Oeij, Peter (2023), Workplace innovation: Theory, research and practice.

Peter Oeij
Peter OeijTNO, Innovation for Life en TNO
Funded by the European Union under grant agreement No 101069651. The contents of this publication are however the sole responsibility of the BRIDGES 5.0 project
consortium only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HADEA. Neither the European Union nor HADEA can be held responsible for them.
Co-funded
by the
Funded by the European Union under grant agreement No 101069651. The contents of this publication are however the sole responsibility of the BRIDGES 5.0 project
consortium only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HADEA. Neither the European Union nor HADEA can be held responsible for them.
Co-funded
by the
Guest lecture for course “Social Innovation & Sustainable employability”
TU Eindhoven; Faculteit: Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences; Capaciteitsgroep: Human
Performance Management, 14 September 2023
Dr Peter Oeij / TNO, Netherlands
Workplace innovation: Theory,
research and practice.
Content of my lecture
- Who is Peter Oeij?
- First part:
- what is workplace innovation (in Dutch: sociale innovatie)?
- examples of research
- Second part:
- developing and implementing workplace innovation ‘interventions’
- Link with Industry5.0 and 'human-centricity'
- Examples of exam questions
WhoisPeterOeij
-senior research scientist / consultant / project manager at TNO,
Leiden
-project manager of BEYOND4.0 (www.beyond4-0.eu)
-historian/sociologist/psychologist
-Erasmus University / Open University of The Netherlands
-link to ResearchGate:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Peter_Oeij
Bridges5.0 is a EU research
project on digitalisation,
Industry5.0 and workforce
skills
https://bridges5-0.eu/
- Part 1:
-what is workplace innovation (inDutch: sociale innovatie)?
-examples of research
- First part:
-what is workplace innovation (inDutch: sociale innovatie)?
-examples of research
- Literature:
- Putnik, K., Oeij, P., Dhondt, S., Van der Torre, W., De Vroome, E. and Preenen, P. (2019). Innovation
adoption of employees in the logistics sector in the Netherlands: The role of workplace innovation.
European Journal of Workplace Innovation, special issue ‘Socio-Technical Systems theory (STS) in
manufacturing’, 2019, 4(2), 176-192.
- Oeij, P.R.A., Preenen, T.Y.P. & Dhondt, S. (2021). Workplace innovation as a process: Examples from
Europe. In: Adela McMurray, Nuttawuth Muenjohn & Chamindika Weerakoon (Eds.), The Palgrave
Handbook of Workplace Innovation across Developed and Developing Countries (pp. 199-221).
London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S. & McMurray, A. (December 2021). Workplace innovation literature review: a
converging or diverging research field? A preparatory study for a research agenda. (TNO Report
R12732). Leiden, the Netherlands: TNO Healthy Living. https://ap.lc/LZHDo [free download]
- Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S., & McMurray, A. (eds.)(2023), A Research Agenda for Workplace Innovation:
The Challenge of Disruptive Transitions. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing
WHAT IS WORKPLACE INNOVATION?
7
- ...for those who speak Dutch….
-what is workplace innovation (inDutch: sociale innovatie)?
Sociale innovatie toegelicht in een Nederlandstalig
filmpje:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75I5-BUv0hQ
Whatisworkplaceinnovation?
WPI = vision
based on a
conviction
Humanistic view
on labour,
management
and organisation
Employee
engagement
and employee
involvement
Not top
down but
bottom up
Workplace innovation =
WPI
Decentralis-
ation not
centralisation
Social
dialogue
Modern manager
Minimal
division of
labour; ‘rich
jobs’
Managers understand
they need a integral /
holistic view on their
organisation
Structure follows
strategy,
And
Culture follows
structure
structure
culture
strategy
Modern manager
12
structure culture
strategy
Humanistic
management
‘philosophy’:
Decentralise as much as
possible
Production system:
No unneeded division of
labour;
No unneeded bureaucracy;
No unneeded separation
of management tasks from
operations
Secure autonomy
in design of:
Departments; teams; jobs
& tasks
HR system:
Nurtures commitment
Type of leadership:
People centred
&
Bottom up
Organisational
behaviour:
High employee
involvement &
engagement
Outcome:
Good quality of working life
Good quality of organisational performance
More innovative capability
…structure follows strategy, culture follows structure…
Modern manager
it is a renewal of the (work)organisation or of the design of jobs (structural change)
example: introduction of self-organising teamwork design, decentralising management tasks
it affects how managers and employees behave in the organisation (cultural change, organisational behaviour)
example: employee engagement, supportive leadership behaviour
it is not technological innovation, but it supports the adoption of (technological) innovation (improve innovative capability)
example: employees co-develop technological choices, employee-driven innovation
OUTCOMES: better organisational & business performance + better quality of working life
13
Online talk on Workplace Innovation
ELEMENTS OF WORKPLACE INNOVATION (WPI)
(Source: Oeij & Dhondt, 2017, p.66 in Oeij, Rus & Pot, eds.)
14
14
Definition workplace innovation
(Oeij & Dhondt, 2017, p.66 in Oeij, Rus & Pot, eds.)
15
research into WPI shows that...
