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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2009

Janika Bachmann

How to get people working longer and retiring later is a new research topic for contemporary social policy. Flexible work options could be one possibility, but are special…

Abstract

Purpose

How to get people working longer and retiring later is a new research topic for contemporary social policy. Flexible work options could be one possibility, but are special shorter‐working‐hours‐for‐elderly workplaces really important in order to increase employment among the 65+ age group? The purpose of this paper is to argue, in the case of Japan, that increased availability of non‐standard work formats would not improve labour force participation among the elderly when it is driven by corporate objectives to reduce labour costs. On the contrary, supply‐driven increase in flexible work formats sends a signal of unfavourable labour market conditions and causes the elderly to stay out of labour.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilizes the Labour Force Survey, a nationally representative data set showing labour force participation and employment formats across all age groups.

Findings

It is true that non‐standard work formats are being progressively more used among elderly workers. However labour force participation rate has increased only in cases where the increase in flexible work formats was demand driven, meaning only to the point where both standard and non‐standard work options were equally available to the whole population. When economic conditions force companies to offer more non‐standard work options, increase in supply side takes place. This sends a signal of unfavourable labour market conditions to the elderly population, who are more elastic to labour market changes and by using a pension can easily withdraw from the workforce.

Research limitations/implications

This analysis suggests that policy objectives to create flexible‐elderly work formats in order to increase the employment rate and reduce costs for the retirement system will not bring expected the results.

Practical implications

Although policy objective is to increase the employment rate among the elderly, focusing only on elderly will provide moderate results. Elderly population would come along, but only with the working age population. The first point of reform should be placed on the overall labour market, by diminishing major differences between standard and non‐standard work formats. One way could be the act of applying social security and company benefits to non‐standard work formats. Or opposite to that, the act of diminishing social security and company benefits to standard work formats.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by broadening understanding of elderly population behaviour in the labour market. With the increasing number of elderly people, retirement systems are looking for methods to postpone full‐retirement. Through analysis, the paper seeks to understand if and when flexible employment formats among the elderly are demand or supply driven.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Jonathan C. Morris

Looks at the 2000 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference held at the University of Cardiff in Wales on 6/7 September 2000. Spotlights the 76 or so presentations within…

Abstract

Looks at the 2000 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference held at the University of Cardiff in Wales on 6/7 September 2000. Spotlights the 76 or so presentations within and shows that these are in many, differing, areas across management research from: retail finance; precarious jobs and decisions; methodological lessons from feminism; call centre experience and disability discrimination. These and all points east and west are covered and laid out in a simple, abstract style, including, where applicable, references, endnotes and bibliography in an easy‐to‐follow manner. Summarizes each paper and also gives conclusions where needed, in a comfortable modern format.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 23 no. 9/10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2012

Emmanuel Dhyne and Benoît Mahy

To ease adjustments in the labour market, many countries have softened their legislation since the 1970s by introducing flexible labour contracts or by making their use…

Abstract

Purpose

To ease adjustments in the labour market, many countries have softened their legislation since the 1970s by introducing flexible labour contracts or by making their use easier. The purpose of this paper is to document labour management of temporary contracts during the last 20 years in Belgium, compared to the situation in its neighbouring countries. The authors investigate the determinants of the use of flexible labour contracts and the consequences of their introduction on labour dynamics.

Design/methodology/approach

A dynamic Probit is considered to model the use of fixed term labour contracts (FTCs) and standard dynamic labour demand equations are used to test the impact of labour contracts on the labour adjustment at the firm level, using a panel of around 8,000 firms during the period 1998‐2005.

