Sustainability of the Nordic Model in work-life and in the welfare state

Over the years, ISS has carried out extensive research activity in the research areas organisation and work-life, welfare state and family, and gender and sexuality. These have been among the most important contributions of Norwegian sociological research to the international research community.

In close collaboration with SINTEF, the organisation and work sociologists at ISS have been leaders in this field in Norway. They have also collaborated closely with Studio Apertura, NTNU Samfunnsforskning (social science research), and with international researchers from the UK and from the US.

The department has a long research tradition in the area ‘Sustainable organisation and inclusion in work-life’. The Nordic Model is crucial in this research. An important feature of the Nordic Model is the development of welfare systems facilitating parents to be included in work-life, and which has been sustainable when it comes to high participation levels of women in employment and a high fertility rate. Another distinction of the Nordic countries is that they have a policy aimed at reducing economic and social inequality, combined with a welfare system based on a high level of trust and social integration.

Future research in this field in the department is in the following areas: organisational changes in the public sector, security, challenges facing the Nordic Model when work-life in Norway is being internationalised, and the implementation of the Norwegian Model in international companies in Norway.


Berit Brandth, Sigtona Halrynjo and Elin Kvande (2017). Work-Family Dynamics. Competing Logics of Regulation, Economy and Morals.