> WPI contributes to
-better business performance
-better adoption of renewal, innovation and new technology
-improved relations between management, unions and employees
-cooperative working cultures and appreciated leadership styles
-more innovative work behaviour
Sources: Putnik et al., 2016; Oeij, Rus & Pot, 2017
16
Different approaches:
Individualist versus Organisational
Subjective versus Objective
Input / Output versus Throughput
Our approach:
Organisational (sociotechnical systems design)
Objective (conditional approach)
Throughput (WPI is a means to a goal, not a goal in itself)
Sociology
&
organisation
research
Safety
science
&
organisation
research
Economics
&
strategy
and
HR
research
Psychology
&
behavioural
research
Until 1950 - Between 1950 and 1980 - Between 1980 and 2000 - Between 2000 and 2021 -
Sociotechnical
systems design
Human relations -
Tavistock
Humanisierung
der Arbeit -
Germany
Labour process
approach
Democratic dialogue -
Scandinavia
Modern
sociotechnics-
The Lowlands
Workplace
innovation – EU
variant
Fifth
Element
Strategic
choice
High Reliability
Organisations Resilience
Engineering
Resource Based
View of the
firm
High
Performance
Work Systems
Dynamic
Capabilities
approach
Managerial
Technology
ERIM Monitor
ISHIP Index
High Road
Perspective
Quality of
work
Job Content
Questionnaire /
Job
Characteristics
Model
JCDS Model
JD-R Model
Innovative
work
behaviour
Relational
coordination
Job design /
work design
Workplace
Innovation
Scale
SMART
Work
design
model
Job crafting
TOP model
Normal
Accident
Theory
Theory of the
firm
Autonomous
teams
General /
open systems
theory
Complex
systems theory
Social Psychology
of Organizing Profes-
sional
autonomy
Good jobs
strategy
Oeij et al., 2023: 216
Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S. & McMurray, A. (December 2021). Workplace innovation literature review: a converging or diverging research field? A
preparatory study for a research agenda.
technology
organisation personnel
workplace
Workplace innovation practices (examples):
-technology: taking into account that human work is not hollowed out, but augmented and supported
-organisation: ensuring a division of labour that enables meaningful work
-personnel: the qualitative and quantitative formation takes into account fair working conditions and learning
opportunities
The basis for strategic choice and management behaviour is to put human interests not subordinate to economic interests
Two examples
• Logistics research in the Netherlands (2018)
• Eurofound study (2015)
Part2
Tworesearchexamplesof workplaceinnovation
A case
study about
51
companies
in EU
A survey of
managers
in logistics
Oeij et al, 2016, Implementing Workplace
Innovation across Europe: why, how and
what? Economic and Social Changes:
Facts, Trends, Forecast, 5(47), 195-218.
21
21
What do we observe in the logistics sector?
100%
80%
40%
10%
90%
From all companies
80% started with an
innovation in the last 2
years
From those 80% only
40% implemented the
innovation succesfully
From those 80% only
10% also used
workplace innovation
practices
From those 10% WPI-
minded companies
90% implemented the
innovation succesfully!
22
22
What do we observe in the logistics sector?
100%
80%
40%
10%
90%
From all companies
80% started with an
innovation in the last 2
years
From those 80% only
40% implemented the
innovation succesfully
From those 80% only
10% also used
workplace innovation
practices
From those 10% WPI-
minded companies
90% implemented the
innovation succesfully!
So workplace
innovation is
terrific!
23
23
What is the secret to succesful WPI implementation of
the cases in the Eurofound research?[Oeij et al., 2015]
Mature employment relationships:
 1.management, employees and works councils agree
about why WPI should be implemented
 [efficiency, competitive advantage, innovative capability]
 2.management, employees and works councils agree
about leverage factors
 [employee involvement, top management commitment,
powerful leadership]
 3.management, employees and works councils agree
about desired impacts factors
 [employee engagement, longer term sustainability, high
performance]
Oeij, P.R.A., et al. (2015, 2021)
ConclusionaboutWorkplaceInnovation:
• Workplace innovation can be useful for perfomance and better jobs, and adopting innovation
• Link organisational (structural) and behavioural (cultural) elements when designing an
intervention
• Structural interventions are ‘conditional’; cultural interventions are combatting symptoms, not
causes; Human resource policies are often ‘symptomatic’.
Take – 10 minutes break
Write up for yourself:
What is the essence of Workplace Innovation?
Mention 3 elements.
- Part 2:
-How to develop and implement workplace innovation
-Industry5.0 and the link with Workplace Innnovation
- Literature:
-Breque, M., De Nul, L.& Petridis, A. (2021). Industry 5.0. Towards a sustainable, human-centric and resilient European
industry. R&I PAPER SERIES, POLICY BRIEF. DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION.
-Karanika-Murray, M., & Oeij, P.R.A. (2017). The role of work and organisational psychology for workplace innovation
practice: From short-sightedness to eagle view? In European Work and Organisational Psychology in Practice. Special
Issue on Workplace Innovation, Vol. 1, 19-30.
-Dhondt, Steven, Totterdill, Peter, Boermans, Sylvie & Žiauberytė-Jakštienė, Rita (2017). Five steps to develop workplace
innovation. In Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds), Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice (pp. 301-
320). Series 'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Springer: Cham (Switzerland); DOI 10.1007/978-
3-319-56333-6; ISBN 978-3-319-56332-9.
-Oeij, P.R.A., Preenen, T.Y.P. & Dhondt, S. (2021). Workplace innovation as a process: Examples from Europe. In: Adela
McMurray, Nuttawuth Muenjohn & Chamindika Weerakoon (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation
across Developed and Developing Countries (pp. 199-221). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
-Oeij, P.R.A., Preenen, P.Y.T., Van der Torre, W., Van der Meer, L., Van den Eerenbeemt, J. (2019). Technological choice
and workplace innovation: Towards efficient and humanised work. European Public & Social Innovation Review, 4(1), 15-
26.
