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Using a “Peripheral” Workforce: For and Against Essay


Introduction

The flexibility of work is a comparatively complicated issue integrating the peripheral and core workforces that carry with them several consequences. The model of work flexibility is commonly used in many organizations, as it is healthy for the individual standards of living (CIPD, 2013). Flexible working tries to view the associations amid practical and statistical flexibility.

In fact, the procedure involved in flexible working tries to elucidate on how an organization can concomitantly acquire flexibility. The situation of practical and statistical flexibility as realized by core and periphery model can generate additional advantages in corporate competitiveness.

The peripheral workforces entail employees having casual occupation affiliation while core labor forces are linked to better engagement terms and regular working conditions (Flexibility.co.uk Ltd, 2012). The two kinds of work flexibility that is core and periphery, spell out the implementation of the diverse labor market viewpoints.

Flexible materialize to have numerous benefits and demerits. For instance, 66.0% admit that flexible working is helpful (Croucher & Mills, 2006).

A total of 51.0% have faith to have an excellent rapport with their children. Less than 32.0% of workers meditate that flexible working could render them uncommitted whilst 23.0% contemplate that it will impinge on the promotion projections. According to Croucher and Mills (2006), 40.0% of the working parents admit that flexible working will diminish absenteeism while 59.0% presume that it would boost their morale.

The paper discusses the driving interest in flexible working. Besides, it debates on the advantages and limitations of the core and periphery model and further tests the model in the UK (Geary, 2012).

Main Body: The case for and against using “peripheral” workforce

Flexible working is a phrase illustrating the kind of work arrangements that allow for certain elasticity level concerning when, where, and time is taken by the workforce to complete the assigned tasks (CIPD, 2013). In fact, flexible work environment incorporates work patterns, locations, as well as the time for work.

Flexible work appears in various forms: For instance, working part-time is where employees work below the monthly, weekly, and daily standard hours. Flexi-time relates to situations when workers are able to select when to start and stop working based on some standardized work limits (CIPD, 2013).

However, varying annual employment allows working time for employees to change over time based on work demands. Purchased leave or part annual employment allows employees to obtain long leave periods totaling to eight weeks annually. Conversely, job sharing arrangement allows different workers to allocate the assigned tasks amongst them (CIPD, 2013).

The approach of flexible working in the UK predominantly targeted the guardians. A number of varied factors drove the initiation of flexible working in the United Kingdom (Aybars, 2007). Initially, the introduction of flexible working condition was with the purpose of supplementing the involvement of labor force.

The practice aimed at solving the bottlenecks of short and long-term labor deficiencies by increasing the participation of mothers at work. Besides, high circumstances of joblessness in the UK won the interest of initiating flexible working conditions.

The fashioned laws and regulations allowed the peripheral workforce to come into place in the United Kingdom (Johnson, 2004). The decrees that facilitated gradual superannuation and the adjustments to educate or train also motivated the introduction of flexible working. The situations of dependent adults and employees care for their families in UK fostered flexible working approaches.

The organizations in UK get flexible working advantages apropos the extensive data tendency. Parents working under this condition needed no guidance as they find it practical (Hakim, 2000). In fact, 66.0% admit that flexible working is helpful whereas 51.0% have faith to have an excellent rapport with their children.

Less than 32.0% of workers meditate that flexible working could render them uncommitted whilst 23.0% contemplate that it will impinge on the promotion projections. Similarly, 40.0% of the working parents claim that flexible working will diminish absenteeism while 59.0% presume that it would boost their morale (ACAS, 2013).

More than 33.0% of working fathers prefer flexible working to spend a better part of the time with their progeny compared with 19.0% who oppose the motive. Flexible working provides 56.0% of parents with children aged six years to assist them to read (Croucher & Mills, 2006). Although, 51.0% of working parent-having children whose ages range from eleven to sixteen years are able to support them in the homework.

Actually, 59.0% and 72.0% of working fathers and mother feel flexible working would allow them to devote the required time to their progenies as opposed to core working. However, flexible working has its drawbacks in the UK as knowledge fissures and little developments in administrative functions might arise (Kelliher & Anderson, 2008).

Atkinson’s scholastic representation clearly elaborates how flexible working symbolizes tangential occupation (Atkinson, 1984). The case of core-periphery that is increasing in the UK tries to uphold the organizational competences and resources (BMRB, 2009). As a result, sufficient policies of flexible working are necessary for both human resources and employers for institutional competitiveness.

