Course Description

Course Name

Innovation and Participation at Work

Session: VGSS3120

Hours & Credits

15 Scotcat Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level


Course description

Innovating and modernising programmes have figured prominently in the world of work, variously aiming to intensify and control employees or to humanize their jobs and provide scope for empowerment and participative decision making. Focusing on recent popular movements and contemporary initiatives, this course will enable students to identify fads and fashions, to track the influence of more sustained and considered workplace interventions, to recognize continuities in underpinning theory, to appreciate the significance of enabling conditions and constraining factors, to evaluate benefits, costs and consequences for stakeholders, and to reach informed views about management options and dilemmas for the future of work and employee relations.

Learning and teaching methods

20 hours of lectures (10 x 2 hours)

Course texts

Beirne, M. (2013) Rhetoric and the Politics of Workplace Innovation: struggling with empowerment and modernization, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Copies can be consulted via the Main, Short Loan and Adam Smith Libraries. This is also available as an e-book from Elgaronline.

This text covers the core theoretical and empirical material from which the course takes its departure. However, the scope of the course and extensive literature in this area entail that specialist journal references have to accompany the sessions. Dedicated reading lists will be issued as a further guide to each of the specific areas covered in class.


An essay of 3,000-3,500 words (100%)

*Course content subject to change