Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Labor Market; Labor Policy; Economic Systems; Employment Changes; Labor Supply; Economic Change; United States of America; Educational Reform; Changes in Paid Work.

Barker, K., & Christensen, K. (Eds.). (1998). Contingent work: American employment relations in transition. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press.


Contingent work is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of tenuous and insecure employment arrangements. The 1997 successful strike by the Teamsters against UPS, and the overwhelming support the American public gave strikers, highlighted the impact of contingent work. This book considers the consequences for the individual, family, and community of working contingently.
KEY WORDS: Part-Time Employment; Piece-Work; Contract System (Labor); Labor Laws And Legislation; Temporary Employment; Seasonal Labor; Employee Fringe Benefits; Law And Legislation; Piecework; United States; Changes in Paid Work; Contingent work.

Bernhardt, A., Dresser, L., & Hill, C. (2000). Why privatizing government services would hurt women workers. Research-in-brief. Washington, DC: Institute for Women's Policy Research.


Data from the 1998 Current Population Survey was employed to document job growth in public and private sectors and examine wages and benefits. Findings show both men and women's public sector employment declined from 1979-98, with a somewhat sharper decline among men. In 1998, median public sector earnings were higher than private sector earnings for most workers. Privatization was likely to erode the wages and benefits of women workers; this was particularly the case for African American and Hispanic women and those with less formal education. Unionization was a central factor in understanding why the public sector pays workers more than the private sector. While there was clearly a gender bias in both sectors, women's wages were closer to men's in the public sector. However, the public sector did not generally offer exceptional opportunities for women to hold managerial and professional positions. The bottom line was that privatization, and the de-unionization were likely to prove detrimental to the economic welfare of women workers.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Blacks; Economics; Employed Women; Government Role; Hispanic Americans; Private Sector; Privatization; Public Agencies; Salary Wage Differentials; Sex Differences; Unions; Wages; Changes in Paid Work.

Bernhardt, A., Morris, M., Handcock, M. S., & Scott, M. A. (2000). Trends in job instability and wages for young adult men. In D. Neumark (Ed.), On the job: Is long-term employment a thing of the past? (pp. 111-141). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.


An examination of job stability for young men compares 2-year job separation rates across cohorts of white men, ages 14-22, in the National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS). Advantages & potential problems of using the NLS rather than another data source are discussed. The two cohorts were followed over the periods 1966-1981 & 1979-1994, respectively, with the more recent cohort exhibiting higher separation rates. The marked increase during the 1980s & early 1990s does not disappear when young workers "settle down," & the increase cannot be blamed on less education or shifts to the less stable service sector. Overall, other factors could only explain about half of the overall rise in instability. Although job shopping was once considered a way for young adults to increase their wages, it no longer offers the same benefits, especially for persons with lower educational achievement. It is predicted that this greater inequality in wage growth is apt to persist as these young men grow older.
KEY WORDS: Employment Changes; Job Change; Dismissal; Wages; Males; Young Adults; Youth Employment; Labor Turnover; Unemployment Rates; Changes in Paid Work.

Biagi, M. (Ed.). (2001). Towards a European model of industrial relations? Building on the first report of the European Commission. New York: Kluwer Law International.


In this volume fifteen notable scholars and policymakers from six European countries explore the territory of industrial relations in Europe as it now stands. The important questions for which they provide in-depth materials include: How far has `Europeanisation' progressed in this field? In what ways does the monetary union affect industrial relations? To what extent is the evolving European policy a `pact' between the national employers and trade union organisations? What subtle variations persist in the theme of worker security versus labour market flexibility? What is the `new style' of collective bargaining? - Is the power of the state government in industrial relations beyond EU intervention? How will the Nice Charter of Fundamental Rights affect industrial relations? What kinds of labour law and social security legislation may be expected in the near future? - How is the globalisation of the market economy affecting wages and working time? and How does the prospect of EU enlargement to the East affect industrial relations policy?
KEY WORDS: Europe; Industrial Relations; Collective Bargaining; Work Changes.

