Varieties of flexibilisation? The working lives of information and communications technology professionals in the United Kingdom and Germany

Patricia Kinsella, Steve Williams*, Peter Scott, Rita Fontinha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

One feature of ‘flexibilisation’ concerns the growth of more individualised employment arrangements and career trajectories less connected to employing organisations. Informed by the Varieties of Capitalism approach, which emphasises the embeddedness of employment practices within discrete types of capitalist market economy, and based on rich qualitative data from interviews with 32 self-employed and directly employed ICT professionals in the United Kingdom and Germany, we investigate comparative variation in their experience of flexibilisation. The research findings not only indicate some commonality, particularly in respect of perceptions of independence, but also highlight notable differences with regard to work pressures and insecurity. The paper advances theory by characterising two discrete varieties of flexibilisation, a ‘liberalised’ form evident in the United Kingdom and a more ‘regulated’ type apparent in Germany, contributing to a better understanding of comparative differences in flexibilisation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Early online date7 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 7 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • flexibilisation
  • ICT professionals
  • independence
  • insecurity
  • Varieties of Capitalism
  • work pressures

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