Findings

The results indicate that some firms follow labour management based on a core (indefinite term contracts – ITCs) and a peripheral component (FTCs) and manage temporary contracts on a “permanent” basis, from a long run perspective. Estimates also confirm a much faster temporary contracts employment adjustment, while ITCs adjustment does not depend on whether firms employ FTCs. ITCs short‐term employment elasticity with respect to wages suggests that workers protection against redundancies is strengthened when firms manage work organisation with both types of contracts. In contrast to ITCs, FTCs are used to meet unexpected demand shocks.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the growing literature on the impact of the introduction of new flexible contracts on the labour demand at the firm level.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

Stephen J.H. Dearden

Briefly reviews the Social Protocol attached to the MaastrichtTreaty. Addresses the debate between those advocating the minimalharmonization of labour legislation…

Abstract

Briefly reviews the Social Protocol attached to the Maastricht Treaty. Addresses the debate between those advocating the minimal harmonization of labour legislation necessary for the establishment of fair competition within the single market, on the one side, and those arguing for a more interventionist approach to avoid the consequences of social dumping, on the other. Then examines the implications for this debate of the rise of flexible production, with its demand for increased human capital investment and long‐term employment relationships.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 16 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Eleftherios Giovanis

There is an increasing concern on the quality of jobs and productivity witnessed in the flexible employment arrangements. The purpose of this paper is to examine the…

Abstract

Purpose

There is an increasing concern on the quality of jobs and productivity witnessed in the flexible employment arrangements. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between various flexible employment arrangements and the workplace performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Home-based working, teleworking, flexible timing and compressed hours are the main employment types examined using the Workplace Employee Relations Survey (WERS) over the years 2004 and 2011 in Great Britain. The workplace performance is measured by two outcomes – the financial performance and labour productivity. First, the determinants of these flexible employment types are explored. Second, the ordinary least squares (OLS) method is followed. Third, an instrumental variable (IV) approach is applied to account for plausible endogeneity and to estimate the causal effects of flexible employment types on firm performance.

Findings

The findings show a significant and positive relationship between the flexible employment arrangements and the workplace performance. Education, age, wage, quality of relations between managers-employees, years of experience, the area of the market the workplace is operated and the competition are significant factors and are positively associated with the propensity of the implementation of flexible employment arrangements.

Social implications

The insights derived from the study can have various profound policy implications for employees, employers and the society overall, including family-work balance, coping with family demands, improving the firm performance, reducing traffic congestion and stress among others.

Originality/value

It is the first study that explores the relationship between flexible employment types and workplace performance using an IV approach. This allows us to estimate the causal effects of flexible employment types and the possible associated social implications.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Amanda Haynes

Concerns the effects of world class manufacturing on the quality of working life of shop floor workers. Theoretically, it is grounded in the conflict between two opposing…

Abstract

Concerns the effects of world class manufacturing on the quality of working life of shop floor workers. Theoretically, it is grounded in the conflict between two opposing paradigms – the flexible specialisation thesis and labour process theory. Methodologically, it is based on qualitative data gathered in 1996 during in‐depth interviews with employees of a West of Ireland factory established in the use of world class manufacturing methods (fieldwork for a Masters degree minor dissertation). The results of the research indicate that the majority of world class manufacturing methods increase the intensity of work, without yielding proportionate compensation for workers. Based on these findings, the interpretation of world class manufacturing supported by labour process theory was found to be far more accurate a rendering than that promoted by the flexible specialisation thesis.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Angel Martínez‐Sánchez, María José Vela‐Jiménez, Manuela Pérez‐Pérez and Pilar de Luis‐Carnicer

This paper aims to analyze the relationship between labour flexibility and innovation performance.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the relationship between labour flexibility and innovation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a review of theoretical perspectives to analyze this relationship. A postal survey of a sample of Spanish manufacturing and service firms was conducted and this was subject to nonparametric analysis.

Findings

High‐innovative Spanish firms are more flexible than low‐innovative firms although the comparison across industries and type of innovation indicates that not all flexibility dimensions are statistically significant in their relationship to innovation performance.

Research limitations/implications

The study's single country setting could limit the generalizability of the findings. Longitudinal as opposed to cross‐sectional data are needed for studying the causal assumptions suggested by this research.

