Informal Labour Market Governance: The Case of the British and German Media Production Industries
Title: Informal Labour Market Governance: The Case of the British and German Media Production Industries
Author: BAUMANN, Arne
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Citation: Work Employment and Society, 2002, 16, 1, 27-46
This article is concerned with labour market transactions in the occupational labour markets (OLM) of the media production industries of Germany and the UK. In both countries, labour markets are characterized by a high inter-firm mobility of workers and patterns of short-term employment and freelance work. In this environment, missing standards produce uncertainty about skill levels of workers and qualification needs of firms, As a result, co-operation costs increase and opportunism becomes possible. It will be argued that, in the absence of manifest labour market institutions such as apprenticeships or skill certificates, which traditionally safeguard OLM transactions, the use of intermediaries and restriction of access will take over as informal mechanisms for governing the labour market. Labour market data from interviews with media firms in Germany and the UK and from surveys on German and British media professionals, are used in order to test this hypothesis.
Subject: freelance employment; labour market institutions; media industry; reputation; social mechanisms
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