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Organizations, workers, and learning: new prospects for citizenship at work?

By Catherine Casey


Full text of this item is not currently available on the LRA. \ud The final published version is available at, Doi: 10.1080/13621020902731181.Extensive debates in many countries on knowledge-based economies and learning societies continue to raise critical questions. The European Union has most prominently articulated its aspiration toward achieving competitive knowledge-based economic advantage in the global economy. It proposes to accompany that economic agenda with aspirations to maintain a European social model of social citizenship for the population as a whole. However, at the same time as notions of social citizenship are being re-emphasized and as knowledge-based economic activity, including 'learning organizations' and increased worker skill capacity, is politically encouraged, critics observe some unexpected and contradictory outcomes. Current models of economic organization oppose or obstruct many of the traditional elements of social citizenship expression. Importantly, organizational democracy and citizen-worker participation in workplaces have been considerably weakened in recent decades. Increased management action in industrial regulation and organizational control and a de-collectivization and de-politicization of workers' interests have diminished opportunities for worker learning for workplace participation in decision-making and effective citizen action. Yet, the renewed policy interest in social models and social citizenship may potentially present viable new prospects for citizen action in the socio-cultural regulation of work. This article offers a critical macro social analysis of contemporary organization practices, economic learning agendas, and citizenship aspirations

Topics: knowledge-based economy, learning organizations, worker education, citizenship, industrial democracy
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13621020902731181
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