International Journal of Work Innovation (5 papers in press)
Ageing and its determinants: Potentialities and challenges for employment in Southern Europe
by Roberto Impicciatore, Renata Semenza
Abstract: The population age structure in Europe is changing quickly. The unprecedented and unstoppable ageing process has a strong impact on the labour market because the number of working-age people is shrinking numerically, and the dependent old-age population is increasing faster as well as the average age of workers. These dynamics, which will become particularly intense in the next two decades especially in Southern European countries, are mainly due to persistently low fertility, well below the replacement level. Evidence suggests that fertility levels are lowered by the insufficient integration of women into the labour market. In addition, youth unemployment, job instability, and lower incomes are likely to delay economic independence, increasing the risk of childlessness. Not even the large flows of international migrants, which have characterised Southern European countries in the last decades, seem to be sufficient to face the negative effects of ageing.rnThe aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, through a critical review of the existing literature and the presentation of recent statistical data, it highlights the population dynamics in the Southern European context and what is reasonable to expect in the next decades. On the other hand, it attempts to contribute to a better understanding of how demographic changes and labour market dynamics are mutually interrelated.rnAlongside these elements of concern, the paper also discusses approaches and points of view that suggest elements of optimism for the future. Mature workers and the elderly are changing their characteristics rapidly and in the coming decades they will be characterised by levels of education and health conditions much better than today, with a positive impact on their wellbeing and work productivity.rn
Keywords: population ageing; employment; labour market; low fertility; social policies.
ALL THE WORKS A STAGE: EXPLORING THE PERCEIVED THEATRICALITY OF ORGANISATIONAL WORKING LIFE
by Nigel Hunt, Florie Pronk
Abstract: Much is known about roles at work. Following role theory, concepts such as role conflict, role overload and role ambiguity are crucial constructs, but where a dramaturgical metaphor is considered meaningful across disciplines including sociology and social psychology, little attention has been paid to theatricality within organisational psychology. This study aims to consider whether and how role theory may be extended by the inclusion of a dramaturgical metaphor at work. How would employees consider their work roles, supposing that work were a stage? Semi-structured interviews and diaries from a sample of thirteen employees suggest that the application of a dramaturgical metaphor at work might well equip employees with a powerful work ethic, work repertoire and sense-making device, and therefore deserves further exploration.
Keywords: organisational psychology; theatricality; role theory; dramaturgical metaphor; role overload; grounded theory.
Framing the process of innovating: Contested meanings at the nexus of prototype
by Rashmi H. Assudani
Abstract: The literature in innovation recognizes the tensions and trade-offs that are inherent in the
process of innovation. Since innovations primarily occur at cross-disciplinary boundaries,
paradoxically these boundaries are also a source of tensions in the process of cross
disciplinary collaboration during the process of innovation. While boundary objects play a
crucial role to serve as bridges, we have very limited understanding on how and why
boundary objects function as a source of conflict and misunderstandings. In this paper, we
try to unpack the potentially conflictual nature of boundary objects by illustrating that
boundary objects enable the individuals to realize their frame of analyses, which may
compete with anothers. We examine a case study of a workplace re-design at a large
private university in the Mid-West US, and examine how these different stakeholders
attach different meanings, and therefore contribute to the tensions of the new workplace
design. Findings offer implications for governing the innovation process.
Keywords: Innovation; space; frames of analysis; boundary objects.
Special Issue on: 4th Meeting on Critical Management Studies Questioning the Politics of CMS
Social innovation as practice: Exploring the entanglement of political and managerial logics
by Alexandra Gaidos, Florence Palpacuer, Nicolas Balas
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present the conceptual considerations at the basis of a PhD research aiming at making sense of the concept of social innovation in the way it is put into practice through incubators and social enterprises. It builds notably on the feedback obtained at the 4th meeting on Critical Management Studies in Louvain-la-Neuve where a first version of this paper has been presented. Social innovation (SI) as a concept has received increasing attention from scholars during the last two decades. Nevertheless, it is now confronted with the apparition of a diversity of definitions that show the difficulty of grasping: 1) the social in SI and 2) the more practical forms that SI can take. In front of this ambiguity, the current research made the choice of the Grounded Theory as the appropriate approach in understanding the reality of SI as it is implemented through a case study of dedicated incubators and socially innovative enterprises.
Keywords: social innovation; social enterprise; critical management studies; incubators.
Studying the doing and undoing of gender in the organization: promises and challenges
by Nancy Aumais
Abstract: To further advance the understanding of how gender norms are performed in practice within organizations, this article reviews the main conceptualizations of practice and of gender-as-practice in the organizational literature. Drawing from recent work, it proceeds to explore the potential of using a gender-as-practice approach to observe how gender might be undone via microemancipation and resistance. Finally, it addresses some methodological implications that are raised by the adoption of such an approach, among which remains the difficulty of articulating practices and the challenge of operationalizing doing gender.
Keywords: Doing gender; undoing gender; practice theory; gender-as-practice; organizations.