1st Edition

Working in the Service Sector A Tale from Different Worlds

Edited By Gerhard Bosch, Steffen Lehndorff Copyright 2005
    336 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    380 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    The rise to prominence of the service sector - heralded over half a century ago as the great hope for the twenty-first century - has come to fruition. In many cases, employment in the service sector now outnumbers that in manufacturing sectors, and it is accepted that in all developed countries, the service sector is the only one in which employment will grow in future. The reasons for this is the subject of much controversy and debate, the outcomes of which are not merely of academic interest but of decisive importance for economic policy and the quality of working and living conditions in future.

    In order to examine these various arguments, research teams from eight European countries worked together for three years on a comparative study of the evolution of service sector employment in EU member states. They also investigated working and employment conditions in five very different service industries (banking, retailing, hospitals, IT services and care of the elderly) in a number of countries, and the results of their research are presented in this informative new collection, of interest to students academics and researchers involved in all aspects of industrial economics.


    List of figures viii

    List of tables x

    Acknowledgments xii

    1. Introduction
    Service economies: high road or low road? 1

    Gerhard Bosch and Steffen Lehndorff

    Different service societies in Europe

    The different worlds of service work

    Institutions matter


    Part I
    Different service societies in Europe 53

    2. Measuring economic tertiarisation: a map of various European service societies 54

    Gerhard Bosch and Alexandra Wagner


    Indicators of employment in services

    Sectoral and functional tertiarisation

    Sectoral differences

    Functional differences

    The absolute level of tertiarisation

    The structure of services

    Country profiles


    3. The incidence of new forms of employment in service activities 75

    Mark Smith


    Non-standard work and services

    Service growth and non-standard work

    Service sector growth and structural change

    Service sector growth in detail

    Service jobs and access to work


    4. Why do countries have such different service-sector employment rates? 97

    Gerhard Bosch and Alexandra Wagner


    Services and the cost disease

    Household structures and services

    The welfare state, welfare state regimes, and services

    The demand for services in manufacturing industry

    Quality of the supply

    Employment intensity in the service sector

    Different development paths: societies with high and low volumes of market services


    5. Services and the employment prospects for women 135

    Alexandra Wagner


    Tertiarisation, women’s employment and part-time work – what do the data say?

    Women’s employment: rates are growing faster than volumes

    Service sector not dominated by women

    Women predominate in social services

    Women’s employment, service work and part-time work: no conclusive link

    Women’s employment and the service society: the various configurations

    Various forms of the gender division of labour

    The ‘high road’ and ‘low road’ to higher female participation and more services

    Some political implications of the ‘high road’

    Risks and contradictions

    New models for economic activity and social security


    Part II
    The organization of service work: An analysis of five sectors 172

    6. The family, the state, and now the market: the organisation of employment and working time in home care services for the elderly 173

    Dominique Anxo and Colette Fagan


    Gender, care, and welfare state regimes

    The Nordic social democratic ‘universalist’ system of eldercare

    The Dutch social democratic ‘hybrid’ system of eldercare

    The UK’s liberal ‘marketised’ system of eldercare

    The Italian ‘family-based’ system of eldercare

    Different national models of home care services

    The dynamics of change in the organisation of home care services

    The dynamics of change: findings from the organisational case studies

    Organisational restructuring

    Service rationing and subcontracting

    Work reorganisation: rationalisation and taylorisation of home care jobs

    Working-time restructuring

    Recruitment problems and professionalisation

    Technological innovation


    7. The reluctant nurses: labour shortage and recruitment crisis in the hospital sector – a comparison of Belgium, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom 223

