EWCS 2005 - Work organisation

Working Conditions in the European Union: Work organisation

The results of the fourth European Working Conditions Survey have been analysed to map differences in the main forms of work organisation across EU countries. The analysis explores the relationship between work organisation and the various dimensions of quality of work and employment.

Four main types of work organisation were identified: the ‘discretionary learning’, ‘lean production’, ‘Taylorist’, and ‘traditional’ or ‘simple structure’ forms of work organisation.

Key research findings

  • The adoption of discretionary-learning forms of work organisation, compared with lean production and Taylorist forms, can result in better working conditions in the sense of lower work intensity, less exposure to physical risks, fewer non-standard working hours, better work–life balance and lower levels of work-related health problems.
  • Discretionary-learning forms of work organisation are also associated with higher perceived intrinsic rewards from work, better psychological working conditions related to HRM policies and social integration at work, along with higher overall levels of employee satisfaction with working conditions.