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The quest for a balanced manpower capacity: different flexibility strategies examined


  • Anne Delarue

    () (Centre for Sociological Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

  • Stijn Gryp

    () (Centre for Sociological Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

  • Geert Van Hootegem

    () (Centre for Sociological Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)


To cope with permanent fluctuations in demand, organizations are challenged to organize their manpower capacity in a flexible way. Different strategies of manpower planning are being used for this purpose. Using data from the 2002 Panel Survey of Organisations Flanders, we first verify to what extent temporal, contractual and functional flexibility strategies are applied in Flemish organizations. Subsequently, logistic regression is used to analyse the link between these flexible work strategies and a ‘fitting manpower capacity’. While the results show a negative association between the use of temporal or contractual flexibility measures and a balanced manpower capacity, functional flexibility seems to be positively related. The different logics in which numerical and functional flexibility proceed can be labeled as ‘curative’ versus ‘preventive’ strategies of flexibility. Further analyses discern between various interpretations of functional flexibility and assess whether different team types make a contribution to a fitting manpower capacity.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Delarue & Stijn Gryp & Geert Van Hootegem, 2006. "The quest for a balanced manpower capacity: different flexibility strategies examined," Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, vol. 2(2), pages 69-86, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ieu:journl:v:2:y:2006:i:2:p:69-86

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arne L. Kalleberg, 2001. "Organizing Flexibility: The Flexible Firm in a New Century," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 39(4), pages 479-504, December.
    2. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "The Growth of Temporary Services Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
    3. Jyh-Jer Roger Ko, 2003. "Contingent and Internal Employment Systems: Substitutes or Complements?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 24(3), pages 473-490, July.
    4. Peter Cappelli & David Neumark, 2001. "External Job Churning and Internal Job Flexibility," NBER Working Papers 8111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jos Benders, 1999. "Teams and their Context: Moving the Team Discussion Beyond Existing Dichotomies," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(5), pages 609-628, September.
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