Swedish organizations are operating in one of the world’s most secular countries, where the level of education is very high and many industrial jobs have moved to low-cost countries. It is a country where everyone has a smart phone and a powerful mobile connection, a place where an individual’s job is an important part of their identity and has to contribute to a meaningful life. In the wake of artificial intelligence, automation and digitalization, companies will need curious people.
An observation made about the Swedish labor market is that the demand for high-cognitive skills is increasing, but so is the demand for low-cognitive skills. What shrinks the most is jobs in the middle of this scale of demands for cognitive-skills. There is a concern that this means a polarization of the labor market and that many may be excluded from the labor market.
Working life in the Nordic social models has been described out of three basic pillars: 1) active states with a responsible, stability oriented macroeconomic policy, 2) strong social partners and coordinated collective bargaining, and 3) universal welfare states contributing to income security, skill formation and labour market participation*
Successful organizations focus on rapid learning, creativity, well-being, innovation, entrepreneurship, collaboration and design. All examples of high-cognitive skills and with a connection to curiosity. Nevertheless, organizational research has not focused on curiosity in organization and at work until recently in Sweden.
The companies that have the greatest hunger for knowledge are those that have the greatest chance to thrive and reach a sustainable growth in an ever changing, uncertain world.
*The future of work in the Nordic countries—Opportuneties and challenges for the Nordic working life modell. Nordic Council of Ministers 2021. Alsos, K., & Dølvik, J. E. (Eds.).