Two decades of programme-based promotion of workplace innovation in Finland: past experiences and future challenges

  • Tuomo Alasoini


This article describes and explains the reasons for the rise and establishment ofprogramme-based promotion of workplace innovation in Finland during the last 20 years.Several ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors that have simultaneously promoted the consolidation ofthese efforts are presented. The author also examines the Finnish programmes and ‘Nordicexceptionalism’ in a broader European context, referring to the overall under-resourcingof workplace innovation activities in European public policies so far. At the end of thearticle, new challenges to workplace development deriving from the rapid reshaping ofworking life are discussed. Despite the rather gloomy picture that is painted of how debateon a good working life has been flagging in many European countries recently, the authorbelieves that the significance of workplace innovations as one of the driving forces of the‘second wave’ of ICT-based productivity growth will increase in the future. The author alsowelcomes the European Commission’s new initiative, the EUWIN project, as an importantindication that workplace innovations are also seen as increasingly important from theperspective of industrial policy in Europe.