Fragmenting Work: Blurring Organizational Boundaries and Disordering Hierarchies

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Oxford University Press, 2005 - Business & Economics - 319 pages
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This major new book examines the way in which employment is managed across organizational boundaries. It analyses how public-private partnerships, franchises, agencies and other forms of inter-firm contractual relations impact on work and employment and the experiences of those working in these increasingly significant forms of organization. It draws upon research undertaken in eight separate networks comprising over 50 organizations to explore the fragmentating effects of contemporary changes in the organization of work and employment relationships. It considers the consequences of increased reliance upon inter-organizational mechanisms for producing goods and especially for delivering services. It argues that established analyses continue to rely too heavily upon a model of the single employing organization whereas today the situation is often more complex and confused. Public-private 'partnerships' are one high profile example of this phenomenon but private enterprises are also developing new relations with their clients and customers that impinge upon the nature of the employment relationship. Established hierarchical forms are becoming disordered, with consequences for career patterns, training and skills, pay structures, disciplinary practice, worker voice, and the gendered division of labor. The findings of the study raise questions about the governance of such complex organizational forms, the appropriateness of current institutions for addressing this complexity, and the challenge of harnessing of employee commitment in circumstances where human resource practices are shaped by organizations other than the legal employer. Using an analytical schema of three dimensions (institutional, organizational, employment) and four themes (power, risk, identity, trust), the authors adopt an inter-disciplinary perspective to address these complex and critically important practical, policy and theoretical concerns. Fragmenting Work will be vital reading for all those wishing to understand the contemporary realities of work and employment.

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Introduction Fragmenting Work Across Organizational Boundaries
Glossary of Organizations
InterOrganizational Networks Trust Power and the Employment Relationship
Blurring the Boundaries to the Employment Relationship From Single to MultiEmployer Relationships
The Strategic Management of Contracting in the Private Sector
PublicPrivate Contracting Performance Power and Change at Work
The Role of BoundarySpanning Agents in InterOrganizational Contracting
Employment Policy and Practice Crossing Borders and Disordering Hierarchies
Commitment and Identity Across Organizational Boundaries
Changing Boundaries Shaping Skills The Fragmented Organizational Form and Employee Skills
Gender and New Organizational Forms
Prospects for Worker Voice Across Organizational Boundaries
Conclusion Redrawing Boundaries Reflecting on Practice and Policy

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References to this book

Bodies at Work
Carol Wolkowitz
Limited preview - 2006
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About the author (2005)

Mick Marchington is Professor of Human Resource Management at the new Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester (previously the Manchester School of Management, UMIST). He is co-author of People Management and Development (CIPD 2002) and HRM: The New Agenda (Pitman, 1998). Damian Grimshaw is a Senior Lecturer in Employment Studies at the new Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester (previously the Manchester School of Management, UMIST), and co-author ofManaging Employment: The New Realities of Work (OUP 2002). Jill Rubery is Professor of Comparative Employment at the new Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester (previously the Manchester School of Management, UMIST), and co-author of Managing Employment: The New Realities of Work (OUP 2002) and Employer Strategy and the Labour Market (OUP 1994). Hugh Willmott is Diageo Porfessor of Management Studies at the Judge Institute of Management Studies, University of Cambridge, and co-author of Management Lives (Sage 1999) and Making Sense of Management (Sage 1996).

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