Carlson School faculty are internationally renowned for their expertise and are regularly are invited to academic conferences to present papers and share their current research. Recently, Work and Organizations Professor John Budd was invited to participate in a European Union (EU) Presidency event in Riga, Latvia, organized by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) in cooperation with the Latvian Saeima (Parliament). He was the only full-time academic on the program and the only non-European attendee.
During the conference, “Workplace Practices: Creating Win-Win Arrangements for Companies and Employees,” the results of Eurofound’s 3rd European Company Survey prompted discussion about workplace practices that are best suited to the needs of both employers and employees.
Budd participated in a session focusing on human resource practices in companies and methods of improving performance by investing in people, and sat on a panel along with an HR vice president from BASF in Germany and an official from the European Trade Union Institute.
“I’d take the idea of striving for ‘win-win’ situations further and call it the quest for ‘win-win-win’ situations where not only employees and employers benefit, but society as a whole benefits as well," says Budd. "My contribution to the event was therefore including societal angles as opposed to those speakers who were only focused on the workplace."
Eurofund researchers used Budd’s book, Employment with a Human Face, as a framework for some of their projects.
“My book argues that you need to balance these multiple objectives in the relationship. As a complement to that, my remarks emphasized the importance of how we think about these issues, not just how we do them,” he says. “As you can imagine, with all the other participants either being politicians or union people or business people, most of the focus was on what laws, companies and unions actually do. Whereas from an academic perspective, I was trying to remind people that it’s not just about the actual practices, but we need to think about what ideas and mindsets are behind different management, public policy and union strategies. And to really achieve win-win-win, not only do we need the right practices, we need the right mindset that pushes us toward those right practices.”
The conference was broadcast live and is available to watch online