Chambel, M. J., & Castanheira, F. (2007). They don't want to be temporaries: Similarities between temps and core workers. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28(8), 943-959.


The employee-organization relationship is impacted by the status of the employee. Two types of employee statuses, temporary and regular, were investigated in two firms. Temps and regular workers shared similar beliefs when it came to the nature of their employment relationship, however, temps who chose their status had a connection to the organization that was based mostly on economics. When temps prefer regular employment, relationships rated higher on socioemotional dimensions as compared to economic dimensions. Higher socioemotional dimensions characterize positive satisfaction in the employee-organization relationship.
KEY WORDS: Temporary Workers, Employment Status, Socioemotional.

Conley, H. (2002). A state of insecurity: Temporary work in the public services. Work, Employment and Society, 16(4), 725-737.


Temporary employment in Great Britain is discussed as a major aspect of job insecurity in the public sector. Though the threat of temporary work is generally considered low (6%), a reanalysis of statistical data suggests this is a more common practice if one compares temporary workers in each sector as a percentage of the total workforce for that sector, rather than relying on a simple head count of temporary workers. It is suggested that the concentration of temporary contracts within certain social groups may offer an inferior type of employment to workers who are already disadvantaged. In-depth case studies, conducted 1996-1998, of two local authorities and their attendant local education authorities support these arguments at both the city and county levels. The human costs to workers associated with state-level decisions to attempt to improve efficiency and flexibility by shifting to temporary work contracts are explored.
KEY WORDS: Employment Changes; Great Britain; Job Security; Temporary Employment; Public Sector; Government Policy; Changes in Paid Work.

Conway, N., & Briner, R. B. (2002). Full-time versus part-time employees: Understanding the links between work status, the psychological contract, and attitudes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61(2), 279-301.


Research findings comparing the work attitudes of full-time and part-time employees have been inconsistent and inconclusive. Furthermore, empirical studies have tended to be atheoretical, and there are few convincing psychological explanations to explain differences where found. This article tests the psychological contract as an explanatory framework for attitudinal differences across work status (i.e., whether employed on a part-time or full-time basis). The model is tested across samples from two different organizations using structural equation modeling. The analysis reveals that part-time and full-time employees differed on a number of attitudes and that psychological contract fulfillment could be used to explain differences in certain attitudes (e.g., satisfaction) but not others (e.g., affective commitment). Analyses also show that the relationships between psychological contract fulfillment and outcomes were rarely moderated by work status, suggesting that part-time employees will respond in a similar way as full-time employees to adjustments in their psychological contract.
KEY WORDS: Attitudes; Part-Time; Full-time; Psychological Contract Fulfillment; Changes in Paid Work.
Deery, M., & Jago, L. K. (2002). The core and the periphery: An examination of the flexible workforce model in the hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 21(4), 339-351.
The complexities and precariousness of the peripheral workforce in the hotel industry are studied in relation to access to the internal labour market. Also examined are the perceptions of employees in relation to the ILM components of training, promotional opportunities and job security. In this study, 287 non-supervisory hotel employees from seven Central Business District (CBD) Melbourne hotels were surveyed. These respondents were grouped into peripheral and non-peripheral clusters according to labour force segmentation criteria. Statistical techniques, including discriminant analysis, were used to assess differences between the clusters in terms of ILM components and employee attitudes. The findings question previous research that propose clearly defined workforce groups in the hotel sector. Previous research has examined the flexible firm from a range of perspectives such as pay flexibility, temporal flexibility and gender segregation.
KEY WORDS: Core; Periphery; Workforce Flexibility; Internal Labour Markets; Changes in Paid Work.

Dickerson, A., & Green, F. (2004). The growth and valuation of computing and other generic skills. Oxford Economic Papers, 56, 371-406.


