Tag Archives: Sweden

Autonomy in flexibilized working time schemes? Factors that inhibit autonomy and where it succeeds

Working in bed at the weekend

Yvonne Lott, of the Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Institut (WSI) in Germany, questions whether working time flexibility can really deliver employee autonomy. 

Flexibility in working time makes it possible to reconcile work with the affairs of private life. Whether this is caring for children or elderly parents, or pursuing a qualification alongside work – flexible working times give employees freedom to organize their time. In particular when employees can themselves determine how to organize their working time, their autonomy at work can seem unlimited. Self-determination of work schedules promises control over one’s own working time and thus autonomy over one’s time in general. Employees with such working times should, then, have relatively stress-free (work) lives. Right? I am skeptical. Continue reading

Non-standard work arrangements and national context – Kassinis and Stavrou

Using a sample of 1,893 companies across 15 countries, the authors examine the relationship between public expenditure on national family-leave policies, employment legislation and culture, and use of flexible working.

They find that these three areas of expenditure influence the use of flexible working, but that this depends on both context and type of flexible working. As such, they stress that researchers should consider both the national and institutional environments when designing and interpreting research on flexible working.

Kassinis, George I.; Stavrou, Eleni T. (2013) “Non-standard work arrangements and national context” European Management Journal, 31

Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0263237313000479

Contesting Time: International Comparisons of Employee Control of Working Time – Peter Berg et al.

Drawing from interviews with managers, public sector policy-makers and administrators, and union leaders, this article demonstrates that workers‘ control over working time is affected by

  • the institutional and regulatory environment within the country
  • labor market conditions
  • management and labor union strategies

Employees in countries, such as Germany, Sweden and Netherlands, with extensive collective bargaining, high labour union density/coverage, and labour representatives focussed on working time issues, have increased collective control over working time.

Employee control over working time is unevenly distributed in countries with weaker labour institutions, and tends to reflect more closely the employers interests.

Berg, Peter; Appelbaum, Eileen; Bailey, Tom; and Kalleberg, Arne L. (2004) “Contesting Time: International Comparisons of Employee Control of Working Time” Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 57(3)

Available at: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/vol57/iss3/1