Rethinking Employment

Rethinking Employment 1. Introduction The circumstances that helped create formal arrangements for managing employees in large firms, often referred to as internal labour markets, are changing. Internalized employment arrangements that buffered jobs from market pressures are giving way to arrangements that rely much more heavily on outside market forces to manage employees. This argument goes substantially beyond previous assertions that jobs are being transferred away from permanent employees in the USA (Pfeffer and Baron 1988; Abraham 1990) in that it suggests a breakdown across many aspects of internal labour markets, even for permanent employees. Nor do these more market-mediated arrangements correspond to the ‘core-periphery’ model that is frequently discussed in Britain. What they might entail for employees, employers and society is considered below, along with evidence of the change. 2. The pressure to internalize Descriptions like the following of changes in the US workplace have graced the covers of the business press in recent years:’ Subcontracting Often contractors work on site using the owner’s equipment, alongside the owner’s direct employees. The contractors hire and manage their own work-teams, negotiating pay and employment terms sometimes independently for each worker. Contingent work For jobs that require general skills, some employers rely in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Journal of Industrial Relations Wiley

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 1995 Blackwell Publishing Ltd / London School of Economics
ISSN
0007-1080
eISSN
1467-8543
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-8543.1995.tb00456.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

1. Introduction The circumstances that helped create formal arrangements for managing employees in large firms, often referred to as internal labour markets, are changing. Internalized employment arrangements that buffered jobs from market pressures are giving way to arrangements that rely much more heavily on outside market forces to manage employees. This argument goes substantially beyond previous assertions that jobs are being transferred away from permanent employees in the USA (Pfeffer and Baron 1988; Abraham 1990) in that it suggests a breakdown across many aspects of internal labour markets, even for permanent employees. Nor do these more market-mediated arrangements correspond to the ‘core-periphery’ model that is frequently discussed in Britain. What they might entail for employees, employers and society is considered below, along with evidence of the change. 2. The pressure to internalize Descriptions like the following of changes in the US workplace have graced the covers of the business press in recent years:’ Subcontracting Often contractors work on site using the owner’s equipment, alongside the owner’s direct employees. The contractors hire and manage their own work-teams, negotiating pay and employment terms sometimes independently for each worker. Contingent work For jobs that require general skills, some employers rely in

Journal

British Journal of Industrial RelationsWiley

Published: Dec 1, 1995

References

  • Firm‐specific wage growth and changes in the labor market for managers
    Chauvin, Chauvin
  • Metrics for measuring product development cycle time
    Griffin, Griffin

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