The First Element: Work Organisation - Articles and Reports

Here is a selection of recent documents demonstrating the First Element: Work Organisation.  

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Continuous innovation, saving the Efteling atmosphere

  • Author: Efteling
  • Publication Date:01-Jan-2010
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Type: Articles
  • Category: Work Organisation


2010 - The Efteling BV is the largest amusement park in the Netherlands. In 2003 it was at the fifth place in Europe  with 3.2 million visitors and in 2006 the turnover was approximately EUR 100 million. To be leading in the market, the Efteling seeks continuous renewal. Innovation is not only product-oriented (developing new attractions), but also focused on internal processes.

The Efteling 's objective is to remain leading in the market for entertainment and recreation. One component is to deliver top products /attractions, preferably every 4-5 years one major new attraction.
Innovations can be both product and process innovations.  In any case product innovations should contribute to the typical Efteling  atmosphere. This atmosphere is central to the development of new attractions, but also in the daily work. An example of a process innovation is a new system for water management. Now waste water is purified and reused instead of the pumping up of groundwater. Another example is the conversion of seasonal business to an organization that works the year round. This revolution has laid the foundation of  the successful Winter Efteling .

Innovation approach
For process innovations, there is no standard approach, like there is for the development of new attractions. During the first phase an important step is to determine the target audience for an attraction and the 'emotion'  it should provoke with them.  In an attraction the perception and experience is central. In this step anyone can make his or her input. The management team is then leading in the discussion. Often someone has a hunch, like a brilliant idea for a story about a possible attraction.
For the elaboration and  implementation of the idea, the internal design department gets involved. This department makes the action plan. For the realization and construction the department collaborates with external parties (engineering consultants, contractors, etc.) The decoration of the attraction (" creating the atmosphere") happens under the direction of the internal design department.


The Efteling is proud of its successful innovations, both the aforementioned process innovations and the new attractions. Other successful innovation projects  are  the resuscitation of the fairytale park, the co-production with the World Wildlife Fund  in the making of the PandaDroom and the Flying Dutchman.
Repeatedly  the Efteling is voted  the best brand in the Netherlands, and in 2005 it received the THEA Classic Award, an international lifetime achievement award in the entertainment industry. In 2009, the park welcomed  its 100 millionth visitor.

In the book Innovation Routine (Jacobs and Snijders, 2008), twenty companies were examined  for repeated innovation success, including  the case of the Efteling.
For the entire case description in Dutch, see Annex .


Flexible Labor and Innovation Performance

  • Author: H Zhou; R Dekker; A Kleinknecht;
  • Publication Date:25-Jan-2013
  • Country: Austria
  • Type: Articles
  • Category: Learning - Reflection - Innovation,Work Organisation

2011- Firms with high shares of workers on fixed-term contracts tend to have higher sales of imitative new products but perform significantly worse on sales of innovative new products (“first on the market”). High functional flexibility in “insider–outsider” labor markets enhances a firm’s new product sales, as do training efforts and highly educated personnel. We find weak evidence that larger and older firms have higher new product sales than do younger and smaller firms. Our findings should be food for thought to economists making unqualified pleas for the deregulation of labor markets. 

Reference: Zhou, H., Dekker, R., Kleinknecht, A. Flexible labor and innovation performance: evidence from longitudinal firm-level data. In: Industrial and Corporate Change, Volume 20, Number 3, 2011, pp. 941–968 (see attachment)


Trouble at the Border?

  • Author: Scott Schieman, Paul Glavin
  • Publication Date:01-Jan-2008
  • Country: Canada
  • Type: Articles
  • Category: Structure and Systems,The Case for Workplace Innovation,Work Organisation

Trouble at the border? Gender, flexibility at work and the work-home interface (ENG) 2008 - This study describes the effects of control, planning, and job autonomy on two aspects in the field of combining work and private life: receiving work-related contact outside office hours and take home from work with it. This report discusses the theory behind the findings with a focus on gender, working conditions and monitoring and reconciling work and private life. Approach The data comes from a 2002 study: National Study of the Changing Workforce. Respondents were age and were part of the workforce. The focal points of the study were: · Receiving work-related contact outside of normal office hours · Work to take home · Work-life conflict · Control, planning · Job Autonomy Conclusions Control to the planning is related to the degree to which people have work-related activities in addition to regular office hours. These effects are stronger among men. Job Autonomy in men with related classroom activities, and both men and women associated with the take home from work. In individuals with low job autonomy, there is a relationship between classroom alongside work and work-life conflict. The take home from work, it is related to the work-life conflict among people with more control over the schedule. Sociologists have long been interested in how different social roles come into conflict with each other, particularly the roles within the workplace and within the family. Recent findings and studies go beyond a simple explanation of the conflicting elements in identifying rolvervaging and mixing dimensions. This study wanted more knowledge and insight in this area by giving which two central working conditions, control, planning and job autonomy, contribute to the degree of rolvervaging and the impact this has on the work-life conflict. Ways again The most important finding is the fact that working conditions, in particular the degree of flexibility, can have on people who want to be. Available 24 hours a negative impact These findings challenge researchers to take into account both the imaginative and stressful aspects of the working conditions, especially the extent to which this is in relation to the work-life conflict and the differences between men and women in these problems. The report Trouble at the border? Gender, flexibility at work and the work-home interface (2008) by S. & P. Glavin Schiemanstraat can be found in the appendices.