Institutionalizing the Employment Relationship

Jill Rubery

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Institutional Analysis

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199233762
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

 Institutionalizing the Employment Relationship

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  • Business and Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour


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A relatively recent institution, the internalized employment relationship is a common institutional feature of modern organizational capitalism. The definition of an internalized employment relationship hinges on the distinction between a contract for services and a contract of service. This article takes up three main issues that have been raised by this short overview of the significance of the internalized employment relationship. First, to understand the origins of this recent but now ubiquitous institution, the article reviews competing theoretical accounts of its emergence and evolution. Second, the article explores the scope of variations in the employment relationship and their embeddedness in interlocking societal institutions. Third, as the employment relationship is at the centre of processes of restructuring and change, it reviews the prospects for the survival of not only the distinctive forms of the internalized employment relationship, but also the institution of internalized employment itself.

Keywords: internalized employment relationship; institutional feature; organizational capitalism; theoretical accounts; societal institutions

Article.  12823 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Human Resource Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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