COVID-19 and Democratizing the Workplace

Should workers have more input into how their employers operate?

In this video, Julie Battilana, Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School and Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, discusses how she believes the COVID-19 crisis has thrown into relief the need for workplaces to democratize. You can read her related op-ed, co-written with professors Isabelle Ferreras, Catholic University of Louvain and Dominique M├ęda, Paris Dauphine University, at democratizingwork.org.

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Subtitles and Closed Captions

- We are highlighting a bunch of possible solutions.
They are many other's. And it's time
for them to debate them.
I think where we all converge is on the need to,
democratize work like there are people and you've seen that
in this crisis, who very courageously every day.
taking huge risks, right, to to be out there
and to continue to do their work ,so that those of us
who were lucky to be able to stay at home
could be at home and be safe. We're not valuing all of them
as much as we should, based on the work that they do daily
that they did before and that they're doing now.
And this is a moment when we have to acknowledge that
and we have to change our value system .To recognize
the importance of the work being done
by people, right across Society.
And then its exchanging our system so that those
who invest their labour ,also have a same
in what happens in corporations. We can admit only
to those who are the owners of the capital,
we've seen the limit of that system.
I've studied organizations, corporations, social enterprises
that simultaneously tried to pursue social, environmental
and financial objectives. So we have to revisit then
the functioning and you know, the structuring
of the organization so as to enable the pursuit
of these multiple objectives. And what I see
in my research is that it is very complicated
to pursue all of these objectives at once,
especially when the environment around you
still put more emphasis on one of those objectives,
right, the financial performance, but what I see is
that the organizations, the corporations
or social enterprises that are able to pursue these
multiple objectives at once in a sustainable way,
very often have more democratic ways of organizing
and making decisions.

Transcript

- We are highlighting a bunch of possible solutions.
They are many other's. And it's time for them to debate them.
I think where we all converge is on the need to, democratize work like there are people and you've seen that in this crisis, who very courageously every day.
taking huge risks, right, to to be out there and to continue to do their work ,so that those of us who were lucky to be able to stay at home could be at home and be safe. We're not valuing all of them as much as we should, based on the work that they do daily that they did before and that they're doing now.
And this is a moment when we have to acknowledge that and we have to change our value system .To recognize the importance of the work being done by people, right across Society.
And then its exchanging our system so that those who invest their labour ,also have a same in what happens in corporations. We can admit only to those who are the owners of the capital, we've seen the limit of that system.
I've studied organizations, corporations, social enterprises that simultaneously tried to pursue social, environmental and financial objectives. So we have to revisit then the functioning and you know, the structuring of the organization so as to enable the pursuit of these multiple objectives. And what I see in my research is that it is very complicated to pursue all of these objectives at once, especially when the environment around you still put more emphasis on one of those objectives, right, the financial performance, but what I see is that the organizations, the corporations or social enterprises that are able to pursue these multiple objectives at once in a sustainable way, very often have more democratic ways of organizing and making decisions.