Delivering Flexibility: Contrasting Patterns in the French and the UK Food Processing Industry

26 Pages Posted: 19 May 2010

See all articles by Eve Caroli

Eve Caroli

Université Paris Dauphine

Jérôme Gautié

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Caroline Lloyd

University of Warwick - ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE)

Annie Lamanthe

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Susan James

University of Oxford

Abstract

This article provides a comparative analysis of changes in numerical and functional labour flexibility in the French and the UK food processing industry. Based upon case study data, it explores the interaction between competitive pressures and institutional and regulatory structures and their impact on workplace practices. The findings indicate that, faced with a similar competitive environment, firms in both countries have sought to increase labour flexibility. However, the predominant forms of flexibility vary across the two countries, partly reflecting the characteristics of national labour market institutions. Numerical flexibility dominates in the UK, with high levels of paid overtime and temporary agency work. In contrast, French workplaces rely more on internal functional flexibility while also achieving numerical flexibility through seasonal variations in work schedules and a wide range of short-term employment contracts.

Suggested Citation

Caroli, Eve and Gautié, Jérôme and Lloyd, Caroline and Lamanthe, Annie and Research Papers, SKOPE, Delivering Flexibility: Contrasting Patterns in the French and the UK Food Processing Industry. British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 48, Issue 2, pp. 284-309, June 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1611323 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8543.2010.00792.x

Eve Caroli (Contact Author)

Université Paris Dauphine ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny
75775 Paris Cedex 16
France

Jérôme Gautié

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Caroline Lloyd

University of Warwick - ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Annie Lamanthe

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

SKOPE Research Papers

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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