The generative relationship between job quality, innovation, and employment
Recent qualitative and quantitative research on the interrelationships between innovation, job quality and employment shows a strong association between job quality and product, process, and to a lesser extent organizational innovation. This is theorized as the interaction of two systems – job quality and innovation systems. Increased employment and improved job quality are found to result from innovation, while specific employment dimensions are found to impact innovation and job quality. Much of the evidence for this recursive interaction between innovation, job quality and employment derives from qualitative and quantitative studies carried out under the Horizon 2020 project QuInnE that specifically targeted these interrelations for analysis. Findings largely support the skill-biased technical change thesis, leading to the conclusion that while innovation tends to improve job quality, it will exacerbate societal inequalities. Strong evidence is also presented from several studies that higher innovation results from higher job quality, in line with previous research. None of these relationships are found to operate in a deterministic manner, and the actions of management, workers and the social partners play important mediating roles.
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