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The 'Network Economy' and Models of the Employment Contract

  • David Marsden

The development of the 'network economy' and the project-based work challenge established methods of regulating employment relationships. There appears to be an unsatisfied demand for its greater use, especially among employers, and this may be blocked by the lack of suitable contractual forms. Project-based work seeks to retain some of the open-ended flexibility of the standard employment relationship in relation to its task content but not its duration. I argue that the success of the standard employment relationship stems from articulation of its psychological, economic/incentive, and legal aspects. As yet, this appears to be lacking for more transient forms of relationship. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2004.

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

Volume (Year): 42 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 659-684

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:42:y:2004:i:4:p:659-684
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  1. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2007. "Personnel Economics," NBER Working Papers 13480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alice Lam, 2003. "Organizational Learning in Multinationals: R&D Networks of Japanese and US MNEs in the UK," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 673-703, 05.
  3. Peter AUER & Sandrine CAZES, 2000. "The resilience of the long-term employment relationship: Evidence from the industrialized countries," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 139(4), pages 379-408, December.
  4. Robert Salais, 1989. "L'analyse économique des conventions du travail," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 40(2), pages 199-240.
  5. Alice Lam, 2003. "Organisational Learning in Multinationals R&D networks of Japanese and U.S. MNEs in the U.K," DRUID Working Papers 03-03, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  6. Alan Paul & Archie Kleingartner, 1994. "Flexible production and the transformation of industrial relations in the motion picture and television industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 663-678, July.
  7. Marsden, David, 1999. "A Theory of Employment Systems: Micro-Foundations of Societal Diversity," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198294221, July.
  8. James C. Sesil & Maya K. Kroumova & Joseph R. Blasi & Douglas L. Kruse, 2002. "Broad-based Employee Stock Options in US 'New Economy' Firms," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 273-294, 06.
  9. James M. Malcomson, 1997. "Contracts, Hold-Up, and Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1916-1957, December.
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