This note discusses an important collection of essays about labour sociology (Lavoro, sindacato, partecipazione. Scritti in onore di Guido Baglioni, Gian Primo Cella and Giancarlo Provasi [eds.], Angeli, Milano 2001, pp. 542), which touch on topics that have attracted some particularly bitter political discussion in Italy. One especially important theme is that of the flexibility of industrial organisations. A survey conducted in 1999 on a sample of industrial companies in five European countries demonstrated that the various different ways in which this topic is tackled are actually rather unsatisfactory. Another important theme discussed in this book is that of the knowledge society, which is based on an exchange of information be-tween companies and workers. In this scenario, employees experience an ambigu-ous condition, between the uncertainty of the future and the chances for their indi-vidual capacities to be used. This ambiguity is reflected primarily in the field of collective bargaining, in which both employers and trade unions should look for new paths that are more pragmatic and free of obsolete ideological conditioning.