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Andrew Dawson and Simone Dennis

emerging ideological polarities the world over. It is in this context that the final issue of our set of special issues of Anthropology in Action on COVID-19 and the transformation of intimacy tackles the question of workplace intimacy. The articles in

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Peter R. A. Oeij, Steven Dhondt, and Ton Korver

Social innovation is becoming a core value of the EU flagship initiative Innovation Union, but it is not clearly demarcated as it covers a wide field of topics. To understand social innovation within European policymaking a brief outline is given of EC policy developments on innovation and on workplace innovation. Definitions of social innovation formulated at the societal level and the organizational or workplace level are discussed. Empirical research findings of workplace innovation in the Netherlands are presented as examples showing that workplace innovation activities boost organizational performance. The article explores the relation between workplace innovation and social innovation, and concludes that policy developments in the EU can be studied with the theory of social quality, provided that the latter in its empirical approach focuses on how individuals together constitute innovations.

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Investing in Workplace Innovation Pays Off for SMEs

A Regional Innovation Initiative from the Netherlands

Peter Oeij, Ernest de Vroome, Astrid Bolland, Rob Gründemann, and Lex van Teeffelen

From 2009 to 2013 the workplace innovation project “My Enterprise 2.0” was carried out in the region of Utrecht in the Netherlands in order to strengthen the workplace innovation capability of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Participating enterprises completed a questionnaire regarding the “workplace innovativeness” of their company. A workplace innovation intervention was then implemented by some of the companies, while other companies chose not to take part. At the end of the project, a second questionnaire indicated that those companies that implemented interventions had a significantly higher score with regard to overall workplace innovativeness. The companies without such interventions reported a small decrease. While the companies in the region had higher workplace innovativeness scores relative to a national reference group both before and after the project, the increase in the “workplace innovativeness” of the regional SMEs that experienced interventions suggests that the project proved beneficial to their continued “workplace innovativeness.” Moreover, these companies also reported positive effects on company performance, achieving company goals and improving labor productivity.

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'Tensile Nationality'

National Identity as an Everyday Way of Being in a Scottish Hospital

Nigel Rapport

This article reports on research undertaken in a Scottish hospital on the theme of national identity, specifically Scottishness. It examines the ways and extents to which Scottishness was expressed in the workplace: as a quotidian aspect of individual and institutional identity, in a situation of high-pro file political change. The research was to situate nationality as a naturally occurring 'language-game': to explore everyday speech-acts which deployed reference to nationality/Scottishness and compare these to other kinds of overt affirmation of identity and other speech-acts when no such identity-affirmations were ostensibly made. In a contemporary Scottish setting where the inauguration of a new Parliament has made national identity a prominent aspect of public debate, the research illuminates the place of nationality amid a complex of workaday language-games and examines the status of national identity as a 'public event'.

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Penny McCall Howard

This article examines the "power and the pain of class relations" (Ortner 2006) through the experience of Scottish men working in the global shipping, offshore oil, and fishing industries: industries in which the nationality of workers has changed significantly since the 1980s. It combines recent anthropological literature on subjectivity and cosmopolitanism with a Marxist understanding of class as generated through differing relationships to production. The article describes how British seafarers have experienced the cosmopolitanization of their workplaces, as workers from Portugal, Eastern Europe, and the Philippines have been recruited by employers in order to reduce wages, working conditions, and trade union organization. Drawing on Therborn (1980), it concludes that the experiences gained through this process have led to the development of multiple and often contradictory subjectivities, which people draw on as they choose how to act in moments of crisis, and as they imagine possible futures.

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Jeff Jackson

This article challenges the prevalent interpretation of John Dewey as a forefather of deliberative democracy, and shows how Dewey's theory can help turn democratic theory toward participatory democracy, which is widely seen as having been incorporated by deliberative democracy. I argue that Dewey would find deliberative principles to be abstracting from our unequal social conditions by attempting to bracket the unequal social statuses that individuals bring with them to the deliberation. Dewey traces the deficiencies of current political debate to these unequal social conditions, and he thus claims that democratic theorizing should focus on enacting effective plans for overcoming social inequality, plans that may require nondeliberative practices that compel concessions from advantaged social interests. Deliberative democrats have increasingly aimed to account for such practices, but I claim that participatory democrats can draw on Dewey to illustrate how their theory can more comfortably accommodate these practices that directly attack inequality than can deliberative democracy.

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Against Analogy

Why Analogical Arguments in Support of Workplace Democracy Must Necessarily Fail

Roberto Frega

scholars are turning toward the workplace as the location where individuals are most likely to be exposed to moral and physical harms and where, after decades of retreat, injustice, domination, and exploitation, are expanding again. In this context, aside

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Elisabetta Gualmini

On 3 March 2008, four workmen lost their lives, asphyxiated by sulfur

fumes, going one after another into a tanker at the Truck Center in

Molfetta in the province of Bari, a company specializing in the maintenance

and cleaning of heavy vehicles. Those involved were the owner

of the company, aged 64, and three workmen, respectively, 44, 37, and

24 years old. The following morning, a fifth workman, who was barely

20 and had tried to save his companions, died at the hospital in Monopoli.

“Deaths Caused by Solidarity,” headlined some newspapers, but the

truth is that these deaths were foreseeable because none of the victims

were in possession of protective equipment. Little more than a month

later, on 16 April 2008, at Cornate d’Adda in the province of Milan, an

explosion in the chemical factory Masterplast caused the deaths of two

workmen, the company foreman, aged 47, and a 28-year-old employee

from Burkina Faso. And the list of deaths continues.

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Alex Lichtenstein

South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) in the first half of the 1980s ( Friedman 2011 ). Most of all, I want to suggest that the workplace culture envisioned by Turner – a central element in his broad and deep commitment to ‘participatory democracy’ and his

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Underground waterlines

Explaining political quiescence of Ukrainian labor unions

Denys Gorbach

grounded realities of sustaining hegemony at the post-Soviet workplace. Finally, I will discuss some new trends observed in the field. These findings will be summed up and put into a wider context in the conclusion. Reacting to the debate on Taylorist