Social investment in the globalising learning economy: a European perspective

Bengt-Åke Lundvall and Edward Lorenz

in Towards A Social Investment Welfare State?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847429247
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305613 | DOI:
Social investment in the globalising learning economy: a European perspective

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In the current era, where global competition increases the need to constantly develop and renew skills and competences, governments play an important role, both in terms of direct social investment in the upgrading of skills and in designing institutions so that they underpin individual and organisational learning. This chapter shows that there are dramatic differences among European member states in terms of organizational learning. In southern European nations, jobs are relatively simple or Taylorist, while jobs in the Nordic countries are characterised by more access to learning and to discretion in pursuing tasks. Such differences seem to reflect labour markets with flexicurity and open education systems. The chapter argues that to realise the aim of the Lisbon strategy, ‘to make Europe the most competitive region in the world with social cohesion’, the strategy should have given more attention to upgrading the institutions of labour markets and education systems with the aim of speeding up and facilitating the industrial transformation of countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain.

Keywords: organisational learning; learning economy; systems of education; flexicurity; social investment

Chapter.  7438 words.  Illustrated.

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