Working in the Service Sector: A Tale from Different Worlds, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Working in the Service Sector

A Tale from Different Worlds, 1st Edition

Edited by Gerhard Bosch, Steffen Lehndorff


336 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

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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.


"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

Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Acknowledgments 1. Introduction: Service Economies Part I: Different Service Societies in Europe 2. Measuring Economic Tertiarisation 3. The Incidence of New Forms of Employment in Service Activities 4. Why Do Countries Have Such Different Service-Sector Employment Rates? 5. Services and the Employment Prospects for Women Part 2: The Organization of Service Work 6. The Family, The State, and Now The Market 7. The Reluctant Nurses 8. Work Hard, Play Hard? 9. Work Organisation and The Importance of Labour Markets in The European Retail Trade 10. Lean Banking Part 3: Common Challenges 11. The Shaping of Work and Working Time in The Service Sector 12. The Delegation of Uncertainty 13. Can Trade Unions Meet The Challenge? 14. Diversity and Regulation of Markets for Services

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Business Organizations and Networks

How do firms work? What networks are involved in driving organizations forward? This series presents titles which look at the dynamics of organizations and the particular effects of different types of business networks. It covers topics such as:

  • Industrial networks
  • Transaction cost economics
  • Organization theory
  • Change and information
  • New theories of the firm.

It considers both the economic, cultural and environmental factors that govern the success and failure of business networks and organizations.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General