Indeed, Atkinson’s model vies for temporal flexibility in financing, numerical, operations, and distanced plan in an organization. Concerning functional flexibility, staffs are capable of handling diverse tasks to contest with the changes in technology, techniques of production, and workloads. The numerical flexibility allows for the regulation of working hours and workers with respect to the alterations of demand (Atkinson, 1984).

Furthermore, financial flexibility renders the corporation a chance to evaluate the costs of employment pertaining to demand and supply available in the exterior labor marketplaces. The goals of numerical and functional flexibility are then possible as the organization moves to a standardized structure of disbursing and individual-based performance scheme (Morley & Garavan, 2005).

The superlative model advocates for a completely flexible institution that employs from peripheral and core workforce factions. The core (permanent) workforces who are full-time employees would precisely engage in the main functions of the organization. The core workforces are understood to be dedicated, skilled, and highly trained to execute their responsibilities.

In contrary, the peripheral (non-permanent) cluster guards the permanent employees during demand fluctuations. An employee in this faction has a lasting organizational contract as part-timers. The peripheral group also has minimal security and occupational opportunities correspondingly in their jobs (Kalleberg, 2001).

The contracted factions emerge to be extra supple statistically. Mostly, they work on short-term contracts, job sharers, and work on part-time basis (ACAS, 2013). It emerges that such employees could be indirectly in service through subcontracting, personal service, and impermanent workforce sets. The solution is to seek long-standing services with core workers to externalize employees and activities through transactional contracts.

The cost effectiveness of the organization consequently increases. For instance, flexible working can help an organization to reduce excessive costs by putting employees on shifts as depicted in the case of British Telecommunications. Albeit the core and periphery concept has several advantages, they face numerous criticisms in the corporate world (Hegewisch, 2009).

The exertion by the managers to associate the periphery workforce with in-flexible and un-skilled personnel as well as core labor force with flexible and skilled staff is criticized as unsophisticated. Depending on the orientation, a further tricky situation of twofold statuses transpires if an employee emerges as a peripheral and a core worker concurrently (Marginson et al., 2008).

Otherwise, a clear inconsistency of provisional job enduring than a permanent vocation surfaces due to ambiguity intrinsic in distinguishing peripheral and core workforces. The homogeneity suppositions in peripheral and core factions are no longer ideal symptoms of truth.

The opus of the core workforce is problematic to analyze. These two groups might undertake similar jobs since the organization can ignore to mull over the manner in which they function in parallel departments (Lasierra, 2007).

Alternatively, the core-periphery sector rapport is extra intricate compared with the general presumption in the model. The peripheral employees protect the core labor forces in organizations. The core and peripheral human resources might be allied in terms of permanent position selection and staffing (Flexibility.co.uk Ltd, 2012).

In the UK hospitality industry, core-periphery personnel expansively deliver vital organizational services. Sundry queries emerge afterward whether the model mutually demonstrates peripheral and core workforces as distinct classes of employment. The novelists criticize the Atkinson’s model as occupation for the impermanent workers ensues under knowable demand situations (Hunter et al., 2013).

The BT, previously known as the British Telecommunications serves as one of the corporations in the United Kingdom that employ core-periphery model working as it recruits employees on a flexible foundation (Mahajan, 2007). It is evident that BT has for several years’ built-up flexible working strategies.

At present, more than 70% of employees at BT benefit from flexible working conditions. Such benefits include freedom at work, paid or unpaid recreation, personal growth, as well as educational leave ranging from one to two years, and limited working (Kerkhofs, Chung & Ester, 2008).

Flexible employment requires little government intercession. The labor markets that result from flexible employment are competitive and work efficiently. The economy gains its competitiveness from the extent of unemployment reduced through flexible occupation (Flexibility.co.uk Ltd, 2012). Flexibility contributes to the tradeoff growth of joblessness, price increases and suits the occupation to the ways of life (Pollert, 2008).

The economy involuntarily grows congruently into stability at every possible production since the flexible employment and wages settle down the marketplace hastily to get rid of the excess supply and demand. Eventually, it fosters expansion in productivity, which sequentially creates resilient employment during monetary upturn (Pollert, 2008).

The flexible employment is beneficial to the internal investors’ thus rapid response of the economy to the exterior economic repercussions. The rates of labor participation augment thereafter giving extra workers alternatives to when and where to execute their work (CIPD, 2013). It is beneficial to mothers with infants as they can work on a part-time basis to allow them to take care of their descendants (CIPD, 2013).