Practical implications

Given the differences of flexibility dimensions found across industries and type of innovation firms should use flexibility capabilities to complement innovation capabilities. On the other hand, some flexible managerial practices should be adopted as early as possible because they appear to be global in knowledge‐intensive firms and do not have differences across sectors and type of innovation.

Originality/value

This paper combines in the same analysis the relationship of internal and external flexibility with innovation performance, and their managerial implications.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Jos Sanders and Andries de Grip

This paper analyses whether low‐skilled workers' training participation and task flexibility contribute to their firm‐internal and firm‐external mobility, and find that…

Abstract

This paper analyses whether low‐skilled workers' training participation and task flexibility contribute to their firm‐internal and firm‐external mobility, and find that both training participation and task flexibility contribute only to firm‐internal employability. However, the workers' participation in training plays a much more explicit role in their firm‐internal career than their task flexibility does, as the former appears to be an important means to increase their opportunities in the firm‐internal labour market. Neither the low‐skilled workers' participation in training nor their task flexibility contributes to their external employability. Task‐flexible, low‐skilled workers are less likely to expect to be externally employable than non‐task flexible workers are. The focus of the low‐skilled workers on their firm‐internal employability can be explained by the fact that such workers usually have more opportunities to improve their position in the firm‐internal labour market than in the external labour market.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Book part
Publication date: 9 June 2011

Dilek Hattatoglu

Purpose – This chapter aims to explore and discuss how women paid and unpaid labor in weaving is positioned in the flexible production chain in the context of local…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter aims to explore and discuss how women paid and unpaid labor in weaving is positioned in the flexible production chain in the context of local development.

Methodology/approach – It is based on a research11Report on Effects and Results of the Relationships between Manufacturers and Local Weavers on the Local Social Structure: Cases of Mugla/Yesilyurt, Istanbul/Sile and Kastamonu in collaboration with Asuman Turkun-Erendil and supported by Mugla University Research Projects Unit, 2006 (unpublished project report). study, using mainly oral history methods, of three weaving centers in Anatolia in their attempts to achieve local development through the restructuring of their traditional craft.

Findings – This study shows how a flexible production process is organized in ways in which women's labor is almost always positioned as cheap and insecure. In this process, through production of hegemonic discourses, symbolic capital of secure women's work is drastically decreased and that of the production activity itself (weaving) is increased. It also discusses how the state as the main carrier of symbolic violence, plays an important role in expansion of flexible production and informality directly (with its policies applied in its own enterprises) or indirectly (with its policies in general).

Originality/value of paper – By focusing on the mechanisms through women's labor is kept cheap or unpaid in the organization of the entire production process and also on the relationships between women's labor and the state in local development context, critical points for future discussion and policy-making are raised.

Details

Analyzing Gender, Intersectionality, and Multiple Inequalities: Global, Transnational and Local Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-743-8

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Book part
Publication date: 18 October 2011

Lennart Erixon

The new economic-policy regime in Sweden in the 1990s included deregulation, central-bank independence, inflation targets and fiscal rules but also active labour market…

Abstract

The new economic-policy regime in Sweden in the 1990s included deregulation, central-bank independence, inflation targets and fiscal rules but also active labour market policy and voluntary incomes policy. This chapter describes the content, determinants and performance of the new economic policy in Sweden in a comparative, mainly Nordic, perspective. The new economic-policy regime is explained by the deep recession and budget crisis in the early 1990s, new economic ideas and the power of economic experts. In the 1998–2007 period, Sweden displayed relatively low inflation and high productivity growth, but unemployment was high, especially by national standards. The restrictive monetary policy was responsible for the low inflation, and the dynamic (ICT) sector was decisive for the productivity miracle. Furthermore, productivity increases in the ICT sector largely explains why the Central Bank undershot its inflation target in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The new economic-policy regime in Sweden performed well during the global financial crisis. However, as in other OECD countries, the moderate increase in unemployment was largely attributed to labour hoarding. And the rapid recovery of the Baltic countries made it possible for Sweden to avoid a bank crisis.

Details

The Nordic Varieties of Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-778-0

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