27
27
Workplace innovation as an intervention
• It starts with a ‘problem’ that needs to be solved by an ‘intervention’ [requires solid
analysis]
• WPI says: it should positively affect both organisational performance (right
to exist) and quality of work (sustainable employability)
• It is about ‘content’
• An intervention in ‘structure’, ‘culture’ or mix of both
• WPI is not the same as technological intervention or ‘social’ intervention
• WPI is a means, not a goal in itself
• It is about ‘process’
• It engages and / or involves people
• It is much like a change process
• It uses talents of people and further develops those talents
• There is a complex interaction of ‘technology, organisation and people’ which makes
the process hard to predict and not fully controllable [the risk to fail is significant]
Initiative of
WPI:
economic goal
Target:
improved
economic
performance
Mediating role
for employees
& employee
reps
Design of WPI
practices
Implementation
of WPI
practices
Target:
improved
quality of work
& engagement
1 3
2
2
28
PATTERN OF IMPLEMENTING WPI-
PRACTICES (PROCESS MODEL)
Oeij, P.R.A., et al. (2015, 2021)
29
29
To summarize
Economic goals are initiated by management
Employees are involved in designing and implementing the
intervention
Quality of work goals become part of the design
Key factor: dialogue about common interests for the longer
term (mature employment relationships)
Oeij, P.R.A., et al. (2015, 2021)
Conclusion
• Workplace innovation interventions can be very different regards content, however link
organisational (structural) and behavioural (cultural) elements when designing an
intervention remains essential
• Link ‘necessary’ economic goals to ‘sufficient’ employee interest goals
• Not only the succesfull process of development and implementation of WPI benefits highly
from the engagement of employees, also the desired longer term goals, and the further /
continuous quality of constructive employment relations
• Companies ‘resisting to WPI-interventions’ can be helped if they can apply the knowledge
that is already available; it is likely that it works best if one first looks at economic
performance objectives and subsequently connects this to employee interest goals.
INDUSTRY5.0: A NEW CONTEXT FOR WORKPLACE INNOVATION
31
Techno -driven
increase efficiency and flexibility
smart factory / connectivity
Shareholder driven
limited interest for society
limited interest in environmental issues
dominance neo-liberal model
Economic value driven
job destruction is no issue
obsoletion of skills not responsibility of industries
32
Online talk on Workplace Innovation
Commonalities:
-apply newest (digital) technologies and continuous innovation;
-digitalisation pervades into all production processes;
-I5.0 does not replace but complements I4.0 with human and social values.
INDUSTRY4.0 INDUSTRY5.0
Sustainability
circularity
reduce energy / emissions
not jeopardise future generations
Human-centric
technology should support humans
technology should adapt to humans
technology not impinge worker's rights
Resilient
more robust / critical infrastructure
strategic value chains / security
Source: Breque et al. (2021). Industry 5.0: Towards a sustainable, human-centric and resilient European industry (European Commission, DG R&I).
Anyquestions?
Conclusion:
The EU Commission puts human-centricity central which is an
opportunity for workplace innovation
Take – 10 minutes break
Write up for yourself:
-What are the positive effects of workplace innovation?
-How do you assess the importance of structural and cultural workplace innovation – interventions?
-What are the main mechanisms of the process of workplace innovation?
-In what way are Industry5.0 and workplace innovation related to each other?
Example multiple choice
question (1)
What is the most crucial element of a ‘workplace innovation’ intervention?
[An intervention is here a new element applied to the organisation, its people, its
strategy, its structure or / and its processes, such as a (innovative) ‘change’ .]
1. 1. An HR/HRM measure, because the people factor is the key to success.
2. 2. Opening a new market segment, because this helps securing the number of
jobs in the near future.
3. 3. A training that accompanies a technological innovation, because this allows
employees to improve their skills.
4. 4. Any measure in the case of change or innovation that secures employee voice
and is benificial to their job autonomy, because this keeps employees engaged or
involved.*
-Bron: Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice, Series
'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Springer: Cham (Switzerland); DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56333-6;
ISBN 978-3-319-56332-9. [esp. Ch 5 on theory]
Example multiple choice
question (2)
Applying the innovation journey model to social innovation (Oeij et al., 2019)
revealed six equally successful paths to adoption of social innovation. Which element
was included quite often (i.e., ‘present’) of these paths?
a. Availability of staff.
b. Stakeholder commitment. *
c. Consensus.
d. Financial and political support.
-Bron: Oeij, P.R.A., Van der Torre, W., Vaas, S., & Dhondt, S. (2019). Understanding Social Innovation as an innovation
process: Applying the Innovation Journey model. Journal of Business Research, 101(8), 243-254.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.04.028
Example multiple choice
question (3)
1. According to Oeij (2020) in his guest lecture, what is the most important motive
for the implementation of workplace innovation for the organization as a whole?
a. To enhance innovative capability.
b. To improve industrial relations.
c. To improve performance. *
d. To become an attractive employer.
-Bron: - Oeij, P.R.A., Preenen, T.Y.P. & Dhondt, S. (2021). Workplace innovation as a process: Examples from Europe. In:
Adela McMurray, Nuttawuth Muenjohn & Chamindika Weerakoon (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation
across Developed and Developing Countries (pp. 199-221). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
38
Further reading...
39
REFERENCES
Breque, M., De Nul, L.& Petridis, A. (2021). Industry 5.0. Towards a sustainable, human-centric and resilient European industry. R&I
PAPER SERIES, POLICY BRIEF. DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION.
Karanika-Murray, M. & Oeij, P.R.A. (2017). The role of work and organizational psychology for workplace innovation practice: From short-
sightedness to eagle view. European Work and Organizational Psychology in Practice, 1, 19-30 (also In: Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot
F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice (pp. 339-353). Springer: Cham).
