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

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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 UK and Germany, we investigate comparative variation in their experience of flexibilisation. The research findings 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 UK, and a more ‘regulated’ type apparent in Germany, contributing to a better understanding of comparative differences in flexibilisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 7 May 2021


  • NTWE paper post-print May 2021

    Rights statement: The embargo end date of 2050 is a temporary measure until we know the publication date. Once we know the publication date the full text of this article will be able to view shortly afterwards.

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 350 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 1/01/50

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