What are we actually talking about when we talk of flexibility in organizational settings? Do flexible forms of organization lead to varied, challenging and autonomous work or do they have a negative impact on working conditions? These questions are confronted by a group of specialist authors including Stephen Ackroyd, Harriet Bradley, Jan Ch. Karlsson, Philippe Mossé and Michael Rose, who discuss the concept of flexibility in relation to employment practices, organizational structure, cultural peculiarities and network arrangements in France, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the UK. While the question of workplace flexibility has been much debated in recent years, the main issues discussed have been the practice of non-standard forms of employment such as part-time work. This book is distinctive in dealing with flexibility related to organizational arrangements, organizational culture and network arrangements, and in assessing the combined effects of different arrangements in terms of manpower, structure, culture and networks on flexibility.
'Few terms have generated as much enthusiasm and controversy in recent years as the notion of "flexibility." This book provides a useful contribution to our understanding of this important concept through empirical studies of the variety of ways that organizations seek flexibility in diverse cultural and institutional settings in Norway, France, Italy, the UK, and Sweden.' Arne L. Kalleberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA 'An important contribution to a highly contentious area of working life, bringing new light to bear on organisational flexibility from an international perspective and showing differing penetration across Europe depending upon organisational culture and employment legislation. Grounded in sound empirical research and drawing upon a range of research projects, this will be essential reading for scholars of work and organisations as well as students of business, economics, sociology and organizations.' Claire Wallace, University of Aberdeen, UK and European Sociological Association '... this anthology can be warmly suggested to anyone, who wants to read not one more conceptual essays about 'flexible', 'intelligent', 'boundaryless', 'network', 'post-bureaucratic', 'post-modern' etc. organizations, but to read a work from a European perspective full of empirical evidence and reflecting thoughts.' Management Revue 'It is clearly aimed at an academic audience and has an ambitious target of clarifying the complexity and ambiguity of organisational flexibility. It will therefore be a useful source of information for those pursuing research in this area.' Work, Employment and Society