The condition will, however, salvage little success in the creation of full time and permanent works. The company costs would be reduced therefore workers are contracted only when there is a necessity. The organization ought not to pay-off the non-performing workers in order to boost its operating cost thus income (Olmsted & Smith, 2009).

The scenario has pessimistic impressions on the insecurity at the workplace. There are a number of censures accompanying such disadvantages (Cappelli, 2005). Flexible employment promotes chances of imbalances, diminishes the wage cost helixes, and decreases the real wage redundancy.

The classical wag-joblessness augments when wages are established beyond the equilibrium point and too much flexibility causes job insecurity, hence leading to lower output (Tarique & Schuler, 2008). Flexibility causes inflation owing to extra-market powers that sanction the employees to yearn for elevated salaries (Cappelli, 2005).

The model has a long-term consequence on employees in short term contract who can mislay their jobs. These employees are unable to be employed due to lack of proper earlier training (Tarique & Schuler, 2008).

The contracts based on short duration causes insecurity and imbalances to the families at large. The employees fail to enter any work-related pension schemes and in the end, such contracts and the occupational retirement fund eligibility causes poverty.

The labor market flexibility, the culture of twenty-four hours, or everyday works have long-term inferences on the family lifecycle. Above all, the equilibrium of danger at the place of work changes from the proprietor to workers thus prompting revenue uncertainties (Walsh & Deery, 2009).

Conclusion

The issue of flexibility can only be accomplished by dividing the workforces in two distinct groups namely core and periphery workforce. Atkinson’s flexibility model has merits and demerits. All these seem important to the efficiency, tactical planning, predictability, continuity, stability, commitment, and teamwork in any organization.

Generally, an empirical study categorically emphasizes that the model of the flexible firm can hardly explain the perceived organizational vicissitudes. The preponderance of researches does not back the hypothetical distinction coming out between peripheral and core workforces.

Some scholars assert that strategic changes cannot generally occur due to flexibility. It is not decisive evidence that tactical changes are no longer present owing to lack of written and planned policies looming from the organizational upper echelons of management.

There is evidence on trivial alterations taking place in the flexible expanses, thus making many organizations in the UK to start adopting the model of core-periphery. Small changes reportedly transpire in various flexible corporate areas.

References

ACAS 2013, “Acas”. Web.

Atkinson, J. 1984, “Manpower strategies for flexible organisations,” Personnel Management, vol.16 no.8, pp.28-31.

Aybars, A. I. 2007, “Work-life balance in the EU and leave arrangements across welfare regimes,” Industrial Relations Journal, vol.38 no.6, pp.569-590.

BMRB 2009, “Flexible working: benefits and barriers,” Perceptions of Working Parents, Government Equalities Office, London, pp.1-16.

Cappelli, P. 2005, “Rethinking employment,” British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol.33 no.4, pp.563-602.

CIPD 2013, “CIPD – championing better work and working lives,” The Broadway, London. Web.

Croucher, R. & Mills, T. 2006, “Trends in time and locational flexibility in British organizations, 1989-2004,” Employment Relations Occasional Paper, pp.1-40.

Flexibility. Ltd 2012, “Flexible jobseekers”. Web.

Geary, J. F. 2012, “Employment flexibility and human resource management: the case of three American electronics plants”, Work, Employment and Society, vol.6 no.25, pp.169-170.

Hakim, C. 2000, “Core and periphery in employers workforce strategies: evidence from the 1987 E.L.U.S survey”, Work, Employment and Society, vol.4 no.2, pp.157-188.

Hegewisch, A. 2009, “Flexible working policies: a comparative review,” Research Report, vol.16 no.2, pp.1-40.

Hunter, L., McGregor, A, MacInnes, I & Sproull, A 2013, “The flexible firm, strategy and segmentation,” British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol.31 no.3, pp.383-407.

Johnson, J. 2004, “Flexible working, changing the manager’s role,” Management Decision, vol.42 no.6, pp.721-737.

Kalleberg, A. L. 2001, “Organizing flexibility: the flexible firm in a new century,” British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol.39 no.4, pp.479-504.

Kelliher, C. & Anderson, D. 2008, “For better or for worse? An analysis of how flexible working practices influence employees’ perceptions of job quality,” International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol.19 no.3, pp.419-431.

Kerkhofs, M., Chung, H. & Ester, P. 2008, “Working time flexibility across Europe: a typology using firm-level data”, Industrial Relations Journal, vol.39 no.6, pp.569-585.

