The Research Group for Sociology of Organisation and Work at the Institute of Sociology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences carried out a pilot survey in the summer of 2006 among the Hungarian enterprises employing more than 10 people about their work organisation characteristics and innovative activities. The pilot survey was aimed at identifying and evaluating the intensity and the extent of organisational innovations, the forms and degree of the employees' participation and the source, forms and development of the knowledge base in the companies investigated. The first part of this paper was devoted to the theoretical premises of the empirical research project. In the second part the authors present the most important results of the pilot survey. In doing so they intend to call attention to the following results: Almost half of the companies introduced one or more new products between 2003 and 2005, however, there are significant variations by size, ownership structure and sector in the intensity of innovation activities. Investigating the proportion of organisational innovations it was visible that most of the companies surveyed made significant efforts to implement the new work organisation methods; however, the overwhelming majority of the organisational innovations being implemented are less radical. The authors have to stress that the interviewed company leaders emphasise the importance of the On-The-Job Training (OJT) in developing the employees' competences. This phenomenon gains particular importance if one considers that the vast majority of the company leaders are not satisfied with the knowledge supply represented by the Hungarian formal educational institutions. Concerning the employees' participation the following pattern was identified in the pilot survey. The management of almost every second company supports the direct involvement of the employees in the following areas: the introduction of new technologies or products (services), and decision making about education and training. This phenomenon signals at the same time that the characteristics of the company cooperation regimes, such as the significance of employee participation, point beyond the short-term topics typically featured in collective bargaining as, for example, wages, employment relations, work conditions, etc.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.