Updated: 25 September 2009
Project policy brief
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Understanding a changing world of work:
for union training on value
Tengblad P. (ed.), Docherty P., Valenduc G. & Pedaci M.
Leuven: HIVA, 2009
This is a training resource pack on how to deal with processes of restructuring
and changing work and workplaces. Its aim is to enhance
union competence in change in working life and to support employee
representatives in unions or works councils all over Europe in their roles
as active partners in processes of changes in work. The book is based
on the result of a four-year large-scale European research project called
WORKS (Work Organisation and Restructuring in the Knowledge Society).
WORKS has investigated organisations under restructuring in
different industries and different European countries.
of the final WORKS conference 'Fragmentation: the future of
work in Europe in a global economy', Rome, 8-9 October 2008
This report has been produced by the Work Organisation and Restructuring in the
Knowledge Society (WORKS) project, which aims to examine the recomposition of global
value chains and the simultaneous geographic concentration and decentralisation of business
functions and their impacts on work, on workers and the quality of their working
lives. The conference organisation was led by the Working Lives Research Institute, based
in the UK, with the support of IRES in Italy and HIVA-K.U.Leuven in Belgium.
It summarises the proceedings of the final WORKS conference was held on the 8th and
9th of October in Rome, Italy. The conference aims were to bring together leading European
policymakers and experts from around the world to discuss findings from the
The conference consisted of two days: the first day focused on work in Europe in the
21st Century, providing an introduction to the current trends and policy challenges faced
today; the second day focused on seven broad themes:
1. global value chain restructuring and organisational change;
2. workers’ well being, autonomy and representation;
3. flexibility and work-life balance;
4. changes in career patterns, risks and opportunities for women and men;
5. changes in the workplace, in skill requirements, technology and working conditions;
6. changes at the regional and national level;
7. policy choices in regards to the future of work in Europe in a global economy.
of the 1st WORKS conference 'The transformation of work in a
global knowledge economy: towards a conceptual framework',
Chania - Greece, 21-22 September 2006
Download list of contributors
The contribution of Greet Vermeylen contains data of the previous survey. The chapter will be updated soon with the recent data of the European Working Conditions Survey.
This report has been produced by the Work Organisation and Restructuring in the Knowledge Society (WORKS) project, which aims to examine the recomposition of global value chains and the simultaneous geographic concentration and decentralisation of business functions and their impacts on work, on workers and the quality of their working lives.
This report presents the proceedings of the conference which was the first of two international conferences planned by the project and was held in Chania, Crete on September 21-22, 2006.
This report presents the proceedings of the conference which was the first of two international conferences planned by the project and was held in Chania, Crete on September 21-22, 2006. Its aims were:
- to bring together a 'Global Reference Group' for the WORKS project which will reconvene at later stages in the project's life and provide a source of peer review;
- to initiate a dialogue with policy stakeholders which will on the one hand (as a WORKS output) inform them about changes currently taking place in work organisation and on the other (as a WORKS input) help to shape the direction and priorities of the future work of the project;
- to provide an opportunity for launching the draft reports from the first work packages of the project and obtain critical feedback on them;
- to act as a forum for sharing and synthesising the first results of the project's work amongst the partners and providing an opportunity for fine-tuning the research methodology;
- to develop a conceptual framework for the study of changes in work organisation in Europe in a global context.
The conference brought together several strands:
- theories and concepts about the drivers of change in a global knowledge economy;
- indicators and empirical evidence on the relevant technological, economic, geographical, political and social trends, including results from comparable research;
- methodologies for carrying out research on changes in work organisation at both the organisational and individual level, including methodologies for ensuring the visibility of issues relating to gender, ethnicity and other social variables.
Global Reference Group
Dialogue with policy stakeholders and the broader research community form a key component of the WORKS project. The strategy has been specifically designed to ensure that these groups are not perceived as passive recipients of ‘dissemination’ of the project’s findings but on the contrary are given a role in making inputs to the project’s work.
This will take several different forms, and operate at different levels. The most important level is the Global Reference Group. A Global Reference Group will be established to provide ongoing peer review of the project’s work as well as to provide specific inputs to particular activities such as the state-of-the-art reviews and the project’s conferences. This group will include leading researchers from within the European Research Area but also from outside it, to provide a global perspective on the project’s work. In addition, it will include representatives from key policy institutions and from civil society.
Purpose of the group
This group is designed to contribute to the work in several ways:
- by providing a form of external peer review of the WORKS work;
- by providing a global perspective on the WORKS research;
- as part of a general networking function, by helping inform the project about other related research both inside and outside the EU. This will be particularly relevant in the context of the WORKS state-of-the-art reviews we have produced in the first phase of the project;
- by contributing to the WORKS general dissemination activities;
- by contributing to the WORKS dialogue with policy stakeholders.
Members of the Global Reference Group
- Prof. dr. Elmar Altvater, professor, Free University of Berlin, Germany
- Dr. François Bafoil, head of research, CNRS/Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales – CERI, France
- Prof. dr. Christian Baudelot, professor of Sociology and researcher at the Laboratoire de Sciences Sociales, Ecole Normale Supérieure – ENS, France
- Dr. Chris Benner, assistant professor, Department of Geography, Pennsylvania State University, USA
- Prof. dr. Mikyung Chin, professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Ajou University, Republic of Korea
- Prof. dr. David Coates, professor, Wake Forest University, USA
- Prof. dr. Peter Ester, director, OSA, The Netherlands
- Prof. dr. Dominique Foray, chair of Economics and Management of Innovation at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and director of the College of Management of Technology at EPFL, Switzerland
- Dr. Béla Galgóczi, senior research officer, European Trade Union Institute – ETUI, Belgium
- Sujata Gothaskar, programme officer of the Committee for Asian Women and researcher with the Forum, a women organisation in Mumbai – India
- Prof. dr. Penny Gurstein, professor, School of Community and Regional Planning / Centre for Human Settlements, University of British Columbia, Canada
- William Lazonick, professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and distinguished research professor at INSEAD, USA
- Dr. Steffen Lehndorff, head of the Department Working-Time and Work Organisation, Institut Arbeit und Qualifikation – IAQ, Germany
- Prof. dr. Marcia de Paula Leite, full professor, Faculdade de Educação, State University of Campinas – Unicamp, Brazil
- Prof. dr. Doreen Massey, professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, United Kingdom
- Prof. dr. Vincent Mosco, professor of Sociology and Canada research chair in Communication and Society, Department of Sociology, Queen’s University, Canada
- Norene Pupo, director, Centre for Research on Work and Society – CRWS, York University, Canada
- Gerd Rohde, head of UNI IBITS, Switzerland
- Dr. Tim Sturgeon, senior research affiliate, Industrial Performance Center – IPC, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT, USA
- Prof. dr. Geert Van Hootegem, professor, Centre for Sociological Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
- Prof. dr. Jelle Visser, professor at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences and scientific director at AIAS, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Anita Weiss de Belalcázar, researcher, Centro de Estudios Sociales – CES, Human Sciences Faculty, National University of Colombia
Krings Bettina, 'Knowledge as a driving force for societal changes?', Presentation for the international workshop: 'New Media in the Globalising World:
Economic, social and cultural dimensions', Tychy, Poland, 2 December 2005.