Oeij, Peter (21 November 2019). ‘European workplace innovation’. Presentation for International conference on Jobs and New
Technology: New Jobs Strategy for Changing World of Work. Organised by Korea Labor Institute and hosted by Presidential Jobs
Commission, JW Marriot Hotel, Seoul, Republic of South Korea. (https://www.slideshare.net/PeterOeij/european-workplace-innovation-
peter-oeij)
Oeij, P. R. A., and Dhondt, S. (2017) Theoretical approaches supporting workplace innovation. In P.R.A. Oeij, D. Rus, and F.D. Pot (Eds.).
Workplace innovation: Theory, research and practice (pp. 63-78), Series 'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Cham
(Switzerland): Springer
Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S., & McMurray, A. (2021, December). Workplace innovation literature review: a converging or diverging research
field? A preparatory study for a research agenda. TNO Report R12732. Leiden: TNO Healthy Living.
Oeij P. R.A., Dhondt S., Žiauberytė-Jakštienė R., Corral A., Totterdill P. (2016). Implementing workplace innovation across Europe: Why,
How and What? Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, no. 5, pp. 195-218. DOI: 10.15838/esc/2016.5.47.11
Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice, Series 'Aligning Perspectives on
Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Springer: Cham (Switzerland); DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56333-6; ISBN 978-3-319-56332-9.
Putnik, K., Oeij, P.R.A., et al. (2019) Innovation adoption of employees in Logistics: individual and organizational factors related to the
actual use of innovation. International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 16(3) 251 – 265
40
KEY REFERENCES WORKPLACE INNOVATION
Dhondt, S., Oeij, P.R.A., & Pot, F.D. (2021). Digitaltransformation of work: spillover effects of workplace innovation on social innovation. In J. Howaldt, C. Kaletka, & A. Schröder (Eds.). A Research Agenda for Social Innovation (pp. 99-116). Cheltenham,
UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Dworschak, B., Senderek, R., & Kopp, R. (Eds) (2021), Workplace Innovation and Leadership. EHP-Verlag Andreas Kohlhage; Gevelsberg (Germany)
Howaldt, J. and Oeij, P.R.A. (Eds.) (2016). Workplace innovation – Social innovation: Shaping work organisation and working life. Special issue of World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable, Issue, 12, Vol. 1, pp. 1-129.
Karanika-Murray, M. & Oeij, P.R.A. (2017). The role of work and organizational psychology for workplace innovation practice: From short-sightedness to eagle view. European Work and Organizational Psychology in Practice, 1, 19-30 (also In: Oeij, P. R.A.,
Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice (pp. 339-353). Springer: Cham).
McMurray, A., Muenjohn, N. & Weerakoon, C. (Eds.) (2021), The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation across Developed and Developing Countries. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Oeij, Peter (21 November 2019). ‘European workplace innovation’. Presentation for International conference on Jobs and New Technology: New Jobs Strategy for Changing World of Work. Organised by Korea Labor Institute and hosted by Presidential Jobs
Commission, JW Marriot Hotel, Seoul, Republic of South Korea. (https://www.slideshare.net/PeterOeij/european-workplace-innovation-peter-oeij)
Oeij, Peter (16 May 2023). 'Workplace innovation: Industry5.0 style'. Presentation for "The future of workplace innovation", International Conference on Workplace Innovation, Organised by Korea Labor Institute and hosted by Korean Federation of Banks,
Seoul, Republic of South Korea. (https://www.slideshare.net/PeterOeij/peter-oeijworkplace-innovation-industry-50-style)
Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S., & McMurray, A. (2021, December). Workplace innovation literature review: a converging or diverging research field? A preparatory study for a research agenda. TNO Report R12732. Leiden: TNO Healthy Living.
Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S., & McMurray, A. (eds.)(2023), A Research Agenda for Workplace Innovation: The Challenge of Disruptive Transitions. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Oeij P. R.A., Dhondt S., Žiauberytė-Jakštienė R., Corral A., Totterdill P. Implementing workplace innovation across Europe: Why, How and What? Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2016, no. 5, pp. 195-218. DOI:
10.15838/esc/2016.5.47.11
Oeij, P.R.A., Rus, D., Dhondt, S. & Van Hootegem, G. (Eds) (2019). Workplace innovation in the era of disruptive technologies. Special Issue of International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation.16(3), 199-309. DOI:
10.1504/IJTTC.2019.10021355
Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice, Series 'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Springer: Cham (Switzerland); DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56333-6; ISBN 978-3-319-
56332-9.
Oeij, P., Vaas, F. & Dhondt, S. (2022), Two cases of workplace innovation in the Netherlands (Report for Korea Labor Institute). Leiden: TNO.)
Pot, F. (2011). Workplace innovation for better jobs and performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 60(4), 404–415.
Rus, D., Carter, A., & Roth, C. (eds) (2017) Workplace innovation Special edition Vol. 1, EAWOP in Practice, 11, 1–87. Retrieved from http://www.eawop.org/ckeditor_assets/attachments/1046/specialissue_part1_2017_full.pdf?1535712991
Rus, D., Carter, A., & Roth, C. (eds) (2019) Workplace innovation Special edition Vol. 2, EAWOP in Practice, 11, 1–129. Retrieved from
http://www.eawop.org/ckeditor_assets/attachments/1144/inpractice_2019_special_issue_11_full.pdf?1557399438
Totterdill, P., Exton, O., Exton, R., Sherrin, J., (2009). Workplace Innovation in European Countries. Report to KOWIN (Korean Ministry of Labour). Nottingham: UKWON.
Totterdill, P., Pot, F., Dhondt, S. & Warhurst, C. (2022). Workplace innovation: Europe’s competitive edge: A manifesto for enhanced performance and working lives. European Journal of Workplace Innovation, 7(1), 132–141. doi:
https://doi.org/10.46364/ejwi.v7i1.935
Pot, Frank, Dhondt, Steven, Oeij, Peter, Rus, Diana, & Totterdill, Peter (2019). Complementing digitalisation with workplace innovation. In: Howaldt, J., Kaletka, C., Schröder, A., Zirngiebl, M. (eds.), Atlas of Social Innovation. 2nd Volume – A world of new
practices (pp. 42-46). Oekoem Verlag, München (ISBN: 978-3-96238-157-8). Download free : www.socialinnovationatlas.net
41
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Thank you for your attention!
