DOI: 13, 2021Proceedings Paper


Severin Hornung, Thomas Höge


"Theory-building on workplace flexibility is extended, based on a critical Human Resource (HR) systems framework and paradox (conflict) perspective on employee-oriented vs. capacity-oriented flexibility. Differentiated are variabilities in HR practices by: a) content (functional, temporal, spatial, numerical, financial); b) control (employer, employee); and c) creation (top-down, bottom-up). Hybrid types of bottom-up initiated and top-down authorized flexibility, idiosyncratic deals (i-deals), describe mutually beneficial, negotiated agreements on non-standard working conditions between employees and employer. If their real-world manifestations reflect idealized assumptions, however, remains obscure. Integrating institutional logics, HR systems embody values of humanistic ideals vs. neoliberal ideology: (1) individuation vs. individualism; (2) solidarity vs. competition; (3) emancipation vs. instrumentality. Reflecting these antipodes, construed ideal-type and anti-type i-deals facilitate: (a) self-actualization vs. self-reliance (needs vs. interests); (b) common good vs. tournament situations (triple-win vs. winner-take-all); (c) social transformation vs. economic rationalization (development vs. performance). In humanistic ma...Continue Reading

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