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Temporary work agencies: Here today, gone tomorrow?

Purcell, John; Purcell, Kate; Tailby, Stephanie


John Purcell

Kate Purcell

Stephanie Tailby


The complexities of the triangular relationship between employer, worker and agency are explored in two sectors to establish the extent to which the use of agency workers constitutes strategic and rational decisions on the part of employers. Evidence of strategic subcontracting to agencies is evident in the 1CT examples, but, as in the Healthcare case, organizational outcomes need to be understood with reference to workers' preferences, the agencies' own sophisticated strategies, operational pressures and labour market context. Relationships with agencies were embedded but inherently contingent, reflecting their own dependency on clients or, in the case of healthcare, government.


Purcell, J., Purcell, K., & Tailby, S. (2004). Temporary work agencies: Here today, gone tomorrow?. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 42(4), 705-725.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Publication Date Jan 1, 2004
Journal British Journal of Industrial Relations
Print ISSN 0007-1080
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 42
Issue 4
Pages 705-725
Keywords temporary work agencies
Public URL
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