As part of an ongoing project on worker well‐being, this paper aims to examine the application of flexible work arrangements through the experiences of core workers in a small, European‐owned, New Zealand manufacturing firm.
A participatory action research approach is taken.
The research reveals that flexible employment arrangements utilised in this firm did not afford protection to core workers as theory suggests. Both core and peripheral workers were exposed to pressure primarily to extend their hours of work and to reduce their expectations regarding remuneration. Production level increases were not reflected in increases in numbers of core workers; in fact perceived job security was low. Core workers felt pressure to work extended hours out of their commitment to the firm, each other, and to maintain their own employment.
The use of more democratic processes inherent in action research oriented at workplace well‐being are shown to have had some value toward enhancing worker well‐being.
The paper demonstrates that the participative project placed pressure upon management and that it had the potential to redress a power imbalance within the employment relationship.
Discusses the long existing and confusing problems of establishing the relationship of who is, and who if not, a dependent worker. Reflects developments which have…
Discusses the long existing and confusing problems of establishing the relationship of who is, and who if not, a dependent worker. Reflects developments which have occurred in British law as it affects the employment field, plus an evaluation and analysis of some of the different types of employment relationships which have evolved by examining, where possible, the status of each of these relationships. Concludes that the typical worker nowadays finds himself in a vulnerable position both economically and psychologically owing to the insecurity which exists.
The concept “flexibility” is ubiquitous as a rationale for organizational change. However, its broad application is accompanied by a general lack of definitional agreement…
The concept “flexibility” is ubiquitous as a rationale for organizational change. However, its broad application is accompanied by a general lack of definitional agreement or theoretical cohesion. The purpose of this paper is to propose the merits of an alternative approach – applying a discourse perspective to the use of flexibility as a rationale for organizational change.
This paper first illustrates the broad referencing of flexibility as a desired organizational characteristic. It then discusses the associated lack of theoretical coherence associated with the use of the concept “flexibility” before arguing the merits of a discourse perspective on flexibility as a rationale for organizational change.
This paper identifies a set of questions to frame a discourse perspective on the use of “flexibility” as a rationale for organizational change.
The questions derived in this paper provide a research agenda for an investigation of the use and effects of the concept “flexibility” in the context of organizational change.
The questions derived in this paper provide practice‐based insights into how the concept “flexibility” is and/or could be used in the context of organizational change.
“Flexibility” is a ubiquitous concept as a rationale for organizational change and its use is accompanied by a diversity of definitions and conceptual frameworks. The originality of this paper is that rather than seeking to provide yet another definition – or attempting a resolution of definitional differences – it argues the merits of a discourse perspective on the use and effect of the concept flexibility in the context of organizational change.