Mapping learning organisations and their characteristics for the European Union (Innovative Workplaces: Making Better Use of Skills within Organisations)

This chapter maps the importance of learning organisations at the national and EU levels. Learning organisations are defined as organisations where high levels of autonomy in work are combined with high levels of learning, problem-solving and task complexity. A series of policy relevant issues associated with the unequal spread of learning forms of work organisation across nations are then discussed: the relation of employee learning to national innovation style and performance; the link between the use of learning forms of work organisation and the national institutional context, including the development of systems of continuing vocational education and training; the structure of labour markets; and level of expenditure on different labour market policies. At the micro-level, the analysis attempts to shed light on the complex relation between employee learning, the use of different human resource management policies, and organisational culture, defined in terms of the beliefs and attitudes held by employees.
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