    Christophe Baret


    Theoretical framework based on societal analysis

    The socio-economic relationship

    The organisational relationship

    The domestic relationship

    The industrial relationship

    Employment and working time organisation: figures and reforms

    The sectoral level

    The organisation and reorganisation of the healthcare sector

    The structure of employment

    The national and sectoral regulation of working time

    At hospital level

    The management of human resources at hospital level

    Reform of the qualification structure and of work organisation

    The department level

    The obstetrics department

    The orthopaedic department

    The evolution of employment and working time and the context of change

    The organisational relationship

    The domestic relationship


    8. Work hard, play hard? Work in software engineering 265

    Janneke Plantenga and Chantal Remery


    Socio-economic environment and organisational structure

    Industrial relations

    Employment profile and actual working time patterns

    Working arrangements

    Beyond the statistics: determining factors of IT work organisation and working time

    Characteristics of the service provided

    Planning complexities and the frequency of overtime

    Location of the service provided: the absent employee

    Profile of the workforce

    Flexibility requirements


    9. Work organisation and the importance of labour markets in the European retail trade 298

    Florence Jany-Catrice and Steffen Lehndorff


    The restructuring of the industry and of employment by the large retail companies

    The reorganisation of mass distribution

    Personnel strategies

    Fragmentation of working time

    The influence of the labour supply on personnel strategies

    The retail trade and female labour supply

    The growing importance of juvenile workers

    Personnel management on the ‘shop floor’ – a tightrope act

    At your service at any time

    High commitment at low cost

    The full-time ‘anchors’ in a part-time operation


    10. Lean banking: Retail and direct banking in France and Germany 339

    Thomas Haipeter and Martine Pernod


    International financial markets and the strategy of lean banking

    Impact of national regulations on company strategies

    National regulations

    Country-specific profiles of strategy

    The case studies: new forms of flexibility in call centres and branch offices

    Call centres

    Retail branches


    Part III
    Common challenges 372

    11. The shaping of work and working time in the service sector: a segmentation approach 373

    Jill Rubery


    Revisiting segmentation theory

    The role of organisations in shaping employment systems

    The rise of the service economy and the restructuring of inter-firm relations

    The reshaping of organisations: new forms of governance

    Organisational employment practices: new requirements and new conflicts and contradictions

    Introducing the supply side: mutual interactions, path dependency and constraints on adjustment

    Societal effects and segmentation


    12. The delegation of uncertainty: flexibility and the role of the market in service work 421

    Steffen Lehndorff and Dorothea Voss-Dahm


    Flexibility through competition

    Beneath the surface of the ‘flexible firm’

    The internalisation of external pressure

    Imposing markets on workers

    The market as an instrument of control

    Mobilising the subject

    Between indicators and customers

    The risks of flexibility

    Availability at any time

    Flexibility for free

    Self-managed intensification and ‘extensification’ of work


    13. Can trade unions meet the challenge? Unionisation in the marketised services 467

    Jon Erik Dølvik and Jeremy Waddington


    Tertiarisation of labour and union membership

    Industrial variation in unionisation rates

    The changing composition of union membership

    Changing conditions for collective organisation in services

    Trade union challenges and the search for solutions

    Servicing or organising?

    Trade union structural adaptation

    Reforming the bargaining agenda

    Improving the legal basis for representation and social pacts

    Agreements for specific workforce groups

    Modernising the bargaining agenda


    14. Diversity and regulation of markets for services 509

    Jean Gadrey


    The ‘pure’ market is a normative myth

    The utopia of a market without rules

    The case of the labour market

    The other markets: all regulated to a greater or lesser extent

    Two types of justifications for rules

    A society has the markets it creates for itself



    Gerhard Bosch is Professor for sociology at the university Duisburg-Essen and Vice President of the Institute for Work and Technology. He is an expert on labour market policy, working time and employment policy.

     Steffen Lehndorff is an economist and Director of the Working Time and Work Organisation Research Unit at the Institute of Work and Technology (Institut Arbeit und Technik, IAT), Gelsenkirchen / Germany. His major research interests include international comparative studies of employment and working-time structures and regulation and of working time, work organisation and industrial relations in services and manufacturing.

    "Working in the Service Sector provides a valuable overview of the European Service Sector, brings together a considerable range of perspectives, and sets an impressive benchmark for comparative studies of work and organizations in terms of depth, focus, and theoretical outlook" Industrial Relations Review