Journal Article

Externalizing organizational activities: where and how US establishments use employment intermediaries

Arne L. Kalleberg and Peter V. Marsden

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 3, issue 3, pages 389-416
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/SER/mwi017
Externalizing organizational activities: where and how US establishments use employment intermediaries

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Organizations are increasingly externalizing work activities, but vary as to where and how they do so. Using a US employer survey, we examine within- and between-organization differences in the use of employment intermediaries such as temporary help agencies and contract companies, in whether external workers from these intermediaries supplement on-payroll employees or exclusively perform activities, and in the exercise of supervisory control over external workers. Organizations use workers from employment intermediaries more often in work activities separable from the core workflow. External workers tend to supplement regular workers engaged in more central activities and exclusively perform more peripheral ones; employers are more apt to supervise external workers for more central activities. Small, private sector employers are more likely to use employment intermediaries. When large organizations do use external workers, they tend to use them in a supplementary rather than exclusive way, and to exercise supervisory control over them.

Keywords: industrial organization; labour and demographic economics; business administration and business economics; JEL classification: L, J, M1, M2

Journal Article.  10051 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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