Peter Oeij
[peter.oeij@tno.nl]
1 de 40

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Oeij, Peter (2023), Workplace innovation: Theory, research and practice.

  • 1. Funded by the European Union under grant agreement No 101069651. The contents of this publication are however the sole responsibility of the BRIDGES 5.0 project consortium only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HADEA. Neither the European Union nor HADEA can be held responsible for them. Co-funded by the Funded by the European Union under grant agreement No 101069651. The contents of this publication are however the sole responsibility of the BRIDGES 5.0 project consortium only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HADEA. Neither the European Union nor HADEA can be held responsible for them. Co-funded by the Guest lecture for course “Social Innovation & Sustainable employability” TU Eindhoven; Faculteit: Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences; Capaciteitsgroep: Human Performance Management, 14 September 2023 Dr Peter Oeij / TNO, Netherlands Workplace innovation: Theory, research and practice.
  • 2. Content of my lecture - Who is Peter Oeij? - First part: - what is workplace innovation (in Dutch: sociale innovatie)? - examples of research - Second part: - developing and implementing workplace innovation ‘interventions’ - Link with Industry5.0 and 'human-centricity' - Examples of exam questions
  • 3. WhoisPeterOeij -senior research scientist / consultant / project manager at TNO, Leiden -project manager of BEYOND4.0 (www.beyond4-0.eu) -historian/sociologist/psychologist -Erasmus University / Open University of The Netherlands -link to ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Peter_Oeij Bridges5.0 is a EU research project on digitalisation, Industry5.0 and workforce skills https://bridges5-0.eu/
  • 4. - Part 1: -what is workplace innovation (inDutch: sociale innovatie)? -examples of research
  • 5. - First part: -what is workplace innovation (inDutch: sociale innovatie)? -examples of research - Literature: - Putnik, K., Oeij, P., Dhondt, S., Van der Torre, W., De Vroome, E. and Preenen, P. (2019). Innovation adoption of employees in the logistics sector in the Netherlands: The role of workplace innovation. European Journal of Workplace Innovation, special issue ‘Socio-Technical Systems theory (STS) in manufacturing’, 2019, 4(2), 176-192. - Oeij, P.R.A., Preenen, T.Y.P. & Dhondt, S. (2021). Workplace innovation as a process: Examples from Europe. In: Adela McMurray, Nuttawuth Muenjohn & Chamindika Weerakoon (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation across Developed and Developing Countries (pp. 199-221). London: Palgrave Macmillan. - Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S. & McMurray, A. (December 2021). Workplace innovation literature review: a converging or diverging research field? A preparatory study for a research agenda. (TNO Report R12732). Leiden, the Netherlands: TNO Healthy Living. https://ap.lc/LZHDo [free download] - Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S., & McMurray, A. (eds.)(2023), A Research Agenda for Workplace Innovation: The Challenge of Disruptive Transitions. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing
  • 6. WHAT IS WORKPLACE INNOVATION? 7
  • 7. - ...for those who speak Dutch…. -what is workplace innovation (inDutch: sociale innovatie)? Sociale innovatie toegelicht in een Nederlandstalig filmpje: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75I5-BUv0hQ
  • 9. WPI = vision based on a conviction Humanistic view on labour, management and organisation Employee engagement and employee involvement Not top down but bottom up Workplace innovation = WPI Decentralis- ation not centralisation Social dialogue Modern manager Minimal division of labour; ‘rich jobs’
  • 10. Managers understand they need a integral / holistic view on their organisation Structure follows strategy, And Culture follows structure structure culture strategy Modern manager
  • 11. 12 structure culture strategy Humanistic management ‘philosophy’: Decentralise as much as possible Production system: No unneeded division of labour; No unneeded bureaucracy; No unneeded separation of management tasks from operations Secure autonomy in design of: Departments; teams; jobs & tasks HR system: Nurtures commitment Type of leadership: People centred & Bottom up Organisational behaviour: High employee involvement & engagement Outcome: Good quality of working life Good quality of organisational performance More innovative capability …structure follows strategy, culture follows structure… Modern manager
  • 12. it is a renewal of the (work)organisation or of the design of jobs (structural change) example: introduction of self-organising teamwork design, decentralising management tasks it affects how managers and employees behave in the organisation (cultural change, organisational behaviour) example: employee engagement, supportive leadership behaviour it is not technological innovation, but it supports the adoption of (technological) innovation (improve innovative capability) example: employees co-develop technological choices, employee-driven innovation OUTCOMES: better organisational & business performance + better quality of working life 13 Online talk on Workplace Innovation ELEMENTS OF WORKPLACE INNOVATION (WPI) (Source: Oeij & Dhondt, 2017, p.66 in Oeij, Rus & Pot, eds.)
  • 13. 14 14 Definition workplace innovation (Oeij & Dhondt, 2017, p.66 in Oeij, Rus & Pot, eds.)
