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The migration of bureaucracy: Contracting and the regulation of labour in the telecommunications industry
eeds University, United Kingdom.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9902-8182
2002 (English)In: Work, Employment and Society, ISSN 0950-0170, E-ISSN 1469-8722, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 599-616Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This is a study of the reconfiguration of bureaucracy based on a case study of subcontracting within BT plc, the UK’s largest telecommunications firm. The 1990s witnessed significant quantitative and qualitative changes n the utilization and management of subcontracting. The expansion in the use of subcontractors in this period was paralleled by reforms to the processes of negotiating, administrating and monitoring contracts. This article traces these developments and analyses their implications. The continuing process of reform saw a significant redrawing of the boundaries of responsibility between the patron firm and its supplier, as discrete elements of the production process were transferred to the remit of subcontractors, This migration of responsibility was, however, predicated upon the exportation of bureaucracy, from the patron to the supplier; the relocation of the bureaucratic mechanisms appropriate to the management of the widening range of tasks, The movement towards an increased reliance on external sources of labour could ostensibly bring greater exposure to market imperatives, but it is argued that, contrary to me theme of dismantling hierarchical employment structures, these reforms represented the reconfiguration of the bureaucratic organization of production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 16, no 4, p. 599-616
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66597DOI: 10.1177/095001702321587389Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-0036925944OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-66597DiVA, id: diva2:1192787
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cited By 22

Available from: 2018-03-23 Created: 2018-03-23 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved

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MacKenzie, Robert

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