Companies are constantly competing for the next big thing in innovation – the next-generation 3D phone, the quantum computer, the virtual doctor. They fixate on technological breakthroughs and look for new business models. But innovation also needs systems, an organisational structure and people who work together. The human factor in innovation is often forgotten or neglected – the employees’ skills, their level of input, their autonomy in their jobs and the rewards they receive. Or do such factors really play any role in innovation?
Innovation is an important driver of improved competitiveness, productivity and growth potential. This report explores which workplace practices have the strongest links to innovative company behaviour, looking at innovation in the form of new or significantly changed products or processes, new or improved marketing methods, and organisational change.
This report assesses the impact of the crisis on the subjective well-being of Europeans. In 2011, GDP per capita in 22 out of the then 27 EU Member States was below 2008 levels, and unemployment rates were higher in 25 out of the 27. These indicators demonstrate worrying trends, but the report goes deeper, trying to answer various questions: What is the real impact on people’s lives? Who has been hit hardest? Where have there been positive wellbeing patterns? What explains the variation in well-being across Europe? How can policy increase or stem the fall in well-being in the future? It concludes that the crisis may not be affecting everyone’s well-being equally, nor all aspects of well-being. Well-being has fallen in many EU countries, remaining highest in northern countries. However, falls in wellbeing in many western EU countries have been matched by increases in eastern countries. Population groups with low well-being include those limited by disability or illness and unemployed people.