  • 14. 15 research into WPI shows that... > WPI contributes to -better business performance -better adoption of renewal, innovation and new technology -improved relations between management, unions and employees -cooperative working cultures and appreciated leadership styles -more innovative work behaviour Sources: Putnik et al., 2016; Oeij, Rus & Pot, 2017
  • 15. 16 Different approaches: Individualist versus Organisational Subjective versus Objective Input / Output versus Throughput Our approach: Organisational (sociotechnical systems design) Objective (conditional approach) Throughput (WPI is a means to a goal, not a goal in itself)
  • 16. Sociology & organisation research Safety science & organisation research Economics & strategy and HR research Psychology & behavioural research Until 1950 - Between 1950 and 1980 - Between 1980 and 2000 - Between 2000 and 2021 - Sociotechnical systems design Human relations - Tavistock Humanisierung der Arbeit - Germany Labour process approach Democratic dialogue - Scandinavia Modern sociotechnics- The Lowlands Workplace innovation – EU variant Fifth Element Strategic choice High Reliability Organisations Resilience Engineering Resource Based View of the firm High Performance Work Systems Dynamic Capabilities approach Managerial Technology ERIM Monitor ISHIP Index High Road Perspective Quality of work Job Content Questionnaire / Job Characteristics Model JCDS Model JD-R Model Innovative work behaviour Relational coordination Job design / work design Workplace Innovation Scale SMART Work design model Job crafting TOP model Normal Accident Theory Theory of the firm Autonomous teams General / open systems theory Complex systems theory Social Psychology of Organizing Profes- sional autonomy Good jobs strategy Oeij et al., 2023: 216 Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S. & McMurray, A. (December 2021). Workplace innovation literature review: a converging or diverging research field? A preparatory study for a research agenda.
  • 17. technology organisation personnel workplace Workplace innovation practices (examples): -technology: taking into account that human work is not hollowed out, but augmented and supported -organisation: ensuring a division of labour that enables meaningful work -personnel: the qualitative and quantitative formation takes into account fair working conditions and learning opportunities The basis for strategic choice and management behaviour is to put human interests not subordinate to economic interests
  • 18. Two examples • Logistics research in the Netherlands (2018) • Eurofound study (2015)
  • 19. Part2 Tworesearchexamplesof workplaceinnovation A case study about 51 companies in EU A survey of managers in logistics Oeij et al, 2016, Implementing Workplace Innovation across Europe: why, how and what? Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 5(47), 195-218.
  • 20. 21 21 What do we observe in the logistics sector? 100% 80% 40% 10% 90% From all companies 80% started with an innovation in the last 2 years From those 80% only 40% implemented the innovation succesfully From those 80% only 10% also used workplace innovation practices From those 10% WPI- minded companies 90% implemented the innovation succesfully!
  • 21. 22 22 What do we observe in the logistics sector? 100% 80% 40% 10% 90% From all companies 80% started with an innovation in the last 2 years From those 80% only 40% implemented the innovation succesfully From those 80% only 10% also used workplace innovation practices From those 10% WPI- minded companies 90% implemented the innovation succesfully! So workplace innovation is terrific!
  • 22. 23 23 What is the secret to succesful WPI implementation of the cases in the Eurofound research?[Oeij et al., 2015] Mature employment relationships:  1.management, employees and works councils agree about why WPI should be implemented  [efficiency, competitive advantage, innovative capability]  2.management, employees and works councils agree about leverage factors  [employee involvement, top management commitment, powerful leadership]  3.management, employees and works councils agree about desired impacts factors  [employee engagement, longer term sustainability, high performance] Oeij, P.R.A., et al. (2015, 2021)
  • 23. ConclusionaboutWorkplaceInnovation: • Workplace innovation can be useful for perfomance and better jobs, and adopting innovation • Link organisational (structural) and behavioural (cultural) elements when designing an intervention • Structural interventions are ‘conditional’; cultural interventions are combatting symptoms, not causes; Human resource policies are often ‘symptomatic’.
  • 24. Take – 10 minutes break Write up for yourself: What is the essence of Workplace Innovation? Mention 3 elements.
  • 25. - Part 2: -How to develop and implement workplace innovation -Industry5.0 and the link with Workplace Innnovation - Literature: -Breque, M., De Nul, L.& Petridis, A. (2021). Industry 5.0. Towards a sustainable, human-centric and resilient European industry. R&I PAPER SERIES, POLICY BRIEF. DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION. -Karanika-Murray, M., & Oeij, P.R.A. (2017). The role of work and organisational psychology for workplace innovation practice: From short-sightedness to eagle view? In European Work and Organisational Psychology in Practice. Special Issue on Workplace Innovation, Vol. 1, 19-30. -Dhondt, Steven, Totterdill, Peter, Boermans, Sylvie & Žiauberytė-Jakštienė, Rita (2017). Five steps to develop workplace innovation. In Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds), Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice (pp. 301- 320). Series 'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Springer: Cham (Switzerland); DOI 10.1007/978- 3-319-56333-6; ISBN 978-3-319-56332-9. -Oeij, P.R.A., Preenen, T.Y.P. & Dhondt, S. (2021). Workplace innovation as a process: Examples from Europe. In: Adela McMurray, Nuttawuth Muenjohn & Chamindika Weerakoon (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation across Developed and Developing Countries (pp. 199-221). London: Palgrave Macmillan. -Oeij, P.R.A., Preenen, P.Y.T., Van der Torre, W., Van der Meer, L., Van den Eerenbeemt, J. (2019). Technological choice and workplace innovation: Towards efficient and humanised work. European Public & Social Innovation Review, 4(1), 15- 26.
