Despite its early contributions to the development of working life research the UK has lagged behind much of the rest of Northern Europe in establishing a coherent approach to the modernization of work organization. The removal of tripartite structures by the Thatcher and Major governments and their decision to opt out of significant areas of European employment policy left the UK ill-prepared to respond to emerging economic or policy challenges in Europe. Evidence of an increasing gap between leading-edge practice and common practice in UK workplaces has emerged forcibly as a key issue for future productivity and employment. The UK Work Organization Network (UK WON) was first established in 1996 as a coalition between researchers, business support organizations and social partners, slowly building a portfolio of projects designed to support workplace innovation. More recently the creation of the Work Research Foundation, a partnership-based company with responsibility for managing the activities of the Network, firmly establishes UK WON as a significant vehicle for social dialogue and organizational change.