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Workplace Innovation as Social Innovation: Slow farewell or continuation of the techno-centric age?

Dr. Ralf Kopp recently contributed a presentation to the congress “The Future of Work” of the Swiss Sociological Association which took place in Neuchâtel on September 10-12. The presentation was held in the workshop “Social innovation in the Workplace and the Future of Work. Outcomes for a social policy agenda in Europe and beyond“. All abstracts for the workshop are freely accessible.


Workplace innovation has been gaining prominence in the European social policy agenda due to its capacity to create jobs, to foster integration and to promote well-being. Through the endeavors of the Lisbon Agenda and the EU 2020 Strategy, workplace innovation is taking a broader perspective on issues such as labor relations in the workplace, work organization and human resource policies in Europe. Scholars are driving useful discussions for governments about how the implementationof national policies encouraging workplace innovation and wellbeing increases benefits a knowledge-based economy. Existing literature in social innovation is starting to give evidence of how this phenomenon is transforming the workplace by providing a more efficient organizational performance and benefiting society at the same time. Given that the subject is gaining importance in order to promote social changes within organizations, the purpose of this workshop is to present empirical and theoretical research about how the future of work is being transformed or how it could be transformed with the implementation of practices for more sustainable organizations. Social policy in Europe is a good depart for starting the discussion, however in latitudes such as Asia, Africa or America, workplace innovation is still a challenge, especially related to specific idiosyncrasies. This workshop appeals for a discussion about the different practices, routines, strategies and outcomes of social innovation in the workplace corresponding to specific cultural, social, political or economic needs in different countries, and how this specificities allow the implementation of social policies more adapted to contemporary social needs.

The abstract "Workplace Innovation (WPI) as Social Innovation (SI): Slow farewell or continuation of the techno-centric age?" from Dr. Ralf Kopp is available here (PDF | page 74).

The presentations oft the workshop are based on the following abstracts:

  • Reviewing regional initiatives in workplace innovation: A study of development programmes in the Basque country (Egoitz Pomares, University of the Basque Country)
  • Workplace Innovation (WPI) as Social Innovation (SI): Slow farewell or continuation of the techno-centric age? (Ralf Kopp, TU Dortmund University)
  • Social innovation, workplace innovation and employment: sustainability and the future of work (Peter Oeij, TNO Netherlands)
  • Effects of new employment forms and social innovation on social security in hungary (Gábor Mélypataki, University of Miskolc)
  • Job quality within the platform economy (Sarike Verbiest, TNO Netherlands; Nikki Sonneveld, TNO Netherlands; Lisa Hummel, TNO Netherlands; Marieke van den Tooren, TNO Netherlands)