  • 26. 27 27 Workplace innovation as an intervention • It starts with a ‘problem’ that needs to be solved by an ‘intervention’ [requires solid analysis] • WPI says: it should positively affect both organisational performance (right to exist) and quality of work (sustainable employability) • It is about ‘content’ • An intervention in ‘structure’, ‘culture’ or mix of both • WPI is not the same as technological intervention or ‘social’ intervention • WPI is a means, not a goal in itself • It is about ‘process’ • It engages and / or involves people • It is much like a change process • It uses talents of people and further develops those talents • There is a complex interaction of ‘technology, organisation and people’ which makes the process hard to predict and not fully controllable [the risk to fail is significant]
  • 27. Initiative of WPI: economic goal Target: improved economic performance Mediating role for employees & employee reps Design of WPI practices Implementation of WPI practices Target: improved quality of work & engagement 1 3 2 2 28 PATTERN OF IMPLEMENTING WPI- PRACTICES (PROCESS MODEL) Oeij, P.R.A., et al. (2015, 2021)
  • 28. 29 29 To summarize Economic goals are initiated by management Employees are involved in designing and implementing the intervention Quality of work goals become part of the design Key factor: dialogue about common interests for the longer term (mature employment relationships) Oeij, P.R.A., et al. (2015, 2021)
  • 29. Conclusion • Workplace innovation interventions can be very different regards content, however link organisational (structural) and behavioural (cultural) elements when designing an intervention remains essential • Link ‘necessary’ economic goals to ‘sufficient’ employee interest goals • Not only the succesfull process of development and implementation of WPI benefits highly from the engagement of employees, also the desired longer term goals, and the further / continuous quality of constructive employment relations • Companies ‘resisting to WPI-interventions’ can be helped if they can apply the knowledge that is already available; it is likely that it works best if one first looks at economic performance objectives and subsequently connects this to employee interest goals.
  • 30. INDUSTRY5.0: A NEW CONTEXT FOR WORKPLACE INNOVATION 31
  • 31. Techno -driven increase efficiency and flexibility smart factory / connectivity Shareholder driven limited interest for society limited interest in environmental issues dominance neo-liberal model Economic value driven job destruction is no issue obsoletion of skills not responsibility of industries 32 Online talk on Workplace Innovation Commonalities: -apply newest (digital) technologies and continuous innovation; -digitalisation pervades into all production processes; -I5.0 does not replace but complements I4.0 with human and social values. INDUSTRY4.0 INDUSTRY5.0 Sustainability circularity reduce energy / emissions not jeopardise future generations Human-centric technology should support humans technology should adapt to humans technology not impinge worker's rights Resilient more robust / critical infrastructure strategic value chains / security Source: Breque et al. (2021). Industry 5.0: Towards a sustainable, human-centric and resilient European industry (European Commission, DG R&I).
  • 32. Anyquestions? Conclusion: The EU Commission puts human-centricity central which is an opportunity for workplace innovation
  • 33. Take – 10 minutes break Write up for yourself: -What are the positive effects of workplace innovation? -How do you assess the importance of structural and cultural workplace innovation – interventions? -What are the main mechanisms of the process of workplace innovation? -In what way are Industry5.0 and workplace innovation related to each other?
  • 34. Example multiple choice question (1) What is the most crucial element of a ‘workplace innovation’ intervention? [An intervention is here a new element applied to the organisation, its people, its strategy, its structure or / and its processes, such as a (innovative) ‘change’ .] 1. 1. An HR/HRM measure, because the people factor is the key to success. 2. 2. Opening a new market segment, because this helps securing the number of jobs in the near future. 3. 3. A training that accompanies a technological innovation, because this allows employees to improve their skills. 4. 4. Any measure in the case of change or innovation that secures employee voice and is benificial to their job autonomy, because this keeps employees engaged or involved.* -Bron: Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice, Series 'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Springer: Cham (Switzerland); DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56333-6; ISBN 978-3-319-56332-9. [esp. Ch 5 on theory]
  • 35. Example multiple choice question (2) Applying the innovation journey model to social innovation (Oeij et al., 2019) revealed six equally successful paths to adoption of social innovation. Which element was included quite often (i.e., ‘present’) of these paths? a. Availability of staff. b. Stakeholder commitment. * c. Consensus. d. Financial and political support. -Bron: Oeij, P.R.A., Van der Torre, W., Vaas, S., & Dhondt, S. (2019). Understanding Social Innovation as an innovation process: Applying the Innovation Journey model. Journal of Business Research, 101(8), 243-254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.04.028
  • 36. Example multiple choice question (3) 1. According to Oeij (2020) in his guest lecture, what is the most important motive for the implementation of workplace innovation for the organization as a whole? a. To enhance innovative capability. b. To improve industrial relations. c. To improve performance. * d. To become an attractive employer. -Bron: - Oeij, P.R.A., Preenen, T.Y.P. & Dhondt, S. (2021). Workplace innovation as a process: Examples from Europe. In: Adela McMurray, Nuttawuth Muenjohn & Chamindika Weerakoon (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation across Developed and Developing Countries (pp. 199-221). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 38. 39 REFERENCES Breque, M., De Nul, L.