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The Role of Temporary Agency Work in Different Industrial Relations Systems - a Comparison between Germany and the USA

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  • Lars W. Mitlacher

Abstract

Although temporary agency work has been growing over the last decade, its use differs widely in different industrial relations systems. Drawing on theoretical and empirical insights, propositions are developed on why companies deploy temporary agency work. These propositions are then contrasted with case-study evidence collected in Germany and the USA to analyse the deployment of agency work in two different industrial relations systems and the role that agency work plays in these diverse settings. The main conclusions of the research are that differences in the deployment of temporary agency workers exist with regard to legal regulation and employers' strategies of labour use while similarities exist regarding the supply of agency labour. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Lars W. Mitlacher, 2007. "The Role of Temporary Agency Work in Different Industrial Relations Systems - a Comparison between Germany and the USA," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(3), pages 581-606, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:45:y:2007:i:3:p:581-606
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Neugart, Michael & Storrie, Donald, 2002. "Temporary work agencies and equilibrium unemployment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment FS I 02-203, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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    Cited by:

    1. Vanselow, Achim & Weinkopf, Claudia, 2009. "Zeitarbeit in europäischen Ländern: Lehren für Deutschland?," Arbeitspapiere 182, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf.
    2. Jahn, Elke Jutta & Rosholm, Michael, 2015. "The Cyclicality of the Stepping Stone Effect of Temporary Agency Employment," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113117, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Benjamin Hopkins & Chris Dawson, 2016. "Migrant workers and involuntary non-permanent jobs: agencies as new IR actors?," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 163-180, March.
    4. Peter Cappelli & J. R. Keller, 2012. "A Study of the Extent and Potential Causes of Alternative Employment Arrangements," NBER Working Papers 18376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jill Rubery & Annamaria Simonazzi & Kevin Ward, 2010. "Exploring international migration and outsourcing through an institutional lens," BIS Papers chapters,in: Globalisation, labour markets and international adjustment - Essays in honour of Palle S Andersen, volume 50, pages 77-103 Bank for International Settlements.
    6. Beissinger, Thomas & Baudy, Philipp, 2015. "The Impact of Temporary Agency Work on Trade Union Wage Setting: A Theoretical Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 8802, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Peter H. Cappelli & JR Keller, 2013. "A Study of the Extent and Potential Causes of Alternative Employment Arrangements," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(4), pages 874-901, July.
    8. Adrienne T. Edisis, 2016. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance on Temporary Help Services Employment," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 484-503, December.
    9. Beckmann, Michael & Kuhn, Dieter, 2012. "Flexibility vs. screening : the performance effects of temporary agency work strategies," Working papers 2012/03, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    10. Sílvia Lopes & Maria Chambel, 2014. "Motives for Being Temporary Agency Worker: Validity Study of One Measure According to The Self-Determination Theory," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 137-152, March.
    11. Kristina Håkansson & Tommy Isidorsson, 2014. "The trade union response to agency labour in Sweden," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 22-38, January.
    12. Valeria Pulignano & Andrea Signoretti, 2016. "Union Strategies, National Institutions and the Use of Temporary Labour in Italian and US Plants," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(3), pages 574-596, September.
    13. Jennifer Ferreira, 2016. "The German temporary staffing industry: growth, development, scandal and resistance," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 117-143, March.

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