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Stable Flexibility – Long-term Strategic Use of Temporary Agency Workers in Sweden

Kristina Hakansson, Tommy Isidorsson, Hannes Kantelius

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The use of temporary agency workers is closely linked to the concept of numerical flexibility, entailing a need for additional staff in booms. However, previous research has also revealed a trend towards a more extensive and constant use of temporary agency workers. Even though the long-term use is not new, there is hardly any knowledge of how this transfer from short- to long-term use takes place. In this article, the exchange process between the temporary work agency and the user firm is scrutinised to explore and explain how the use of blue-collar temporary agency workers has become a long-term strategic use of the user firm’s staffing strategy.

Keywords: agency work, flexibility, flexible organization, labour market flexibility, staffing strategy, temporary agency workers, temporary work agency