Measuring trendsthe work complexity paradox (Innovative Workplaces: Making Better Use of Skills within Organisations)

This chapter assesses the trends of work characteristics associated with learning organisations over 1995, 2000 and 2005 for EU15 countries. Finding an average decreasing trend in EU15, driven by results in Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain, it then tries to uncover this work complexity paradox by taking into account structural factors influencing work complexity at the individual and country level. Four possible culprits that are not measured in the available databases are discussed: standardisation, job polarisation, organisational change and self-reported overqualification. The first two explanations make the assumption that the decreasing trend in work complexity is an objective phenomenon; the two others explore how it could be related to subjective assessments of persons in employment.
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