Wednesday, September 21, 2011


IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------
Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Dublin Foundation)

European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO)




Recent developments in work organisation in the EU27 Member States and Norway [19 September 2011]

September 2011



[full-text, 35 pages]


This report examines recent developments in work organisation in the EU27 Member States and Norway. Work organisation broadly refers to issues such as the structure of the production process, the relationship between staff and production departments, the responsibilities at different hierarchical levels and the design of individual jobs. Modern patterns of work organisation can be a double-edged sword for employees in terms of working conditions. The factors contributing to workers’ job satisfaction such as high levels of autonomy and involvement, increased responsibilities and task complexity are the same as those that can create strain through increased levels of stress and work pressure, workload, job insecurity or a poor work–life balance. The direct participation arrangements of employees are relatively well-spread, although this has not necessarily implied a higher degree of autonomy and control or a reduction in hierarchical and control structures within enterprises.


The study was compiled on the basis of individual national reports submitted by the EWCO correspondents. The text of each of these national reports is available below. The reports have not been edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The national reports were drawn up in response to a questionnaire and should be read in conjunction with it.




European and national sources of information

Existing patterns of work organisation

Main drivers of change in work organisation

Cyprus: Changes in work organisation patterns in the food and drink


France: Technological innovations in retail sector

Slovakia: Crisis-induced work organisation changes

High-performance work practices

Effects of work organisation on working conditions

Ireland: Worker involvement in new practices at Aughinish Alumina

Austria and the UK: Ambivalent effects of ‘modern’ forms of work


Portugal: High job satisfaction in the ‘call centres’ sector

Social partners’ positions on work organisation changes

Denmark: LO/DA cooperation agreement

France: The impact of work organisation on employee stress in






This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
Telephone: (607) 262-6041               
Fax: (607) 255-9641                       



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