This article describes a method for measuring job skills using survey data on detailed work activities, and using these measures examines whether the utilisation of skills is growing, and how they are valued in the labour market. We show that between 1997 and 2001 there was a growth in Britain in the utilisation of computing skills, literacy, numeracy, technical know-how, high-level communication skills, planning skills, client communication skills, horizontal communication skills, problem-solving, and checking skills. Computer skills utilisation was growing the fastest, and the use of computers was becoming more sophisticated. The authors re-evaluate the issue of whether computers have affected wages, taking into account existing critiques in the literature. The authors find that both computer skills and high-level communication skills carry positive wage premia, as shown both in cross-section hedonic wage equations that control for many detailed activities, and through a within-cohorts change analysis.
KEY WORDS: Britain; Knowledge Economy.

DiPrete, T. A., Goux, D., & Maurin, E. (2002). Internal labor markets and earnings Trajectories in the post-Fordist economy: An analysis of recent trends. Social Science Research, 31(2), 175-196.


The "post-Fordist" economy is believed to have changed the structure of work careers in the American work force of the 1990s. Most research examines the implications of post-Fordism for job mobility or for the fraction of the workforce that has a "contingent" employment relationship with the employer. Post-Fordism should also affect the relationship between job rewards and tenure with the employer, which sociologists have stated as a core characteristic of the firm internal labor market. The theory of post-Fordism declares a weaker relationship between tenure and job rewards and a correspondingly stronger relationship between general labor force experience and job rewards for the highly educated workers. Analysis of trends for male workers from the Current Population Surveys for the years 1983-1998 have largely supported these hypotheses. Analysis also suggests that observed trends in the returns to job tenure and experience can be attributed to changes in the production of value rather than from selection mechanisms linked to post-Fordist-induced trends in the structure of job mobility.
KEY WORDS: Post-Fordism; Work Career Structure; American Workforce; Employee and Employer Relations; Changes in Paid Work.

Evans, C. F. (2003). The changing nature of employment: How self-employed HR professionals manage their lives, learning and knowledge. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social, 64(1), 58-C.


The changing landscape of employment and work in late 20th century Britain is informed by the "informational technological paradigm" (Castells, 1996). This research investigates how self-employed human resource professionals are managing their lives, learning and knowledge. Other empirical work has investigated the lives of individuals pursuing nontraditional career models (e.g., "portfolio career", or "lifestyle career"), this research is different. It is based on a broader view of a career, where the term career is seen as applying to all life-areas, not just an individual's working life. Second, this research has adopted a different methodological approach, applying the Life History Methodology. The research sample included twenty-six participants, seventeen male and nine female, identified through non-probability sampling. The research has illuminated how the decisions that these individuals make about their work career is balanced with the needs and demands from other life-areas e.g., family and learning, together with the availability of key resources. The findings offer a description of the benefits, threats, opportunities and paradoxes associated with the self-employed lifestyle, and the strategies adopted for managing learning and knowledge. Formal learning was found to have an important place in these individuals' lives, at strategic points. However, much of their learning falls into six informal learning categories. The thesis concludes by discussing the implications and opportunities for policy making.
KEY WORDS: Self Employment; Employment Changes; Great Britain; Time Utilization; Professional Workers; Human Resources; Lifestyle; Learning; Family-Work Relationship; Knowledge; Changes in Paid Work.

Felfe, J., Schmook, R., Schyns, B., & Six, B. (2008). Does the form of employment make a difference? Commitment of traditional, temporary, and self-employed workers. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 72(1), 81-94.


Increasing change in the labor market has produced new forms of employment. A growing number of people have temporary jobs or are self-employed freelancers. The aim of our study is to address these changes by introducing commitment to the form of employment as a new focus in commitment. In addition, we compare organizational commitment under conditions of these forms of employment to traditional form of employment. The study is based on several samples representing conventional and new forms of employment (overall N=494). The results indicate that commitment to the form of employment explains variance of organizational outcomes over and above organizational commitment. Generally, commitment to the form of employment reflects an important attitude to the work situation besides commitment to the organization or occupation. The results are discussed in the light of labor market trends.
KEY WORDS: Labor Market; Employment; Self Employment; Temporary Employment; Work Attitudes; Employee Attitudes.

