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The Strategic Use of Temporary Agency Work – Functional Change of a Non-standard Form of Employment

Author

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  • Hajo Holst
  • Oliver Nachtwey
  • Klaus Doerre

Abstract

Using data from the German case, the paper examines a new form of client firms’ utilization of temporary agency work that is distinctly different from traditional forms responding to production problems. Client firms, particularly from manufacturing, increasingly use temporary agency workers as a quasi-permanent component of their workforce. Management’s primary aim is to establish a “security net” for the short-term-profits by bypassing German statutory dismissal protection. However, since client firms’ regular employees and the temporary agency workers tend to perform the same tasks, a secondary effect of the strategic use of temporary agency work can be observed: the disciplinary effects associated with precarious work are tangibly amplified and expanded.

Suggested Citation

  • Hajo Holst & Oliver Nachtwey & Klaus Doerre, 2010. "The Strategic Use of Temporary Agency Work – Functional Change of a Non-standard Form of Employment," International Journal of Action Research, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 6(1), pages 108-138.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:ijares:doi_10.1688/1861-9916_ijar_2010_01_holst
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chiara Benassi, 2016. "Liberalization Only at the Margins? Analysing the Growth of Temporary Work in German Core Manufacturing Sectors," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(3), pages 597-622, September.
    2. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Katalin Evers & Lutz Bellmann, 2016. "Is the Erosion Thesis Overblown? Alignment from Without in Germany," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 415-443, July.
    3. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. Baudy, Philipp & Cords, Dario, 2016. "Deregulation of temporary agency employment in a unionized economy: Does this really lead to a substitution of regular employment?," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 06-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    6. 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.
    7. Branko Bembič, 2016. "The rise of the dual labour market: fighting precarious employment in the new member states through industrial relations (PRECARIR) Country report: Slovenia," Research Reports 14, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    temporary agency work; work; labour relations; corporate governance; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition
    • J83 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Workers' Rights
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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