Managing Social Issues
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Managing Social Issues

A Public Values Perspective

Edited by Peter Leisink, Paul Boselie, Maarten van Bottenburg and Dian Marie Hosking

Western societies face complex social issues and a growing diversity of views on how these should be addressed. The traditional view focuses on government and public policy but neglects the initiatives that non-profit and private organizations and local networks take. This book presents a broader variety of viewpoints and theories. Looking at various cases, the authors analyse conflicting values and interests, actors’ understandings of the public values related to social issues, and their action to create what they regard as public value. Drawing together these perspectives the authors point the way to how government and the private and voluntary sectors can work in tandem to resolve social issues.
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Chapter 9: Both sides now: theoretical perspectives on the link between social and HR policies in promoting labour market participation

Rik van Berkel and Peter Leisink


Participation in the labour market has become a major public value in the EU and its member states over recent decades. Its promotion is seen as serving economic and social objectives: improving the competitiveness of European economies, increasing the flexibility of work organizations and strengthening social cohesion in European societies. Realizing these objectives, it is argued, is a shared responsibility of states, of work organizations and social partners, and of individual citizens. The nature and distribution of responsibilities in the pursuit of public values are not static; rather, redefining responsibilities and redistributing them among societal actors is an integral part of reform processes. Redefining and redistributing responsibilities is a highly political and contested activity. In the context of promoting labour-market participation this, for example, becomes clear in debates on the impact on social citizenship of transferring responsibilities for welfare and welfare arrangements from the state to individuals and families (see Gilbert 2002; Betzelt and Bothfeld 2011).

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