According to the European Commission, labour productivity will become the key driver of growth in the EU (European Commission, 2012, 2013, 2014). For the EU and for the euro area, labour input acts as a drag on growth over the projection period (2010-2060), as the working-age population is projected to decline. As a result, labour input contributes negatively to annual output growth on average over the projection period. Hence, labour productivity growth becomes the sole source for potential output growth in both the EU and the euro area starting from 2028.
The main research question underpinning this project is how the aspirations of policy makers are manifest at a micro-level and how these strategies are seen by the actors to translate into outcomes, seeking to illuminate why the productivity problem persists in some of the observed countries. To answer this question, this project will look at methodologies of coordination between bargaining levels, as well as at best practices of productivity agreements combining work efficiency with sustainability in six EU countries: Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK. Precisely, five salient dimensions of industrial relations activity that have clear productivity and performance implications will be considered: (i) employee reward; (ii) workers’ participation and involvement; (iii) skills and job-classifications; (iv) work organisation; (v) inclusion and diversity. Using a case study approach the team will investigate industrial relations activities relating to the four dimensions and consider how productivity is articulated as an intended outcome.
With the aim to turn knowledge into skills and competences, the overall results of research will be transferred to workers’ and management’s representatives within a capacity building training programme.
Project's duration: Apr 2016 — Oct 2017
University of Amsterdam - AIAS