& Petridis, A. (2021). Industry 5.0. Towards a sustainable, human-centric and resilient European industry. R&I PAPER SERIES, POLICY BRIEF. DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION. Karanika-Murray, M. & Oeij, P.R.A. (2017). The role of work and organizational psychology for workplace innovation practice: From short- sightedness to eagle view. European Work and Organizational Psychology in Practice, 1, 19-30 (also In: Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice (pp. 339-353). Springer: Cham). Oeij, Peter (21 November 2019). ‘European workplace innovation’. Presentation for International conference on Jobs and New Technology: New Jobs Strategy for Changing World of Work. Organised by Korea Labor Institute and hosted by Presidential Jobs Commission, JW Marriot Hotel, Seoul, Republic of South Korea. (https://www.slideshare.net/PeterOeij/european-workplace-innovation- peter-oeij) Oeij, P. R. A., and Dhondt, S. (2017) Theoretical approaches supporting workplace innovation. In P.R.A. Oeij, D. Rus, and F.D. Pot (Eds.). Workplace innovation: Theory, research and practice (pp. 63-78), Series 'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Cham (Switzerland): Springer Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S., & McMurray, A. (2021, December). Workplace innovation literature review: a converging or diverging research field? A preparatory study for a research agenda. TNO Report R12732. Leiden: TNO Healthy Living. Oeij P. R.A., Dhondt S., Žiauberytė-Jakštienė R., Corral A., Totterdill P. (2016). Implementing workplace innovation across Europe: Why, How and What? Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, no. 5, pp. 195-218. DOI: 10.15838/esc/2016.5.47.11 Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice, Series 'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Springer: Cham (Switzerland); DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56333-6; ISBN 978-3-319-56332-9. Putnik, K., Oeij, P.R.A., et al. (2019) Innovation adoption of employees in Logistics: individual and organizational factors related to the actual use of innovation. International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 16(3) 251 – 265
  • 39. 40 KEY REFERENCES WORKPLACE INNOVATION Dhondt, S., Oeij, P.R.A., & Pot, F.D. (2021). Digitaltransformation of work: spillover effects of workplace innovation on social innovation. In J. Howaldt, C. Kaletka, & A. Schröder (Eds.). A Research Agenda for Social Innovation (pp. 99-116). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. Dworschak, B., Senderek, R., & Kopp, R. (Eds) (2021), Workplace Innovation and Leadership. EHP-Verlag Andreas Kohlhage; Gevelsberg (Germany) Howaldt, J. and Oeij, P.R.A. (Eds.) (2016). Workplace innovation – Social innovation: Shaping work organisation and working life. Special issue of World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable, Issue, 12, Vol. 1, pp. 1-129. Karanika-Murray, M. & Oeij, P.R.A. (2017). The role of work and organizational psychology for workplace innovation practice: From short-sightedness to eagle view. European Work and Organizational Psychology in Practice, 1, 19-30 (also In: Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice (pp. 339-353). Springer: Cham). McMurray, A., Muenjohn, N. & Weerakoon, C. (Eds.) (2021), The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation across Developed and Developing Countries. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Oeij, Peter (21 November 2019). ‘European workplace innovation’. Presentation for International conference on Jobs and New Technology: New Jobs Strategy for Changing World of Work. Organised by Korea Labor Institute and hosted by Presidential Jobs Commission, JW Marriot Hotel, Seoul, Republic of South Korea. (https://www.slideshare.net/PeterOeij/european-workplace-innovation-peter-oeij) Oeij, Peter (16 May 2023). 'Workplace innovation: Industry5.0 style'. Presentation for "The future of workplace innovation", International Conference on Workplace Innovation, Organised by Korea Labor Institute and hosted by Korean Federation of Banks, Seoul, Republic of South Korea. (https://www.slideshare.net/PeterOeij/peter-oeijworkplace-innovation-industry-50-style) Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S., & McMurray, A. (2021, December). Workplace innovation literature review: a converging or diverging research field? A preparatory study for a research agenda. TNO Report R12732. Leiden: TNO Healthy Living. Oeij, P.R.A., Dhondt, S., & McMurray, A. (eds.)(2023), A Research Agenda for Workplace Innovation: The Challenge of Disruptive Transitions. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. Oeij P. R.A., Dhondt S., Žiauberytė-Jakštienė R., Corral A., Totterdill P. Implementing workplace innovation across Europe: Why, How and What? Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2016, no. 5, pp. 195-218. DOI: 10.15838/esc/2016.5.47.11 Oeij, P.R.A., Rus, D., Dhondt, S. & Van Hootegem, G. (Eds) (2019). Workplace innovation in the era of disruptive technologies. Special Issue of International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation.16(3), 199-309. DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2019.10021355 Oeij, P. R.A., Rus, D. and Pot F.D. (eds) (2017). Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice, Series 'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being’. Springer: Cham (Switzerland); DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56333-6; ISBN 978-3-319- 56332-9. Oeij, P., Vaas, F. & Dhondt, S. (2022), Two cases of workplace innovation in the Netherlands (Report for Korea Labor Institute). Leiden: TNO.) Pot, F. (2011). Workplace innovation for better jobs and performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 60(4), 404–415. Rus, D., Carter, A., & Roth, C. (eds) (2017) Workplace innovation Special edition Vol. 1, EAWOP in Practice, 11, 1–87. Retrieved from http://www.eawop.org/ckeditor_assets/attachments/1046/specialissue_part1_2017_full.pdf?1535712991 Rus, D., Carter, A., & Roth, C. (eds) (2019) Workplace innovation Special edition Vol. 2, EAWOP in Practice, 11, 1–129. Retrieved from http://www.eawop.org/ckeditor_assets/attachments/1144/inpractice_2019_special_issue_11_full.pdf?1557399438 Totterdill, P., Exton, O., Exton, R., Sherrin, J., (2009). Workplace Innovation in European Countries. Report to KOWIN (Korean Ministry of Labour). Nottingham: UKWON. Totterdill, P., Pot, F., Dhondt, S. & Warhurst, C. (2022). Workplace innovation: Europe’s competitive edge: A manifesto for enhanced performance and working lives. European Journal of Workplace Innovation, 7(1), 132–141. doi: https://doi.org/10.46364/ejwi.v7i1.935 Pot, Frank, Dhondt, Steven, Oeij, Peter, Rus, Diana, & Totterdill, Peter (2019). Complementing digitalisation with workplace innovation. In: Howaldt, J., Kaletka, C., Schröder, A., Zirngiebl, M. (eds.), Atlas of Social Innovation. 2nd Volume – A world of new practices (pp. 42-46). Oekoem Verlag, München (ISBN: 978-3-96238-157-8). Download free : www.socialinnovationatlas.net
  • 40. 41 41 Thank you for your attention! Peter Oeij [peter.oeij@tno.nl]