Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


NUEWO - New Understanding of European Work Organization: Does Contingent Employment Affect The Organization Of Work?

Project ID: HPSE-CT-1999-00009


This report reviews empirical evidence on how contingent employment affect the organization of work at the individual, organizational and labour market institutions level of analysis. Contingent employment is defined broadly to include both limited duration contracts, Self -employment and Temporary Work Agency work. Even if contingent employment is not a new phenomena, our knowledge of its implications for the organization of work is sparse. It may also be argued that the use of contingent labour is in itself a product of changes in the organization of work, e.g. the focus on core competencies. Despite the lack of clear evidence and the mixture of causality, numerous claims are made in the literature either implicitly or explicitly. Contingent employment is depicted as freeing individuals from the control and constraints of corporate hierarchies. In addition, the use of contingent employment is said to cause conflict between the temporary and permanent workers. In general, discussions of the effects of the use of contingent employment are not very well documented. We evaluate the claims that have been made about contingent employment in light of the available evidence and conclude with suggestions for further research.

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