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Malmö University joins EU’s large-scale research venture


RESEARCH. In spring 2015 Malmö University will take part in a large-scale research venture, observing the connection between working life, innovation and employment. The project has a total budget of SEK 25 million and includes researchers from seven countries.

The project is part of EU’s framework programme for innovation and research, Horizon 2020. 

“It’s great that our application went all the way and is now approved by the European Commission”, says sociologist and senior lecturer Roland Ahlstrand, Faculty of Learning and Society. The project is also tied to the Centre for Work Life and Evaluation Studies (CTA) at Malmö University.

Better jobs needed to decrease unemployment
The relevance of the research project will be viewed against the backdrop of prolonged structural challenges of the economic crisis. More and better jobs are needed to decrease unemployment and raise the employment rate amongst women, older people, unqualified, employees of foreign origin and young people, in order to get a grip on inequality and social exclusion. 

The researchers will analyse national politics and mechanisms at company level to find out what creates more and better jobs. They will use a number of different approaches in their work. One group will identify businesses and companies and look at their quality of work, innovation and employment by using databases, as an example. Another group will conduct business studies and case studies at company level, and Roland Ahlstrand is part of that group.

  “My task then is toanalyse the connection between quality of work, innovation and employment”, says Roland Ahlstrand. 

Roland Ahlstrand will conduct interviews with executives, unions, employees, and representatives of employers’ organisations and unions. He will also go through annual reports, organisational descriptions and other business documentation.

“There are a lot of aspects to consider, says Roland Ahlstrand. Good quality of work is about type of employment, influence, participation, training opportunities, job rotation, work environment, and more. It is about everything connected with a good working life, which can be understood from both an objective and a subjective perspective.“

Significant to businesses
“During the research we will also include employers’ organisations, unions and businesses in the research process, Roland Ahlstrand continues. The research will influence and be significant to the businesses, which the EU proclaimed as one of the requirements within the framework of Horizon 2020.”

Text: Helena Smitt

Last updated by Adrian Grist