گسترش جهانی گوناگون: استراتژی بین المللی در صنعت نیروی انسانی موقت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|12289||2011||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Geoforum, Volume 42, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 61–70
This article seeks to contribute to our understanding of the internationalization processes of business service sectors through an analysis of the 20 leading TNCs in the temporary staffing industry. While these TNCs broadly conform to a loosely coordinated decentralized or multinational organisational model, there is significant firm-to-firm, spatial and temporal variability in the internationalization strategies that they employ, deriving from both the breadth of the industry – i.e. the range of different staffing activities that it encompasses – and the inherently territorially-embedded nature of staffing industry activity. These complexities are exemplified through consideration, in turn, of the scope of staffing TNCs, their foreign direct investment strategies, levels of central coordination, and degrees of standardization. The analysis demonstrates that, due to the need to respond to markets, temporary staffing TNCs exhibit highly spatially and temporally variable internationalization strategies and there are considerable barriers to both the centralization of control and the standardization of business practices.
That labour markets are inherently local – both in terms of their unique intersections of supply and demand dynamics and their regulation (Peck, 1996) – has become something of a truism in recent geographical literature. And yet the powerful salience of this argument is readily apparent when one studies an industry whose very business is intervening in, and actively reshaping, local labour markets and yet whose leading firms have actively sought over the past two decades to expand and coordinate their operations at a global scale. The temporary staffing industry is a deceptively simple sector consisting of privately-owned labour market intermediaries that meet the needs of client organisations for (usually short-term) contract workers of many kinds.1 It is a large, fast growing, and relatively under-researched industry that has exhibited strong internationalization dynamics since the mid-1990s. The sector, worth an estimated US$105bn worldwide in 1996, had expanded to US$310bn in global revenues by 2007 (CIETT, 2009), and, to give but one measure of internationalization dynamics, the USA giant Manpower expanded its presence from 52 to 82 countries over the decade 1999–2009. This international spread and expansion of temporary staffing is of economy-wide significance: staffing agencies place workers in all sectors of the economy, and hence can be seen as promulgators of different kinds of labour market ‘flexibility packages’ across a range of clerical, technical and blue-collar occupations (Peck and Theodore, 2002 and Theodore and Peck, 2002). This paper is about the internationalization strategies of the leading transnational temporary staffing agencies and the particular challenges of coordinating and controlling activities at the global scale in an industry that is both innately ‘local’ and powerfully shaped by national regulatory forces. Put another way, it is concerned with the challenges of ‘managing across’ considerable institutional heterogeneity (Faulconbridge, 2008). As the ensuing analysis will demonstrate, temporary staffing offers an example of a particular kind of business service sector in which internationalization strategies are highly complex and spatially variable, shaped as they are to a high degree by host market conditions (cf. Faulconbridge et al., 2008). Our existing knowledge of these aspects of the temporary staffing industry is embryonic at best. Recent contributions have offered a range of national case studies in which the increasing significance of staffing TNCs is becoming apparent (e.g., Coe et al., 2008c, Coe et al., 2009a, Coe et al., 2009b and Coe et al., 2009c) alongside initial profiles of internationalization in the industry (see Ward, 2004, Peck et al., 2005 and Coe et al., 2007). Building upon and significantly extending such recent work, this paper is the first to offer a thorough and detailed assessment of the internationalization strategies of the leading transnational staffing providers across different national and regional markets. The transnational temporary staffing agencies that form the specific focus of this paper are detailed in Table 1, which profiles the leading 20 firms ranked by their foreign revenues in 2007.2
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has been the first contribution to systematically profile and explore the internationalization strategies of the leading 20 TNCs in the temporary staffing industry. The very business of temporary staffing – placing workers – is both geographically extensive across host markets and heavily shaped by the regulatory conditions that prevail upon both the industry itself and non-standard working practices more generally. As such, transnational agencies need to be highly responsive to varied host market conditions and to adapt their strategies and services accordingly. The nationally-specific nature of staffing activity is a powerful shaper of internationalization strategies and in turn places significant constraints on attempts to develop globally-integrated organisational structures. Interestingly, it is the firms operating predominantly in specialist, professional segments that have been able to achieve most in these respects due to the transnational nature of the labour markets in which they operate, and also the more geographically circumscribed range of their operations both across and within countries. Overall, however, the sector is characterised by spatially and temporally variable internationalization strategies both within, and between, different staffing agencies as they seek to coordinate their various activities across different combinations of markets. In turn, it is important to recognise that what on the face of it looks like an inexorable industry expansion across space (cf. Peck et al., 2005) is in fact a highly variegated process that poses significant management and coordination challenges and is variably resisted and contested in different markets by combinations of regulators, domestic firms, labour unions and other civil society actors. Conceptually, we have sought to develop an understanding of the internationalization of business services that is alive to the firm-to-firm, intra-firm and temporal variability of expansion strategies within a single sector. The analysis thereby challenges approaches to business service internationalization that seek to generalize about strategy at the corporate or sectoral level. In such industries, managing across institutionally-heterogeneous contexts cannot be achieved by simply ‘rolling-out’ or tweaking home country practices, and but requires a more nimble and flexible approach that is also shaped by management preferences and individual corporate cultures. There are clear resonances here with the findings of recent work on the cognate executive search industry (Faulconbridge et al., 2008, Faulconbridge et al., 2009 and Hall et al., 2009). Interestingly, however, while at the professional staffing end of the spectrum the industry clearly shares geographical and organisational characteristics with other business services, general staffing activities also seem to share some attributes of ‘distributed’ consumer service activities such as retailing, logistics and hotels, among others. The necessity of a dispersed network of offices grounded in distinctive local labour markets is perhaps the temporary staffing industry’s defining characteristic and is one which poses considerable challenges to the integrated expansion strategies of TNCs. Further research is needed into how staffing TNCs manage these issues in and across an ever-growing range of geographical contexts, along with work that explores how the expansionary strategies of leading staffing firms are changing and redefining the boundaries of both ‘temporary staffing’ and the wider landscape of labour intermediaries.