in regard to the conditions of labour markets, production organizations, working conditions, and industrial and employment relations. Prominent among these concerns are the crisis in trade unions and in democratic labour market institutions, and the rise of what many critics regard as technocratic administrative powers in the displacement of democratic practices. Furthermore the book explores aspects of the search for socio-cultural innovation in the wide areas of work, industrial, organizational, management, and employment relations. It therefore deals with participatory democratic practices in the world of work and production, with citizenship, social cohesion, wider participation in education and training, as well as with cultural interests in identity, solidarity and non-market values.

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Revitalising Participatory Practices in Workplaces. Volker Telljohann

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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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