Will 'la dolce vita' be the death of Europe?

Oct 11 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Europe's obsession with achieving better work-life balance comes at the cost of economic growth and means that it will be unable to compete with the emerging economies of India and China.

Indeed, according to Richard Scase, professor of organisational behaviour at the University of Kent, if the UK government keeps pushing its work-life balance agenda, it should consider opting out of the world competitiveness league tables altogether.

"We are digging our own graves - social Europe is a no-goer," Scase told the magazine Personnel Today.

"If we want greater work-life balance, then we have to pay the price, and that is a lower level of economic growth.

"If we are going for competitive advantage in the global economy, we need to make a choice. If we are not willing to change then we have to opt out of the economic competitiveness league tables because we just aren't going to be able to compete."

Scase added that if the UK and the rest of Europe continued to insist on pursuing their current policies, they should opt for "zero growth" economies that concentrated only on sustaining present levels of economic well-being.

Personnel Today | Economic balancing act