Research Series

home Publications Research Series


해당 컨텐츠 트위터에 추가하기 해당 컨텐츠 페이스북에 추가하기

Policies for Workplace Innovation
Policies for Workplace Innovation
  • Topic Industrial Relations & HRM
  • Author Kyetaik Oh, Seong-Jae Cho, Dongbae Kim, Yongjin Nho, Joohwan Lim, Moonho Lee, Seung Gook Jung
  • Language Korean
  • Publication Date December 28, 2018
  • Length 193 Pages
  • Publisher Korea Labor Institute
  • Download1 Policies for Workplace Innovation.pdf Policies for Workplace Innovation.pdf
  • Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Introduction (Kyetaik Oh, Seong-Jae Cho)

    Chapter 2. Case Studies of Large Firms Supporting Workplace Innovation of Their Suppliers (Dongbae Kim)

    Chapter 3. Case Studies of Workplace Innovation of Competitive SMEs (Yongjin Nho)

    Chapter 4. Workplace Innovation Support Activities of Major Support Institutions (Joohwan Lim)

    Chapter 5. Workplace Innovation of German SMEs through Digitization (Moonho Lee)

    Chapter 6. Workplace Innovation of Japanese SMEs (Seung Gook Jung)

    Chapter 7. Policy Direction and Implications to Promote Workplace Innovation (Seong-Jae Cho)



    The purpose of this study is to derive policy implications for promoting workplace innovation in Korean workplaces. Economic policies for overcoming polarization, building a society respecting labor, and workplace innovation are all closely related. While the wages of low-wage workers should be increased in order to adapt to the changing labor market environment, such increase must be supported by productivity enhancement. Productivity enhancement is also required to alleviate labor cost pressures caused by the minimum wage rise and to establish the system of reduced working hours. Workplace innovation is expected to not only bring economic benefits but also provide opportunities for low-skilled and less-educated workers to improve their skills and to be assigned the roles that fit their competencies, thus laying the foundation for building a labor respecting society. In addition, it is also expected to facilitate a comprehensive industrial upgrade by promoting technological innovation and complementary cooperation in this era of the fourth industrial revolution characterized by rapid technological development.

    To establish a new development model for workplace innovation, it is important to redesign the workplace innovation policy for SMEs. To this end, it is necessary to develop theories and models to promote workplace innovation for SMEs; to evaluate the previous policies and projects; and to find best practices at home and abroad to promote workplace innovation. After collecting and analyzing such information, the next step would be to classify workplace innovations for large companies into a couple of models, and to develop and disseminate SME models. Workplace innovation cannot be achieved with a one-shot policy; it needs to be pursued in a continuous manner from a long-term and structural perspective so that it can be rooted in the corporate ecosystem.

    Each chapter contains the following: Chapter 2 analyzes the cases of manufacturing innovation support of SMEs including suppliers of large firms from the viewpoint of SME workplace innovation. Chapter 3 conducts a case study on the status and characteristics of workplace innovation for SMEs with relatively strong competitiveness. Chapter 4 analyzes how the organizations designed to improve and support innovation are actually supporting SMEs for workplace innovation. Chapter 5 examines how German SMEs achieved organizational innovation through digitization. Chapter 6 analyzes the workplace innovation of Japanese SMEs.

    Some policy suggestions are presented in the process of summarizing the results of the study. The existing policies for SMEs were limited to R&D funding, facility investment support, environment improvement projects, and job creation support projects. Despite such diverse supporting projects, however, the R&D capacity of SMEs appears to be present only in some SME companies. Therefore, the new workplace innovation policy needs to focus on encouraging SMEs to enhance innovation capability on their own by harmonizing process technology and skills with product technology while overcoming the limits of techno-centrism. Many SMEs tend to create competitiveness through gradual innovation or workplace innovation rather than through the development of cutting-edge technology. The workplace innovation policy differs from general industrial policy, technology development support policy, or industrial relations policy, and can be regarded as a convergent area where all of these policies meet at industrial and labor sites. However, the existing manufacturing innovation policies have shown a lack of interest in people, and the existing workplace innovation policies have been biased toward innovation of personnel policies. Therefore, it is proposed to construct a workplace innovation policy control tower that can coordinate different ministries and set up mid- to long-term plans to establish and execute policies driven by the demand of the field rather than that of the suppliers. By initiating a project team under the control tower, it would be necessary to activate the policy execution network with the participation of each ministry and labor and management. This would a valid policy direction in view of the recent European workplace innovation network activation policy. Thus, this study proposes the following policies to be implemented under such direction: restructuring of the Korea Labor Foundation workplace innovation consulting project with an aim to reconstruct the workplace innovation policy delivery system; expanding on-site innovation support activities for subcontractors by prime contractors; seeking ways to utilize the tripartite councils by region and by industry; developing workplace innovation models for the service industry; and nurturing of outstanding consultants.


Kyetaik Oh's other publications : 7
{Research Series} posts
No Title Author Date Attach
2 Study on the Fixed-Term Contractual Labor Market Jaeryang Nam, Young-Mun Kim, and Kyetaik Oh December 30, 2011 Study on the Fixed-Term Contractual Labor Market
1 The study on the change of fairness perception of Korean employees Kyetaik Oh et al. March 10, 2008 The study on the change of fairness perception of Korean employees