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Workplace Development As Part Of Broad-based Innovation Policy: Exploiting And Exploring Three Types Of Knowledge

Tuomo Alasoini

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This paper looks at the possibilities that a broad-based innovation policy contained by the national innovation strategy recently adopted in Finland opens up for the promotion of workplace innovations and examines the types of knowledge needed in workplace development. The author highlights the interconnections between workplace development and the prerequisites of both economic growth and the preservation of the Finnish welfare state. The paper also aims to explain why, in addition to the productivity of work, improving the quality of working life should feature as an increasingly important aim in the innovation policy of the future. An argument for the need of three types of knowledge in workplace development - design knowledge, process knowledge and dissemination knowledge - is made, together with an overview on new developments in each of those three domains. In conclusion, the author demonstrates how problems in the productivity of work and the quality of working life can be simultaneously tackled with at work organization level through two kinds of development approaches.