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Delivering Flexibility: Contrasting Patterns in the French and the UK Food Processing Industry

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  • Eve Caroli
  • Jér�me Gautié
  • Caroline Lloyd
  • Annie Lamanthe
  • Susan James

Abstract

This article provides a comparative analysis of changes in numerical and functional labour flexibility in the French and the UK food processing industry. Based upon case study data, it explores the interaction between competitive pressures and institutional and regulatory structures and their impact on workplace practices. The findings indicate that, faced with a similar competitive environment, firms in both countries have sought to increase labour flexibility. However, the predominant forms of flexibility vary across the two countries, partly reflecting the characteristics of national labour market institutions. Numerical flexibility dominates in the UK, with high levels of paid overtime and temporary agency work. In contrast, French workplaces rely more on internal functional flexibility while also achieving numerical flexibility through seasonal variations in work schedules and a wide range of short-term employment contracts. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2010.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics in its journal British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 48 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 284-309

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:48:y:2010:i:2:p:284-309

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