The Organizational Governance of Work Relationships Between Employment and Self-employment

Ulrike Famira-Mühlberger, Sonia Bertolini

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


This paper analyses work relationships on the border between employment and self-employment and the consequences of making use of these new forms of work, especially on the side of firms. We study the complexity and variety of dependent forms of outsourcing by comparing the firm-internal solutions adopted to solve the arising control-flexibility dilemma in two industries (insurance, business services) embedded in two different institutional contexts (Italy, Austria). It is shown that employers have established informal relational contracts that, in combination with formal contracts, reduce the threat of opportunism while simultaneously allowing a certain amount of control over the worker. We highlight that through the mechanisms of control and dependency, hierarchy returns into the relationship. Finally, we stress that social relationships complement the market mechanism through the creation of assurance and trust as well as the development of specific configurations of social networks (i.e. network and temporal embeddedness).
Seiten (von - bis)449 - 472
FachzeitschriftSocio-Economic Review
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Feb. 2008

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