Knowledge Bank Workplace Innovation

Best practices and other information about Workplace Innovation and Smart Working

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  • Author: Howaldt,J. et al.
  • Publication date: 17 July 2018
  • Date added: 17 July 2018




Rating: Atlas of social innovation

Atlas of social innovation

New practices for a better future


2018 - The 'Atlas of social innovation' is the product of a project (SI-DRIVE 2014 - 2017) that was funded by the EU with the aim of increasing knowledge about social innovation as a driver of social change. Good examples from all over the world were involved in the project.

This Atlas contains a number of contributions on Employment and Workplace Innovation (WPI) that are important for this Knowledge bank. Below are the summaries of these pieces of the Atlas.


Workplace innovation as an important driver of social innovation

This is a contribution from Peter Oeij, Steven Dhondt, Frank Pot and Peter Totterdill. In the SI-Drive project Workplace innovation is one of the 'practice fields' within the 'policy domain' Employment.
The authors state that WPI is a change in labour organizations and companies that can have a significant impact on employee participation, the quality of their jobs and on sustainable employment for the workforce as well as for the productivity of labour organizations and their competences to innovate. They provide empirical data for this statement. WPI they say, can also contribute to solving social issues such as unemployment, employee representation, social dialogue and social cohesion. That is still underestimated in the current EU's innovation policy.


Social innovation in Western Europe: networks and programmes as drivers

In this chapter Peter Oeij, Steven Dhondt, Suzanne Solley and Amanda Hill-Dixon argue that policies that stimulate SI ecosystems are likely to promote the sustainability of social innovations. They show with examples how networks, individuals and groups were the driving forces of social innovation in Western Europe.


Linking practice fields of social innovations in the domain of employment

Peter Oeij, Steven Dhondt and Wouter van der Torre state here that social innovations in the policy area Employment are scattered and isolated. As a result, they do not create enough critical mass for a lasting change in employment. In the 136 cases (from the SI-Drive's global mapping) they distinguish three practice fields: youth unemployment, social entrepreneurship and workplace innovation. The fight against youth unemployment remains entangled in 'old institutions', social entrepreneurship is mainly driven by charismatic go-getters and WPI remain hidden behind the walls of companies that fear competition. Policy makers must develop an integrated vision on social innovation in the field of employment that includes all stakeholders. This vision must link existing initiatives with the existing policy regarding employment, human resources, education and training. This applies to the level of work organization, labour market institutions and individuals and their communities.



Howaldt,J., Kaletka, C., Schröder, A. & Zimgiebl, M. (2018) Atlas of Social Innovation – New practices for a Better Future. Sozialforschungsstelle, TU Dortmund University: Dortmund.

A pdf of the report is attached.

Link to presentation:     


Theme: Workplace innovation

Branche: n.a.

Source: Research report