Lasierra, J. M. 2007, “Labour flexibility and job market segmentation in Spain: a perspective from the labour demand side”, International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol.18 no.10, pp.1858-1880.

Mahajan, R. 2007, Flexible working – can your company compete without it? British Telecommunications, London.

Marginson, P., Edwards, P., Martin, R., Purcell, J. & Sisson, K. 2008, Beyond the workplace, managing industrial relations in the multi-establishment enterprise, Blackwell, London.

Morley, M. J. & Garavan, T. N. 2005, “Current themes in organisational design: implications for human resource management”, Journal of European Industrial Training, vol.19 no.1, pp.3-13.

Olmsted, B. & Smith, S. 2009, Creating a flexible workplace: how to select and manage alternative work options, American Management Association, New York, AMACOM.

Pollert, A. 2008, “The ‘flexible firm’ fixation or fact?” Work, Employment and Society, vol.2 no.3, pp.281-316.

Tarique, I. & Schuler, R. 2008, “Emerging issues and challenges in global staffing: a North American perspective,” International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol.19 no.8, pp.1397-1415.

Walsh, J. & Deery, S. 2009, “Understanding the peripheral workforce: evidence from the service sector,” HR Management Journal, vol.9 no.2, pp. 50-63.

Appendix

Peripheral work Core workforces
1 Entail employees having casual occupation affiliation Are linked to better engagement terms and regular working conditions
2 Peripheral employees are involved in multi-tasking and teamwork practices in that they are properly trained. The core-periphery model develops employees’ competencies to participate in decision-making and give them the ability to do different jobs
3 The peripheral (non-permanent) cluster guards the permanent employees during demand fluctuations The core workforces are understood to be dedicated, skilled, and highly trained to execute their responsibilities
4 The peripheral group has minimal security and occupational opportunities in their jobs The core workgroup has maximum security and occupational opportunities in their jobs
Characteristics of flexible working in the UK
1 Flexibility of work integrates the peripheral and core workforces that carry with them several consequences
2 Flexible working is healthy for the individual standards of living
3 It tries to view the associations amid practical and statistical flexibility
4 The practical and statistical flexibility as realized by core and periphery model generate additional advantages in corporate competitiveness
5 The two kinds of work flexibility that is core and periphery, spell out the implementation of the diverse labor market viewpoints
Advantages of flexible working
1 Dividing the workforces into core and periphery enable the organization to accomplish the flexibility matters
2 Flexible working in the UK predominantly targeted the guardians
3 Flexible working was intended to supplement the involvement of labor force
4 Flexible working solves the bottlenecks of short and long-term labor deficiencies by increasing the participation of mothers at work
5 Flexible working assists in solving high circumstances of joblessness in UK
6 Parents working under flexible working condition need no guidance as they find it practical
8 Flexible working diminishes absenteeism and boost employees morale
9 Flexible employment requires little government intercession while the labor markets that result from flexible employment are competitive and work efficiently
10 Flexible working helps parents have enough time with their kids and offer academic aid
11 Flexible working contributes to the tradeoff growth of joblessness, price increases and suits the occupation to the ways of life
12 The economy involuntarily grows congruently into stability at every possible production since the flexible employment and wages settle down the marketplace hastily to get rid of the excess supply and demand
13 Flexible working fosters expansion in productivity, which sequentially creates a resilient employment during monetary upturn
Disadvantages of flexible working
1 Flexible working faces disapproval based on remedy, deficiency of lucid shore up for the replica as direction, and slackness in abstract measurement.
2 The periphery workforce is associated with in-flexible and un-skilled personnel as well as core labor force with flexible and skilled staff is criticized as unsophisticated
3 It becomes very tricky in cases where an employee emerges as a peripheral and a core worker concurrently
4 The homogeneity suppositions in peripheral and core factions are no longer ideal symptoms of truth
5 Flexible employment promotes chances of imbalances, diminishes the wage cost helixes, and decreases the real wage redundancy
6 The classical wag-joblessness augments when wages are established beyond the equilibrium point and too much flexibility causes job insecurity, hence leading to lower output
7 Flexibility causes inflation owing to extra market powers that sanction the employees to yearn for elevated salaries
8 These employees are unable to be employed due to lack of proper earlier training
9 The employees fail to enter any work-related pension schemes and in the end, such contracts and the occupational retirement fund eligibility causes poverty
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IvyPanda. 2020. "Using a "Peripheral" Workforce: For and Against." April 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/using-a-peripheral-workforce-for-and-against/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Using a "Peripheral" Workforce: For and Against'. 16 April.

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