WP 8 - Company Strategies for Leading Economic And Social Performance

Six regions, either European or national forerunners, were selected in WP4. For each region the leading incumbent and an emerging ‘challenger’ ecosystem were analysed and compared, both in time and between regions. The focus on European leadership gives insights and solutions for other European regions to follow (best practices, smart specialisation) and enables a comparison of practices between other global regions (US, China). WP4 provides state- of-the-art examples of European approaches to technical transformation (adoption, integration, diffusion) and how its stakeholders respond to these changes. We also get a picture of what, according to the stakeholders, are elements of an 'inclusive economic policy'. In WP8 we will deepen the analysis further. We are no longer looking at the ecosystem level, but will select leading companies from each of the ecosystems analysed in WP4. Selecting ‘leading companies’ - both large incumbents and young high-growth start-ups/scale-ups - in technology and performance helps us to understand the possible development horizon for other companies. For each of the sectors we select at least two companies per region. The purpose of the analysis is to:

  •  Identify the core elements of the technological lead, on a European and global scale;
  •  Identify strategies on skill development, quality of work and work organisation.
  •  Identify implications of technological development on work, work organisation and OSH;
  •  To investigate which social relations are present in the companies (power relations between employers and trade unions), composition of staff (gender ratio, age groups, education levels);
  •  Check which strategies and initiatives the companies try to implement for training, skills, also regarding OSH (including job requirements, control options, human factors);
  •  Check the expectations of the companies for the near and far future and what they believe to be the driving and obstructing factors for becoming an inclusive economic policy;
  • From the separate analyses, company strategies which stimulate leading economic and social performance in the EU- context are deducted, and conditions to improve performance are identified.
  • The work is input for WP2, 5.5, 9.


  1. Indicator set and methods - an indicator set will be developed to assess, at company level, the effects of technological transformations on qualitative aspects of employment (for instance, tasks, skills, competences, occupational safety and health (OSH) and quantitative aspects of employment (for instance, vacancies, job openings, types of contracts, job mobility, polarisation, labour market target groups, gender effects). The indicator set will also help to evaluate the economic and technological performance of the separate companies. The advantage of the companies will be assessed in comparison to sector practices.
  2. Data collection in forerunner companies. From the (leading and emerging) ecosystems that we have selected in each region in WP4, we will select two companies that are seen as a precursor. We expect to have about thirty companies in the study. Both employees and (HR-/ Operational)managers will receive a survey. The results of the surveys will be described in a draft report. These results (overview of indicators) are helpful for the tasks in WP5, 9 and 2.
  3. Discussion with the companies about economic and social lead, and inclusiveness strategies. The analysis of company level strategies related to smart skill specialisation and OSH issues will be mapped to/ confronted with the regional/ecosystem strategies of WP4 in order to assess differences and agreements in the comparison of sector, type of technology, country, welfare regime, and other relevant dimensions.
  4. Foresight discussion with a selection of companies about the future of work. From the entire group of companies and stakeholders we will select a limited group for a foresight discussion at European level about the future of work.
  5. Produce (draft) book manuscript ‘Inclusive R&D&I’. Outcomes of the tasks are processed in two working documents, part of a draft book on inclusive R&D&I-policy: 1. on the competitive situation and the future of work in leading companies in forerunner sectors; 2. about the chances and challenges for inclusive company policy in the future. The book contains the outcomes of WP4 and 8.
Contact person:
Dr. Peter Oeij at email peter.oeij@tno.nl