Workplace Innovation and Consequences for Employees and Organisational Performance in the Netherlands

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:30 AM
Room: 415
Oral Presentation
Paul PREENEN , TNO, Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Peter OEIJ , Healthy Living, Open University of The Netherlands, Heerlen, Netherlands
Karolus KRAAN , Healthy Living, TNO, Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Steven DHONDT , Healthy Living, TNO, Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Based on ‘Netherlands Employer Work Survey’(NEWS) data this paper investigates the consequences of  workplace innovation for employee and organisational performance in The Netherlands. The NEWS is a unique, two-yearly held survey among 5.000 establishments of public and private organisations on policies and practices of Dutch employers, concerning work related issues, such as working conditions, employment relations, HR and innovation management.

Workplace innovation is defined by Pot (2011) as “the implementation of new and combined interventions in the fields of work organisation, HRM and supportive technologies. Workplace innovation is considered to be complementary to technological innovation”. Taking this definition, which is rooted in the ‘theory of modern sociotechnology’ (De Sitter) and  ‘the job demands  -  control model’ (Karasek),  as a point of departure, we constructed a Workplace Innovation Index (WPI-index) that consists of the following characteristics: ‘active jobs’ (flexible but tailor-made employment relations), ‘employee voice’ (dialogue and autonomy), ‘flat organisation’ (limited hierarchical levels and teamwork), and ‘innovation orientation’ (openness to renewal and seeking new knowledge externally).

The relationship between this WPI-index  and several  performance output measures, such as labour productivity, performance (turnover, profit), sickness absence, work stress, and perceived employee commitment will be examined. Control variables are sector (industrial branches) and organisational size (number of employees). To date, research investigating the relationship between workplace innovation and these outcomes has been scarce. Our analyses will be executed in the end of 2013 and will be fully reported in the paper. Implications for theory and practice will be discussed.

Reference:Pot, F.D. (2011). Workplace innovation for better jobs and performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 60 (4), 404-415.