The achievement of a sustainable knowledge economy depends on what happens in the workplace. Work-oriented innovations are gaining significance as engines of sustainable growth, i.e. growth that is economically, ecologically and socially sustainable. It is therefore important to consider workplaces as systems not only for production, but also for learning and innovation.
Work-life issues such as the interactions between a skilled workforce, enlightened management strategies and conditions for work-based learning, creativity and innovation are key-factors for a successful progress of the European Employment Strategy. The strategy is closely aligned with the strategic goal set up in Lisbon by the European Council to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. Experiences from several European countries confirm that problems with work-life-balance, occupational health, competence and work performance are linked to, and also the cause of, insufficient organisational innovation, slow productivity growth and declining competitiveness.
Vinnova and the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS) have taken the initiative to produce this book in order to inspire European companies, politicians and social partners, as well as researchers to support the development of innovative work organisations as a means for innovation and sustainable work-life development. The book provides ten examples on how companies work in practice to create organisational conditions that promote innovation, competitiveness and growth by taking the high road vision as a strategy for development.