1st Edition

Job Quality in an Era of Flexibility Experiences in a European Context

Edited By Tommy Isidorsson, Julia Kubisa Copyright 2019
    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    This is the era of flexibility. Under constant pressure to be adaptable, organizations increasingly adopt employment practices such as zero-hours contracts, the casualization of the workforce and the use of temporary and agency labour. These flexible practices are central to debates about the changing nature of job quality and its causes, trends and consequences.

    Arguing that job quality is central to understanding contemporary work, this book explores the internal and external pressures for flexibility in workplaces, professions and sectors and how this pressure shapes workers’ experiences of job quality. By studying job quality dynamics via case studies from organizations and occupations in the UK, Poland, Belgium and Sweden, the volumes illustrates the diversity of practices and experiences, as well as market pressures and institutional arrangements which effect working lives. Finally, the editors propose a policy debate on the new concept "flexiquality" - a combination of flexibility and job quality that can be beneficial for both management and workers.


    1. Job quality in an era of flexibility: introduction  Julia Kubisa and Pedro Mendonca

    2. Job Quality in Europe  Stephen Bouquin

    3. Deregulation, job security and employability during the Great Recession: a multilevel analysis  Dragoș Adăscăliței and Federico Vegetti

    4. Quality of working time in the police: the experience of shift extensification for officers and staff  Dora Scholarios, Hannah Hesselgreaves and Raymond Pratt

    5. ‘Supply chain capitalism’: exploring job quality for delivery workers in the UK  Kirsty Newsome, Sian Moore and Cilla Ross

    6. For the sake of quality of care: nurses’ struggles for job quality in the context of flexibility arrangements: the case of Poland  Julia Kubisa

    7. Job quality dynamics at the call centre: workers’ strategies in Poland  Justyna Zielińska

    8. Voice and its implications for employment quality in temporary agency work  Kristina Håkansson, Valeria Pulignano, Tommy Isidorsson and Nadja Doerflinger

    9. Job quality, flexibility and obstacles to collective agency  Pedro Mendonca

    10. Job quality for temporary agency workers and client organization employees at a Swedish manufacturing plant  Kristina Håkansson and Tommy Isidorsson

    11. The social dimension of job quality: perceived social support in contrasting regulatory contexts for temporary agency work  Pille Strauss-Raats

    12. Job Quality in an Era of Flexibility: conclusions and new emerging issues on job quality for research and policy makers  Tommy Isidorsson and Julia Kubisa


    Tommy Isidorsson is Associate Professor, Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Member and Supervisor at ChangingEmployment Marie Curie ITN. His main interest has been how firms and organisations adapt to changes in demand, i.e. the different strategies utilised for handling changes in production volume including working-time flexibility, functional flexibility and numerical flexibility. His interest in numerical flexibility includes several studies on agency workers focusing on mechanisms that influence the development of these strategies for flexibility and their consequences on a societal level, workplace level and individual level. He is the author of many publications on temporary agency workers.

    Julia Kubisa, Marie Curie Experienced Researcher, Post-doc at University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw, Poland. For her PhD she researched women’s activation in Polish trade unions, focusing on the position of nurses and midwives in the Polish healthcare system and their patterns of protest, the impact of healthcare system reform on working conditions and trade unions’ activities. Her research interests are in the field of the sociology of work, including the gendered division of labour, labour relations in transforming economies and new patterns of job quality.