Human resource management and the permeable organization: The case of the multi-client call centre

Jill Rubery, Marilyn Carroll, Fang Lee Cooke, Irena Grugulis, Jill Earnshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the interest over recent years in the fragmentation of organizations and the development of contracting, little attention has been paid to the impact of the associated inter-organizational relationships on the internal organization of employment. Inter-organizational relations have been introduced primarily as a means of externalizing - and potentially rendering invisible - employment issues and employment relations. In a context where inter-organizational relationships appear to be growing in volume and diversity, this constitutes a significant gap in the literature that this paper in part aims to fill. The purpose of the paper is two-fold: to develop a framework for considering the internal and external organizational influences on employment and to apply this framework within a case study of a multi-client outsourcing call centre. We explore the interactions between internal objectives, client demands and the use of external contracting in relation to three dimensions of employment policy: managing the wage-effort bargain, managing flexibility and managing commitment and performance. It is the interplay between these factors in a dynamic context that provides, we suggest, the basis for a more general framework for considering human resource policy in permeable organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1222
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Volume41
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

Cite this