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Understanding the development of temporary agency work in Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Koene, B.A.S.
  • Paauwe, J.
  • Groenewegen, J.P.M.

Abstract

This article develops an explanatory framework for understanding the growth and development of temporary agency work (TAW) and the related industry. The analysis shows that explanations based on economic logic are helpful in understanding the choice of TAW in general. These explanations, however, fall short when trying to explain the growth of agency work over time or the variation in its use among European countries. To cope with these shortcomings, we extend our explanatory base to include a variety of sociocultural dynamics. Our analysis shows how deep-seated national work-related values ('deep embeddedness') affect the way TAW is regulated nationally. It also demonstrates how differences in more changeable norms, attitudes and practices ('dynamic embeddedness') affect the process of embedding agency work as a societally acceptable phenomenon, providing a basis for its subsequent proliferation.

Suggested Citation

  • Koene, B.A.S. & Paauwe, J. & Groenewegen, J.P.M., 2004. "Understanding the development of temporary agency work in Europe," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2004-086-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:1803
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    File URL: https://repub.eur.nl/pub/1803/ERS%202004%20086%20ORG.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nelson, Richard R. & Sampat, Bhaven N., 2001. "Making sense of institutions as a factor shaping economic performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 31-54, January.
    2. Susan N. Houseman & Arne L. Kalleberg & George A. Erickcek, 2001. "The Role of Temporary Help Employment in Tight Labor Markets," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 01-73, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    3. Oliver E. Williamson & Michael L. Wachter & Jeffrey E. Harris, 1975. "Understanding the Employment Relation: The Analysis of Idiosyncratic Exchange," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 250-278, Spring.
    4. John Mangan, 2000. "Workers Without Traditional Employment," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1963.
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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. Mike Zhang & Timothy Bartram & Nicola McNeil & Peter Dowling, 2015. "Towards a Research Agenda on the Sustainable and Socially Responsible Management of Agency Workers Through a Flexicurity Model of HRM," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 513-523, March.
    3. Grip Andries de & Sieben Inge & Jaarsveld Danielle van, 2006. "Labour Market Segmentation Revisited: A Study of the Dutch Call Centre Sector," ROA Working Paper 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human resource management; temporary agency work; transactions cost economics approach;

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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