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From innovation to social innovation through participation Challenge Social Innovation Vienna 19-21 September 2011 Monique Ramioul - HIVA – K.U.Leuven.

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Presentation on theme: "From innovation to social innovation through participation Challenge Social Innovation Vienna 19-21 September 2011 Monique Ramioul - HIVA – K.U.Leuven."— Presentation transcript:

1 From innovation to social innovation through participation Challenge Social Innovation Vienna September 2011 Monique Ramioul - HIVA – K.U.Leuven

2 1. Innovation challenges in industry –Acceleration of business processes and shortening of innovation cycles –Complexer products, smaller batches –Volatile markets, varying customer demands –Subsequent small innovations under extreme time pressure –Integration of products and services –Growing value chain oriented development and production processes –Persistent relocation pressure, esp. for low and medium tech industries –Ecological concerns (materials, energy, safety) –Outflow and ageing of traditional workforce –Recruitment- and image-problems 2

3 2. Trade union position –Unions were fixated too long on coping with consequences of restructuring only –Growing awareness of innovation as an opportunity rather than a threat: innovation means job creation –A competitive firm is a common interest and shared goal –Employees have the right to have a competent management –There are alternatives to the downward spiral on wages, productivity and relocations –Unions and employees should be partners in seeking strategic answers and participate in innovation –Develop adequate instruments for this –Learn from each other within and between sectors and regions 3

4 2. Trade union position –Some examples: IDA (DK) supports innovation in SME’s by supporting additional employment of higher skilled IG Metall’s ‘better not cheaper’ strategy as an offensive approach FNV social innovation research in Low and Medium Tech industries At macro-level, unions participated in innovation programmes under a ‘Pact’ formula in France and Wallonia (B) 4

5 3. Participation in innovation 1. Broadening the process –Transparancy and information –Active participation in diagnosis, analysis, solutions and implementation –Participation in innovation is not to be hindered by collective bargaining on working conditions: these should be taken out of the innovation agenda 5

6 3. Participation in innovation 2. Broadening the diagnosis: look at the full picture –Not only wage costs, productivity, lack of skills –Also quality, mistakes, use of material and energy, unsafe working environment… –Employees know where the problems are; this shopfloor knowledge should be better acknowledged and used employees are the experts as far as work is concerned 6

7 3. Participation in innovation 3. Broadening the innovation-agenda –Not only businesses, products and techniques –Also work organisation and jobs –Quality of work equally important as innovation –Innovation and value chain integration can make jobs more interesting and attractive 7

8 3. Participation in innovation Social innovation as workplace innovation is a valuable option but what seems often missing is: –A democratic change process –Not only working smarter, also better –What are teamwork and autonomy worth when: wages are under pressure working times are becoming flexible job insecurity increases basic health and safety are not adequately guaranteed employee representation and social dialogue are not taken seriously 8

9 4. In short: 9 No social innovation without social dialogue


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