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The flexible firm and the flexible coworker

Barbro I. Anell (Barbro I. Anell is at the Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.)
Timothy L. Wilson (Timothy L. Wilson is at the Marketing Department, Clarion University, Clarion, Pennsylvania, USA.)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



In the discourse on modern management, the concept of flexibility is often mentioned as a desirable characteristic of firms and employees. Flexible organizations exhibit an ability to change in response to market changes. It should be clear, however, that a range of possibilities exist between “rigid” organizations and truly flexible ones. This range is discussed. Further, a firm’s ability to demonstrate flexibility depends to a large degree on the flexibility exhibited by its employees. Firms exhibiting different degrees of flexibility have different demands on the flexibility of their coworkers, which means that a matching between supply and demand exists. Employee flexibility has several dimensions, which are also discussed as well as some conditions for a flexible work‐ cum lifestyle. The starting point for the discussion is the assumption that neither the firms themselves nor the surrounding society are especially adapted to a lifestyle of flexible work. Some measures to alleviate these conditions are proposed.



Anell, B.I. and Wilson, T.L. (2000), "The flexible firm and the flexible coworker", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 165-170.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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