Interesting information contained in the Benchmarking Working Europe 2012 of the European Trade Union Institute.
Out of the many graphs, I looked with interest at the EWCS indicator, (which) measures workers’ autonomy in terms of a composite index based on workers being able to divide up tasks and appoint a team leader (see Figure 9.4). This question, naturally, was addressed only to people who work in a team.
So how autonomous are workers in Europe in performing their tasks? And what are the consequences of more delegation for workers?
Let’s start with this second question. “Compensation for the negative effects of a heavy workload may be found in the existence of a strong degree of autonomy and/or social support”, says the Report. So a better organization that delegates can be seen as improving work satisfaction for a given wage. I seem to also recall the work of some economists (Armin Falck e Michael Kosfeld) that more autonomy and less control would lead to better productivity through satisfaction-enhancing trust of those who are delegated.
As for the first question, read the Figure below. Holland, Denmark, Germany are among the countries with the most autonomous teamworkers (a low level of the index equals high autonomy). Italy, Cyprus and Portugal the worse and least delegating.
So maybe competitiveness and productivity in Italy lags behind for lack of delegation in the workplace? Now that is an interesting thought, more relevant than the laughable one that we suffer from inflexible labor markets that need (useless) reform toward reducing protection against firing.