Workshop International Developments in Management and Organization of Temporary Agency Work




International Developments in Management and Organization of Temporary Agency Work Issues, questions and debates

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands, Monday 23 - Tuesday 24 June 2008 

Objective: knowledge sharing, idea generation, discussing research agenda, forging relationships. The conference is organized for idea generation. Around each topic we want to stimulate discussion, sharing of information, building connections between researchers and with practice.
Format: around each of the themes we have academic presentations (often drawing on extensive research in a specific national context) followed by a discussion, where other participants are invited to indicate notions of the basic trends in other countries / contexts / from different stakeholder perspectives, also adding practitioner experience and/or theoretic notions drawing on their experiences. Aim is to maximize variation / i.e. thought stimulation per topic.
The key speakers present the central findings from their research creating the basis for an open discussion and sharing of ideas related to the themes addressed. Presentations should be based in substantive research, emphasizing main findings and implications for further research. We aim to have short presentations and lots of discussion.

General issues that we address for each theme:

  • How do different views enrich our understanding of issues with and possibilities of temporary agency work?
  • Can we understand the variation of dynamics affecting effectively managing and organizing temporary agency work in different contexts?
  • Best practices from different national contexts? Need (and possibilities) for translation between contexts?
  • How do / can these studies of management and organization of TAW contribute to the broader development of Organization theory?

Broad themes:

Day 1

  • Organization of the triangular employment relationship, evolving HR practices and outcomes (sick leave, employee turnover, productivity etc.)
  • Management of the triangular employment relationship and effects on work perceptions and attitudes (employment relationship, psychological contract, issues of identity & identification, etc.)
  • Creating and developing the market. National embedding and evolving identities of temporary agency work in national labour markets (e.g. market creation and institutional entrepreneurship, role in regulation and self-regulation, historical development and evolving national identities of temporary agency work)

Day 2

  • Strategic possibilities and considerations, evolving business models and the triangular employment relationship (HR outsourcing, non-standard employment relations, evolving public-private cooperation)
  • Issues and paradoxes for management and organization of temporary agency work (flexibility and security, strategic responses to cyclicality, trust and flexibility, transactional and relational, etc.)
 Day 1, Monday 23 June
9.00 Registration
9.30 Introduction to the workshop Bas Koene and Pursey Heugens
9.45 Annemarie Muntz, Vedior, Eurociett Relevance of extending research on temporary agency work
 Theme 1 Perspectives on Organizing and Managing Temporary   Agency Work
 Organizing the triangular employment relationship
10.00 Isabelle Fernandez-Mateo, London Business School, UK Understanding triadic employment relationships; role of intermediary companies in economicexchange; who pays the price of brokerage?
10.20 Dick de Gilder, Free University, Netherlands Temporary Agency Work and identity issues
10.40 Anneke Goudswaard and Jan de Leede, TNO Work & Employment, Netherlands Organizing strategic partnership TWAs and client organizations
11.00 General discussion, comparison with other countries, notable issues themes
11.20 Coffee break
 Managing the triangular employment relationship
11.40 Nathalie Galais, Germany, University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany From temporary to permanent employment: Dealing with individual differences
12.00 Maria José Chambel, University of Lisbon, Portugal Double employment relationship in TAW: Psychological contract, organizational support and affective commitment to client and to agency
12.20 Nicole Torka, TU Twente, Netherlands Temporary workers, the nature of their work commitment
12.40 General discussion, comparison with other countries, notable issues themes
13.00 LUNCH
  Theme 2 Creating and developing the market
 National differences
14.30 Kevin Ward, University of Manchester, UK Flexibility in action: the temporary staffing industry and labor market restructuring in the Czech Republic and Poland
14.50 Cathel Kornig, LEST Aix-en-Provence, France, and François Michon, Centre d'Économie de la Sorbonne, France The origins of temporary agency work in Europe; historical development of temporary agency work in France
15.10 General discussion, comparison with other countries, notable issues themes
15.30 Els Sol, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
15.40 Coffee break
 Developing the market for TAW
16.10 Christina Garsten, Stockholm Center for Organizational Research, Sweden The social construction of a "flexible workforce": TWAs, transnational influences and state regulations, an ethnographic perspective
16.30 Ida Regalia, University of Milan, Italy Employment and the organization of work in Italy, Italian issues around management and organization of temporary agency work
16.50 Denis Pennel, Ciett Managing Director Opportunities for development of TAW in various national context: A European perspective
17.10 General discussion, comparison with other countries, notable issues themes
17.40 Closing
19.10 Watertaxi departing from ‘Watertoren’
19.30 Dinner Hotel New York
 Day 2, Tuesday 24 June
 Theme 3 Strategic possibilities and considerations
 Business models in the TWA industry
9.00 Lars Walter, Gothenburg University, Sweden Temporary Work Agencies in Sweden, creating a market for TAW
9.20 Sylwia Przytula, Wroclaw University of Economics, Poland Perspectives and issues for Temporary Work Agencies in Poland
9.40 Torstein Nesheim, Institute for research in Economics and Business Administration, Norway Externalizing the Core: firms use of employment intermediaries in the ICT industries
10.00 General discussion, comparison with other countries, notable issues themes
10.20 Coffee break
 Evolving possibilities of TAW
10.40 Silvia Dorado, University of Rhode Island, USA Non-standard employment relations; preliminary findings on US alternative staffing models for inclusion of disadvantaged workers
11.00 Shahzad Ansari and Bas Koene, Rotterdam School of Management, Netherlands Institutionalization of the TWA industry and evolving institutional action: possibilities to broaden the scope and solve lingering problems?
11.20 Axel Haunschild, Trier University, Germany What supports the individualized employment relationship? Experience from the creative industries
11.40 General discussion, comparison with other countries, notable issues and themes
12.00 LUNCH
  Theme 4 issues and paradoxes
14.00 Ton Wilthagen, OSA Tilburg University, Netherlands Flexicurity, signs of a workplace revolution?
14.20 François Pichault, Liege, LENTIC, Belgium Flexibility and security: micro-perspectives on dealing with Flexicurity
14.40 John Purcell, Warwick Business School and ACAS, UK Evolving regulation, temporary agency work, and Strategic HRM
15.00 General discussion, comparison with other countries, notable issues themes
15.30 Closing comments Bas Koene, Rotterdam School of Management, Netherlands
15.45 Closing by Fred van Haasteren, Randstad Holding
16.00 Drinks

This workshop will include contributors from Europe and the USA. It is organized in cooperation with Randstad and Vedior.


For more information contact dr B.A.S. Koene, Rotterdam School of Management, Department of Organization and Personnel management,