Felstead, A., Jewson, N., & Walters, S. (2005). The shifting locations of work: New statistical evidence on the spaces and places of employment. Work, Employment & Society, 19(2), 415-431.


The aim of this paper is to chart with available data, the shifting locations of work – both outside and inside the office – and to identify which types of people and jobs have been most affected. The paper reports on the changing proportions and numbers of people carrying out work away from the conventional physical boundaries of the office or factory.
KEY WORDS: Changing Nature of Work; Health; Changes in Paid Work.

Gibelman, M. (2005). Social workers for rent: The contingency human services labor force. Families in Society, 86(4), 457-469.


Identified and characterized are the trends in the contingency market in social work and articulates advantages and disadvantages from the vantage point of employing organizations and the professional labor force. The author raises questions regarding the accuracy of perceived cost-benefits of these arrangements as well as implications for professional ethics and values, service quality, accountability, and workplace environment. Monitoring and evaluation of the use of contingent workers are essential to ensure the quality, efficiency, and efficacy of these alternative arrangements on the provision of human services.
KEY WORDS: Human Services; Employment Changes; Working Hours; Social Workers; Labor Force Development; Changes in Paid Work.

Giesecke, J., & Gross, M. (2003). Temporary employment: Chance or risk? European Sociological Review, 19(2), 161-177.


The paper investigates whether increased labor-market flexibility leads to a reinforcement of the existing segmentation of the labor market or to a dismantling of barriers in the labor market. Using spell data (employment and unemployment periods) from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP, time period: 1984-1999), both determinants of temporary employment and their consequences (eg, renewed temporary employment, unemployment) are investigated with the help of random-effects logit-models. The results show that respondents' characteristics (amount and type of human capital, previous periods of unemployment), structural variables (industry, firm size), and occupational characteristics (position, marginal employment) influence the risk of finding a temporary job. Further, it is shown that fixed-term contracts increase the risk of finding another temporary job or of becoming unemployed after termination of the contract. These results show that fixed-term contracts are primarily part of the secondary labor market, and they have negative consequences for the employees in this segment. At the same time fixed-term contracts can be seen as providing opportunities in that they are at least an alternative to unemployment.

KEY WORDS: Temporary Employment; Employment Changes; Labor Market Segmentation; Contracts; Employment Opportunities; Employability; Germany; Changes in Paid Work.

Giuffre, P. A. (2005). Changing corporate America from inside out: Lesbian and gay workplace rights. Gender & Society, 19(6), 868-870.


Book Review: Changing Corporate America from Inside Out: Lesbian and Gay Workplace Rights by Nicole C. Raeburn (2004). Despite offering domestic partner benefits that now include sexual orientation in their antidiscrimination corporate policies, others do not. What contributes to the variation among employers? Under what conditions are we likely to see gay-inclusive policies and benefits emerge? What is the influence of lesbian and gay workplace activists in the development of domestic partner benefits on Fortune 1000 companies? This impressive multimethod approach includes analyses of phone surveys of gay, lesbian, and bisexual networks in Fortune 1000 companies and with vice presidents and human resource directors; print and online sources; organizational documents from three case studies; and field data from conferences and meetings of gay employee activist networks. Interviews with gay employee groups and informants from the Human Rights Commission and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force were conducted. Scholars interested in policy, sexuality, organizations and organization theory, social movements, activism, sociology of work, and for readers who seek specific strategies would find this an essential read.
KEY WORDS: Homosexuality; Organizations; Working Conditions; Employee Benefits; Lesbianism; Sexual Orientation; Changes in Paid Work.

Goyder, J. (2005). The dynamics of occupational prestige: 1975-2000. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 42(1), 1-23.


