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Action Research in Workplace Innovation and Regional Development

Edited by Werner Fricke and Peter Totterdill 

Institute for Regional Cooperation, Wieren, Germany / The Work Institute, Nottingham Trent University, UK
John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 2004. Paperback.
(Dialogues on Work and Innovation; 15)
1 58811 467 8 / USD 102.00
90 272 1785 8 / EUR 85.00

The past is an increasingly unreliable guide to the future. European workplaces and the regions in which they are located face unprecedented pressures and challenges. Whereas in recent decades incremental adaptation has largely been sufficient to cope with external change, it is no longer clear that this remains the case. Globalisation, technological development and dissemination, political volatility, patterns of consumption, and employee expectations are occurring at a rate which is hard to measure. The rate of change in these spheres is far outstripping the rate of organisational innovation in both European enterprises and public governance, leading to a serious mismatch between the challenges of the 21st Century and the organisational competence available to deal with them. 

In this context, there is no clear roadmap. The contributors to this volume address these issues and demonstrate that building the knowledge base required by actors in this volatile environment requires continuous dialogue and learning - a context in which social partners, regional policy makers and other participants share diverse knowledge and reflect on experience rather than seeking and imitating any notion of 'best practice'. Action Research has a crucial role to play, embedding shared learning within the process of innovation. 

Table of contents

Acknowledgements        ix 
Werner Fricke and Peter Totterdill      1-11 

I. Key themes 

Participation and local organisation 
Bjørn Gustavsen 15-42 

Workplace innovation as regional development 
Peter Totterdill and Jeremy Hague       43-79 

II. Building coalitions        

Participation and enterprise networks within a regional context: Examples from South-West Norway 
Tor Claussen    83-101 

Planning from without or developing from within? Collaboration across the frontiers of Health Care: Collaboration across
the frontiers of Health Care 
Marianne Ekman Philips, Beth Maina Ahlberg and Tony Huzzard     103-126 

The development of the French technopoles and the growth of life sciences: The example of the Evry génopole 
Christophe Heil and Guy Lacroix 127-156 

III. Capacity building 
The third task: A challenge for Swedish research and higher education 
Göran Brulin    159-182 

Linking workplace innovation and regional development: Towards new roles for the university sector 
Annika Lantz and Peter Totterdill       183-205 

Obstacles to organisational learning in Trade Unions: The case of the Dutch 'industribution' project 
Maarten van Klaveren    207-232 

Globalisation and regionalisation: Will networking help trade unions to shape change in traditional industrial regions? 
Birgit Beese, Klaus Dörre and Bernd Röttger     233-261 

Moving beyond rhetoric: Creativity, organisations and performance 
Palle Banke, Jeremy Hague, Trine Land Hansen and Eva-Carina Norskov     263-286 

IV. The policy framework 
Regional workplace forums for the modernisation of work 
Richard Ennals  289-311 

Integrating workplace development policy and innovation policy: A challenging task: Experiences from and reflections on
the Finnish Workplace Development Programme 
Tatu Piirainen and Pasi Koski   313-331 

The UK Work Organisation Network: A national coalition for working life and organisational competence 
Richard Ennals, Peter Totterdill and Campbell Ford      333-345 

About the authors       347 
Index   351

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Editor: Sabine Manning
First set up: 17/08/2004
Latest update: 17/08/2004