Holt, Helle3; Hvid, Helge Søndergaard4; Kamp, Annette4; Lund, Henrik Lambrecht4
1 Sustainable Working Life, Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University2 The Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change, Roskilde University3 SFI - Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Velfærd4 Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University
Traditional industry, where work is repetitive and submitted to a comprehensive machine system, did not disappear with the rise of ‘knowledge society’, not even in the developed western societies.An illustrative case is the Danish food industry, which employed 85,353 in 1997and 65,842 in 2008. Even though the number of employees has been falling, the food industry is still a significant sector in the relatively small Danish labour market. However, traditional industry is marked by the principles of work organizations supposed to belong to ‘knowledge society’: functional flexibility, flexibility of time, team organisation, project organisation, and value management. The way working conditions are influenced by these new principles of organisations was studied in two case factories. The two factories, one producing biscuits and the other producing sweets, have similar production systems. Both factories are owned by a capital fund, seeking short term profit. In each factory the working conditions have been mapped in a survey, observation studies have been conducted, and around 15 individual interviews have been carried out1.