Urban-area data collected in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, twinned with an earlier study from 1975, are used as a vantage point for re-examining the historical stability of occupational prestige. The article proposes that the shape of the prestige distribution has been neglected in favour of statistics describing stability in rank order and that historical change since around 1975 is qualitatively different than for earlier periods. The researcher's hypothesis is that the distribution of occupational prestige has become more equal and that the rank order has shifted noticeably.
KEY WORDS: Occupation; Class Analysis; Stratification; Changes in Paid Work; Employment Status.

Green, F. (2004). Work intensification, discretion and the decline in well-being at work. Eastern Economic Journal, 30(4), 615-625.


Data from three representative British surveys are used to show that there has been a decline in the overall level of job satisfaction and a rise in the extent of work strain. The rise in work strain is associated with work intensification, while the fall in job satisfaction is associated partly with work intensification but also with the declining amount of discretion that workers have in their daily tasks. However, work intensification may have come to a halt after 1997. The paper also confirms a link between computerised or automated jobs and high work effort.
KEY WORDS: Discretion; Work; Labour Process; Changes in Paid Work.

Gunderson, M. (2002). Rethinking productivity from a workplace perspective. CPRN Discussion Paper. Ottawa: Canadian Policy Research Networks.


The issue of increasing productivity was examined from an interdisciplinary perspective focusing on the impact of workplace practices on various productivity-related outcomes. First, the following methodological issues were discussed: defining workplace practices that affect productivity; linking employer behavior and organizational performance; dealing with the complexity of interrelated factors; reverse causality; bias from selection into the program; bias from the research and publication process; biases from reverting to normal; the Hawthorne effect; and short-run versus long-run effects. Next, the impacts of the following workplace practices on productivity were analyzed with consideration for those methodological issues: job design; employee involvement; compensation; alternative work time arrangements; training; diversity management; and workplace well-being programs. Most of those workplace practices had positive effects on employees, which in turn positively affected firm performance, productivity, and competitiveness. Success of the workplace practices was enhanced when they were combined in clusters, integrated to fit overall corporate strategy, and supported by managers, supervisors, and unions. The analysis identified 11 barriers to adoption and diffusion of "best" workplace practices, including the following: managerial resistance, employee resistance, union resistance, legislative barriers, short-term focus, workplace practices as a source of competitive advantage, barriers to cooperative actions, and externalities and the fact that trained employees may be lured away by other companies.
KEY WORDS: Adjustment (to Environment); Adoption (Ideas); Adult Education; Compensation (Remuneration); Cooperation; Cultural Differences; Definitions; Educational Policy; Educational Research; Employer Employee Relationship; Employment Patterns; Employment Practices; Federal Legislation; Foreign Countries; Job Performance; Literature Reviews; Organizational Effectiveness; Performance Factors; Personnel Management; Policy Formation; Productivity; Public Policy; Quality of Working Life; Research Design; Research Methodology; Research Problems; Supervisor Supervisee Relationship; Training; Work Attitudes; Work Environment Best Practices; Canada; Global Economy; Hawthorne Effect; Impact Studies; Changes in Paid Work.

Harley, B. (2003). Class and control revisited: An analysis of occupation, autonomy and pay in the service sector.Unpublished manuscript, Melbourne. http://www.mngt.waikato.ac.nz/ejrot/cmsconference/2003/proceedings/re-investigating/Harley.pdf.


This paper is concerned with recent debates about the continuing relevance of class as an explanatory category for key aspects of the experience of work in the advanced economies. In particular, it engages with the claim that the growth of service sector employment, and attendant changes in labour processes and contractual arrangements, have changed the nature of work in ways which make previously dominant conceptualisations of class redundant. The paper seeks to elucidate a key issue in the debates – the extent to which associations between occupation on one hand, and discretion, orientation to management and pay on the other, vary systematically between employees working in ‘service’ industries and other industries. The analysis suggests that occupation remains a key determinant of discretion which is consistent with earlier studies (see Harley 1999, Boreham 1991). It also remains a key predictor of pay. The associations between occupation and views of management remain rather less clear. Moreover, the associations involving occupation appear to hold across industry.
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